Disappointed City boss Glenn Roeder this morning pointed a very large finger in the direction of Blues chief executive Karren Brady as he officially confirmed that the chase for Martin Taylor's signature was over.
All of which will come as a blow to Taylor's three young boys – Roeder had spotted the Taylor Jnrs all proudly sporting their new Norwich City shirts in the hotel before the Sheffield United game.
“He's very disappointed,” revealed Roeder, left to start a new search for a No5 after City's Player of the Month for November was hauled back to Birmingham in the full and certain knowledge that (a) new Blues boss Alex McLeish saw no future for him first team-wise and that (b) Brady had sold him to a club that he didn't want to go to.
He had, Roeder sensed, been bitten by the Norfolk bug as the new Canary chief adopted a softly, softly approach to winning his signature – one that looked like coming off in Huckerby-like style until they reached the brick wall that was Brady.
“I asked him after two weeks as to whether there was any chance of him staying longer and he said then that it was very unlikely; that there'd been a change of manager and he wanted to go back.
“But I think over the following two weeks the club and the players really grew on him,” said Roeder, with Norfolk also weaving her magic.
“He's unbelievably family-orientated with his wife and his three little boys – and I'd backed right off. He said he wasn't going to come. But I just hoped that, as I said, the club would grow on him even more in those last two weeks – and it did.
“I came down to breakfast last week before the Sheffield United game – and we're in the same hotel – and the three little boys had Norwich City shirts on. And I thought: 'Whoa… things might be changing. You don't really buy your kids Norwich City shirts if you're only staying a month.
“So he'd changed. And when we spoke to him after the Sheffield United game, in which he'd been out-standing, he said he'd like to sit down and talk. Just to talk about signing another loan agreement until the 1st of January and while that was going on, discuss a permanent move. But Karren Brady wouldn't have that at all – he'd have to come back.”
Brady's heart – for whatever reason – was set on selling the 28-year-old to Queen's Park Rangers. Deal done, the lady was not for turning. Nor would she listen to either Norwich's offer or the player's insistence that he didn't want to go to London; he wanted to go to Norfolk.
Reports suggest that Rangers' bid was ?1.25 million – a “worthless piece of paper” according to the City chief, picking his words very carefully at Colney this morning.
“She had a bid from QPR on the table that she'd accepted, but that was a worthless piece of paper – he didn't want to play for QPR or go down to London. So that's the outcome.”
It was inevitable that this morning's pre-match Press conference was dominated by the great Taylor chase; it was the one and only question on everyone's lips given the central role that the 28-year-old had played in Norwich's recent and dramatic change in fortunes.
Slamming 'Tiny' into his back four had been Roeder's first act of management at Carrow Road; he had been in the building little more than 48 hours before whistling up someone that perfectly fitted that vacant No5 shirt. Now he has to do it all again. You doubt whether K Brady will figure high on the Roeder Christmas card list.
“He's gone back to Birmingham,” was Roeder's simple answer to the day's first – and most obvious – question.
“So I'm very disappointed that we couldn't get any sort of agreement with Birmingham – not even for a permanent transfer which we tried,” added Roeder, swift to insist that the Carrow Road board had played their part in trying to prise 'Tiny' out of St Andrews. But Brady's high heels were dug firmly in – and she wasn't about to play ball after, presumeably, promising her newly-installed Formula One pals at Loftus Road that the boy was their's.
“The directors here were very supportive in trying to make it happen, but they couldn't get an agreement with Karren Brady,” said Roeder, well aware of the interest from West London. And equally well-versed in the fact that the player himself wasn't interested.
“QPR have definitely had a bid accepted and he's spoken to QPR – which he's had permission to – but he doesn't want to go there. He doesn't fancy going to the club at all, he wants to come here. And she knows that as well. But we couldn't get a deal between us.”
Would he have another nibble in the New Year when the January transfer window opens? “We'll see – there's a lot of water to go under the bridge before then.”
In the meantime and Roeder will have to decide whether or not to re-unite Gary Doherty with Jason Shackell at the heart of his defence at Layer Road tomorrow – or else take a leaf out of Peter Grant's book and ask Dion Dublin to add his presence and experience to that department.
“I'll have a look at everything,” said Roeder, asked as to whether the 38-year-old would offer a short-term fix before he looked for a full-time solution in the January transfer window.
“He's played there before and it's about best using the players that are available to you, but I much prefer him as a striker.”
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