Norwich City hit by fine and �425,000 compensation bill

Norwich City have been ordered to pay �425,000 in compensation to Colchester United over the recruitment of their management team of Paul Lambert, Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa.

Norwich City have been ordered to pay �425,000 in compensation to Colchester United over the recruitment of their management team of Paul Lambert, Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa.

And the Canaries have been fined �75,000 with a further suspended fine of �125,000 - the decision of a football disciplinary commission convened by the Football League.

No points deduction has been imposed on the club.

City admitted a breach of Regulation 20, which relates to the movement of personnel between clubs, but the suspended fine will only be activated if City commit a further breach of Regulation 20 during the next two years.

Colchester chairman Robbie Cowling had called for a points deduction against Norwich for a breach of Football League rules after they recruited Lambert as manager last August.

City's solicitor, Dan Chapman, of Leathes Prior, said: “In respect of compensation payable to Colchester United, Norwich City always maintained they were happy to pay fair and reasonable compensation. That is only right. Throughout this dispute Norwich City made numerous offers of settlement to Colchester, but all offers were rejected.

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“We felt that Colchester failed to engage in the process of negotiation and continually 'moved the goalposts' in terms of what they were seeking and why, and the decision of the FDC has reflected that.

“Norwich City were in a position where they were bidding against themselves, and for that reason it was regrettable that the level of compensation had to be set by the FDC.

“As Norwich City fans will no doubt have ascertained for themselves as a result of the public comments of Mr Cowling in the media, Colchester also contended in these proceedings that Norwich City should be deducted points for the 2009-10 season.

“Latterly, when it became apparent to Colchester that a points deduction was likely to have little impact on the outcome of the 2009-10 season, their position changed to demanding a points deduction in the 2010-11 season.

“Norwich City did admit a breach of Regulation 20. Norwich City were therefore aware that a sanction would be imposed and we are pleased that our submission that a points deduction would be wholly inappropriate and unprecedented was accepted by the FDC.

“Above and beyond what is set out in the Football League's press statement, the full contents of the FDC decisions in these proceedings remain confidential.”

City chairman Alan Bowkett said: “We always wished to agree amicable terms of compensation with Colchester, but regrettably we were unable to do so. Norwich City always strives to develop and maintain good links with our fellow clubs, and it was disappointing that the two clubs could not find a way to see eye to eye on the issue of compensation. A lot of the detail of this dispute, and the exact nature of the FDC findings, remain bound up in confidentiality so we can not comment any further.

“However, we do accept and will meet the orders of the FDC and, financially, provision has been made in our cashflow for sometime to enable us to do so. We should assure our fans that the sums ordered are something we have budgeted for and will have no impact on Paul Lambert's player budget for next season.

“The priority for the board was to ensure that this dispute had no impact on Norwich City's march towards promotion out of League One. As was aired in public by Mr Cowling, he believed from the outset that we should be subjected to a points deduction. We are delighted that the FDC held otherwise. In the interests of moving on and focussing on football we will not be appealing the decisions. Furthermore as we are looking forward we feel our relationship with the Colchester board should resume its normal friendly rivalry. We trust this will be reciprocated.

“We look forward to putting this matter behind us, and to reflecting on the appointment of a management team that we are confident can continue its success in the coming seasons.”