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Canaries Chief Executive Gives Burnley the Bird!

Norwich City chief executive David McNally speaking to BBC Radio Norfolk has been speaking about Burnley's approach for their manager, Paul Lambert last week.

We all now know the events that took place following a public announcement on the Burnley Official website that we had asked for permission to speak to Lambert.

Clarets fans would be forgiven for thinking that such a strong announcement must have been made because the Burnley board felt there was a strong chance that Lambert was interested in the job. Had he approached them either directly or indirectly to hint he would be interested? Well if he did, it looks like he played us off to get what he wanted at Norwich City instead.

That makes us look bad enough, but if he didn't maybe we look like even bigger chumps now.

Norwich were quick to issue a statement of their own making it clear they would in no way give Burnley permission to speak to Lambert.

No sweat Burnley fans thought, this was just par for the course and if Lambert really wanted the Burnley job he could always force the issue and hand in his resignation.

What followed next is unclear but it looks like Lambert had at least two meetings with the Norwich board. He first made a statement at a press conference that was pretty bland and had many Norwich fans worried that he had not made a strong enough statement that he would be staying at Norwich City.

Later that day though, there must have been a change of heart with Lambert finally stating he would be staying at Carrow Road.

Was there never a chance he would be leaving Norwich City or did he simply use the threat of resignation to get his own way and get a boost in funds for maybe himself and for players? We will never know it is all conjecture and speculation.

We do now know however what Norwich think about the whole situation or at least those of their Chief executive.

In a damning statement today, David McNally said:

"I was alerted by Joe Ferrari, head of media, that Burnley, for some bizarre, very difficult to explain reason, decided to put it on their web site that they had asked for permission to speak to Paul about their vacancy, so that really was unusual, unexpected and I have to say unprofessional of them. It meant we had to get something out to say that we would absolutely make certain that Paul Lambert stayed manager of Norwich City and he was certainly not going to Burnley, there was no question of that.

"He was very happy as he said at the press conference with the lines that the club came out with and if you listen back to the recording he said so, and quite rightly. He wanted to use the 15, 20 minutes of the press conference to talk about all things Leyton Orient and this very important match that we have today and did not want to focus on needless speculation about a club he was not about to go and join, so quite rightly he avoided that'

McNally also said that nothing had changed regarding the manager`s contract and nor had the agreed player budget.

So what do you believe? Are we just completely incompetent and a bunch of amateurs or are Norwich telling porkies?

Discuss below the article or in our forum.

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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday January 10 2011

Time: 11:36AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
You do begin to wonder sometimes why we do these things and never seem to come out on top! No similar official announcement over MacKay yet? Is that saying something?
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10/01/2011 11:48:00

If it was narrowed down to six and four were under contract, why didn't we just ask permission to speak to all them four at the same time when we asked to speak to Lambert? MacKay looks set to be rebuffed anyway maybe that is why we have not gone in for him? Lessons learn't?
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10/01/2011 11:59:00

I do think there was contact between Lambert or his agent and BFC and like Coyle, Lambert used us as a stepping stone, the MacKay thing is a bit more strange that could also be his agent who informed SNN really would have thought there would have been contact between the Clubs now. The statement from Howe at the end of the game on Saturday seems he as been approach and i don't mean Palace, why would he go there when the two teams could be swapping League's.
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10/01/2011 12:08:00

We tried to do it in the correct manor and it backfired .... simple as ! If you had a brain cell amongst them directors who knew about managing PR events this would never have happened! the statement on Saturday from Kilby was farcical we look like a right set of Muppet's, despite what ever the truth was sends out completely the wrong message,, carry on like this and we will start flying the flag when Kilbys in residence at the turf ! A bloody laughing stock...
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10/01/2011 12:15:00

Sounds to me that whetever we did, we did it with enough seriousness of purpose and ambition that the Big Canary had his cage quite seriously rattled.
Couch Potato
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10/01/2011 13:06:00

I heard the interview live on Radio Norfolk. The tone of McNally when describing the approach appeared to me to be one of real surprise and bemusement of the way the news came out. I know the timeline of events wasn’t on the article but my recall of what McNally said was that the approach was made at around 9.30pm on Thursday and he was making his way back to Carrow Road to speak to Lambert and the other directors when he heard the news that Burnley had gone public which was not long after. This may explain the hastily worded statement that appeared on the NCFC official site around 11.00pm and the rather weak response in our Friday morning press conference. Despite Lambert having said he’s going nowhere a couple of weeks earlier it took twelve hours of message board and twitter meltdown before a second more robust NCFC statement on Friday at 9.00pm was made. Football fans, and I’m including myself in this group, are nervous types and the thought of losing Lambert just as the £ signs of the Premiership were on the horizon was a huge worry. That twelve hour gap was a mystery and as soon as the rumour mill was approaching turbo speed it wouldn’t have taken much to quell the speculation. Of course Burnley’s reasons for publishing the approach are also unclear. Maybe they thought that they had already got their man, but of course to admit anything of the sort would not be allowed. Lambert has a new agent (I think it is Athol Still) who I understand has been keen to raise the profile of his client. And Lambert’s profile has now been raised so job done. But who did the job is not clear. Another interesting snippet was an interview by Chris Goreham (NCFC match day commentator and Radio Norfolk breakfast show host) with his Radio Lancashire counterpart on Friday morning. The impression I gained from this was that the Radio Lancashire guy (his name escapes me) knew more than he was letting on. Of course I may be wrong here. As regards Burnley’s No 2 target, which I’m assuming is Malky Mackay; my view is that he is too, very much off limits. I heard a recent interview he did for a Watford fans site and the way he talked passionately about the club and plans he had (including levelling the pitch!) said to me that he was taking a long view and had a great deal of unfinished business at Vicarage Road.
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10/01/2011 13:28:00

