As the dust started to settle on this morning's appointment of new City boss Glenn Roeder, so club chairman Roger Munby revealed just what difference a year had made.
This time last year and a nine-strong interview panel had handed Peter Grant the task of lifting the Canaries out of the Championship and on into the promised land of the Premiership.
Some 12 months on and a slimmed down selection committee – acting on the strength of two, full interviews – handed 51-year-old Roeder the task of lifting the Canaries out of the Championship mire.
Clearly the big hope is that a different approach will lead to a different outcome; that no-one will find themselves having to go through this whole process again 12 more months down the line.
?Two things were important,? said Munby, the master of ceremnies at this morning's unveiling of the new man at the City helm as the club's principal shareholder Delia Smith raced to get her latest cook-book onto the Christmas shelves.
?One, was to have fewer people doing the interviews themselves,? said Munby, putting the figure at ?four to five?.
?A smaller interviewing team which left the other members of the board to retain a higher degree of objectivity; acting, if you like, as the 'sounding board' that the interview team could come back to,? said Munby, with the last of the second-round of interviews only completed late yesterday afternoon.
Before such a stage was ever reached, they had all agreed on a set of criteria – bars that each man had to jump. Roeder himself would describe the two interviews he had as the most gruelling he has ever faced.
?Secondly, we put in a second round interview stage in order that the questions we asked in the first interviews – that were significant and important could be probed again.
?The second round was a different kind of interview – and those took place yesterday morning and on into the afternoon,? said the City chairman, revealing no more than that they had whittled down the original 50-plus applicants down to ?a few?.
The few became one during the course of those second round interviews.
?The decision was made soon after that and then the detailed negotiations which then had to take place were just concluded this morning,? said Munby, as Roeder put his signature to a two-and-a-half year management deal – tying him to Norfolk until 2010.
He readily admitted that in the wake of Saturday's results – at The Hawthorns, The Valley and beyond – plus the post-match comments of the 'Sort it out!' variety by both caretaker boss Jim Duffy and striker Jamie Cureton, that the board were under intense pressure to deliver a man, a name, a boss.
?Were we feeling the pressure? Oh yes – very much so,? said Munby.
?Firstly as a fan, but secondly as the chairman of a football club that isn't working and isn't delivering for its fan base.
?And that's a heart-breaking situation, but one you have to steel yourself away from and be objective about; be big about. And face up to the consequences of failure – and turn it around. That's our job.?
In fairness, that was Munby going a fair way down the line of saying that the last 12 months were a failure; today, they desperately hoped, was the first day in which they started to right one or two wrongs.
One of the charges that has been levelled against them was that it took three weeks – and nine lost points – to appoint the new boss. More if, somewhere way behind the scenes, people were starting to have the 'What if…' conversations as Grant's reign started to unravel alarmingly.
The Jewells family holiday plans clearly didn't help. Munby, however, insists that they took as long as it takes to get the right man for the mammoth job ahead.
?I have to bow to the higher authority of results, but I firmly believe at this stage we've got the right man and, therefore, since we've got the right man then it's taken the appropriate amount of time.
?Plus we put a secound round interview into the process – and that was important.?
He was also at pains to offer his thanks to Duffy's role as caretaker. Grace under fire, in fairness. He would have long guessed that his card was marked the day that Grant threw his in.
?It's appropriate to pay tribute to the work that Jim's done in the last three weeks – it's been industrious, but also done with great dignity,? said Munby, with Grant's No2 handed the short straw of an appearance both at a tetchy Annual General Meeting and an even more direct supporters' roadshow in Diss.
?He answered a lot of questions under a lot of pressure – both at the AGM and at the fans' forum last week and for a caretaker manager that was, in a sense, above and beyond the call of duty.
?And I take my hat off to him. He's helped us through – but he's no longer at the football club.?
Again, the chairman didn't shy away from the term 'crisis' – three points adrift at the foot of the Championship table, it's hard to suggest anything else.
?There is a touch of crisis about it – yes, you couldn't deny that,? said Munby, an air of apology still evident.
?A number of times recently we've apologised for participating in something that none of us would ever have wanted – because the board members and the senior execs are fans. Fervent fans. Passionate fans.
?So we hate the situation that we're in. But we have a special responsibility in the positions that we hold to pulll ourselves out of it – and Glenn Roeder is going to be a significant element of that,? said Munby, as all eyes now switch to events at Carrow Road this Sunday when the Canaries have, in theory, a perfect opportunity to get Roeder's reign off to a flying start.
?You could apply all sorts of words to it, but 'crisis' is not too far away. It needs to be turned around,? admitted Munby.
?We're three points adrift at the bottom of the league and one of the teams immediately above us has a game in hand. That's not pretty; that's not satisfactory; it has to change.?
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