Premier League clubs are ‘getting there’ says Norwich City chief Stuart Webber
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Stuart Webber says the Premier League is united in finding the correct solution to its problems during the coronavirus pandemic.
The 20 Premier League clubs have come under fire from all quarters because of their reaction to the situation, and reports have claimed there is infighting between different groups with very different agendas when they meet through regular video conference calls.
But City’s sporting director says that while there is evident self-interest, there is also a growing sense of unity.
“I think we’re getting there,” he said. “I think self-interest definitely took over at the start and, let’s be honest here, when you’re in a crisis the key is leadership. You have to be led through it, it’s not about thumping your chest and motivating people, it’s about leading people through a crisis. I’m not sure that at the moment it has been led well enough. I think we’re getting there now because the seriousness is really starting to take over and the clubs are starting to realise that we now need to get control of this.
“Hopefully that’s then going to get down to the coaches and the players, that we need to get control of this because it has spiralled out of control too much.
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“But I genuinely speak to a lot of people – the clubs are close, and any talks of rows and wars on the calls couldn’t be further from the truth. Everyone has a great respect for each other and realises that no one is going to win in this, we’re all going to lose.”
Webber blasts unfair accusationsA number of clubs have gone public with their views, which has led to the accusations of self-interest, but Webber says it is an understandable reaction.
“Absolutely every club has self-interest, whether that’s a club trying to qualify for Champions League spots or a club trying to stay up, that’s a fact,” he told Sky Sports. “As custodians of the club you have a self-interest and you’re lying if you say you don’t. Steve Parish last week said about self-interest and of course he should, he’s the Crystal Palace bloke – as Norwich City will, or Paul Barber (Brighton chairman) will. I think it’s more harmonious than people would like to believe.”
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Mixed messages among the national media has certainly cranked up the feeling, but Webber wasn’t convinced there was deliberate leaking.
“Whether it’s being fed out or whether it’s people guessing, it’s like transfer rumours, it doesn’t always mean that someone has put it out there,” he said. “Some people can put two and two together and come up with 10. So I wouldn’t want to say that people are dripping it out, if they are that’s disappointing but that’s life, let’s get on with it.”