Are we taking advice from that master of spin Ali C?
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10/01/2011 13:41:00

Great post, thank you kenton. What Malky is saying doesn't sound that different from what Coyle was saying about 10 days before he upped and offed to the Reebok, so there may be unfinished business there... or not. As for events in East Anglia, the news that Lambert has a new agent may explain a lot. Let's face it, someone had got the bookies watching Lambert in the context of Burnley long before Burnley made a statement, and agents don't make any money when their charges sit around and be good loyal boys. So your chief exec may be trilling at Burnley while the real object of his fluttering heartbeat may be your young fledgeling gaffer's agent. As for AliC, cornwall, I've previously speculated that he may be involved already, while others have been demanding that he get involved because our recent PR has been so poor!
Couch Potato
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10/01/2011 13:53:00

Rumours I heard was that Lambert played us. Lets face you don't you don't go public saying you've approached a club unless the man you want has tipped you a wink. His agent must have said something to Burnley. If thats the games Lambert plays I don't want him.
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10/01/2011 16:34:00

Yep, kenton, interesting comments there, thanks for that! Something is just not quite right about the whole affair and I guess we will never know the full story but Burnley have to move on and get it right next time. Skutter,I heard the same too but it's all conjecture and of course has been strenuously denied by both Norwich & Lambert
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10/01/2011 17:52:00

What takes the .... about them calling us unprofessal they did the exact same thing to colchester to get him so i have no sympathy for them.
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10/01/2011 19:40:00

In a way we have suddenly decided to be Mr Nasty instead of Mr Nice Guy but so far it seems to have backfired
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10/01/2011 20:09:00

After this debacle with Norfolk and the on again/ off again furor over Lambert and the various other manager who were on our "Want List" and who are now employed elsewhere one has to ask the question "Is the Board really capable of negotiating for a manager?" Just as a great player does not necessarily make a good or adequate manager of a team it may also follow that a board chairman and his fellow directors may not be a good or adequate negotiators. And there is nothing wrong with admitting this and hiring a professional to deal with the problem Large corporations hire" Head Hunters" to go forth and select the right person to fill important vacancies. Now this all may be being done behind the scenes but we, the true heart of the club--the fans-- have seen no proof of any professionalism in getting us a new manager... A mushroom complex. you know what I mean -Keep them in the dark and feed them **** Over the past few weeks we have seen good managers( ??) go elsewhere and we may just end up with the last man standing. We are in danger of becoming the laughing stock of the league Declare a manager soon and lets get on with talking about tactics, strategy and who will we meet in the playoff for promotion.
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10/01/2011 21:03:00

Well said CFA! Totally agree
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10/01/2011 21:05:00

Superb bird references CP ! I have a lot of time for Norwich City and admire them as a club but this episode has left a sour taste and I suspect all is not well at Carrow Road. I bet Paul Lambert is not there this time next year.
Report Abuse
10/01/2011 21:29:00

We rushed into it last time and now we seem to be blundering around. Slow down - let the current man do the job and the other clubs that are keeping an eye on us to protect their own man will lift their guard. Plus we could be looking in all the wrong places. Do we need haste? I know we want the playoffs but if we end up with the wrong person in the job we won't make it.
Report Abuse
10/01/2011 21:35:00

In response to CFA, big companies probably have long term contracts with headhunters, whom they use regularly on several different jobs. Going through a headhunter for a one-off task, where there's a need for a quick (1-3 weeks) result, could end up with you using a headhunter that wasn't doing the job you wanted because the club and the headhunter didn't actually work well together when push came to shove. So, it's an interesting idea to raise, but it raises several questions that don't seem to have clear answers. One of them would be whether Bfc have actually been using a headhunter. Are we sure they haven't?
Couch Potato
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11/01/2011 10:17:00

Another question would be whether we used a headhunter when employing Brian Laws. The club has been criticised for using an accountant in the selection process. Big accountancy companies would certainly offer some aspects of headhunting services. So maybe we did use a headhunter this time last year?
Couch Potato
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11/01/2011 10:24:00


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