Media exclusion from Webber interview hardly 'transparent'

The Pink Un team were unable to question Stuart Webber

The Pink Un team were unable to question Stuart Webber - Credit: Archant

Stuart Webber has given his much-anticipated verdict on Norwich City’s disastrous 2021-22 Premier League campaign – but chose to do so ‘behind closed doors’. 

City’s sporting director opted to use the club’s in-house media platform to relay his thoughts, via interviewer Alice Piper, rather than invite the press to ask questions. 

The worst-kept secret in local media circles is that Webber was infuriated by a newspaper headline and reacted by refusing to engage with this publication’s owners, Archant – so the lack of an invitation for the Pink Un reporting team would have been no great surprise. It would be wrong of us to speak about other media outlets.

But to exclude all media and opt for a closed-door approach does tend to fly in the face of previous comments by Webber in which he championed transparency from within the corridors of power. 

“Delia and Michael’s dream, even when I first met them, was about being as transparent as possible. That’s a true value of mine as well, let’s be honest with people, even if that isn’t what they necessarily want to hear.” 

That was Webber at the Norwich City AGM in November, 2018. 

Keeping the media away, particularly after a season which requires so many answers, is far from transparent. Nor is it fair on Norwich City supporters, many of whom have spent a lot of time and money following the team for very little return and would like to know from the man in charge why things went so badly wrong and what he is doing to prevent a repeat. 

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Webber’s honesty and forthright manner has been lauded in the past – even in these current difficult times, a repeat of previous engagements would have been welcomed.  

There's lot we would like to have asked Stuart Webber, not least his comments about the local media and 'lies' - but also, his own future, what did he think went wrong, what issues did they have with recruitment last summer, THAT interview with The Times, season ticket sales, building for the long term. Those - and more.

No one wants a hostile relationship with the club, not fans, not the media. We all want it to be successful. And transparent.