Would-be City boss Bryan Gunn and his two, able first lieutenants Ian Butterworth and Ian Crook faced the music live on Radio Norfolk this morning in an hour-long special on the unfolding dramas at Carrow Road.
Last night proved to be the Night of the Long Knives as far as the club's chairman and chief executive were concerned as Roger Munby and Neil Doncaster stepped down from their respective executive roles within the club and, in effect, carried the can for the club's disappearance into the nether regions of the Football League.
On normal days, of course, David Marshall's cut-price switch to Cardiff City would have dominated the news. But these are far from normal times for the Norfolk club; without either a full-time manager or now a full-time chief executive, the remaining board members will need to act swiftly and surely to get someone back at the helm this summer.
On and off the pitch, the club is currently in the midst of a dangerous period of drift with Gunn and his coaching duo still in the dark about their own futures going forward. The would-be City boss was, at least, granted a half-hour 'heads up' on last night's dramatic developments as the blood-letting began with the exits of Messrs Munby and Doncaster.
“It was a surprise – I found at a just before six o'clock last night just before the official statement,” Gunn revealed to Radio Norfolk's match-day commentator Chris Goreham.
The board had promised changes after last Wednesday's seven-hour meeting; six days later and change arrived at the double.
“The board came out and said there would be changes and that decision has come to last night's announcement,” said Gunn, who was given his own chance to present his case for further employment at that same, pivotal meeting.
With the heads of both Munby and Doncaster having already rolled, it will now be interesting to see whether the supporters will still demand further sacrificial flesh – Gunn's re-engagement as manager is likely to now move up the agenda at tomorrow night's emergency public meeting by Norwich City Independent Supporters Association.
First things first, however. The chance for Gunn himself to add his thanks and tribute to two men he had worked very closely with over the last 12 years in his own, various backroom roles at Carrow Road.
“I know how much hard work and commitment they have given to the football club over the years and it's sad that it has come to this.But on the back of relegation and last week's board meeting changes had to be made.”
He didn't suspect that the two roles would prove hard to fill. “Both those jobs are much sought after in football – and now it's up to the owners and the directors to find the rght people to put in place to take the club forward and onto its next stage in history.”
The big question overnight was, of course, who was sanctioning Marshall's exit to Cardiff; in that vacuum of leadership at the very top of the club who was agreeing “six-figure deals” for the 24-year-old Scottish international keeper?
Gunn offered one or two answers; that Marshall's agent wasn't slow to get his man away. That agent was, of course, one Willie McKay. Who wasn't slow to celebrate his first deal of the summer today.
“He's really delighted to be coming to a great club like Cardiff City,” said McKay, having long since left his days as a Glasgow bookie behind him. “Cardiff City is potentially a big, big club and all they need to do is step forward into the Premier League and I think they'll be there to stay.
“I'm sure that David will be a big fans' favourite and I always thought that David would play in the Premier League at some stage and I hope it's with Cardiff City.”
Given that the City No1 was out of contract next summer anyway and was in a position to walk away on a Lee Croft-like free, he either signed a new deal this summer or was sold. That was the cold reality for whoever was in charge.
“That transpired basically right after our relegation,” revealed Gunn. “His agent was in contact with us; Cardiff were in contact with us regarding his contract situation and then the decision was taken over the weekend that the bid that we received was acceptable.
“David is obviously a very ambitious young man; potential Scottish international goalkeeper and he wants to play at the highest level possible.
“And at the same time the bid that the club got was acceptable so both parties were happy.”
As was Mr McKay, no doubt.
“We were all involved,” said Gunn, quizzed as to who actually agreed the deal.The fact that Marshall's exit chimed so easily with his already-stated desire to give te likes of Declan Rudd and Jed Steer the chance to break into the first team at Norwich and not Peterborough helped grant Mr McKay his wish.
“Until told otherwise I'm still managing the club and obviously now we have to look to the future and there may be an opportunity there now for younger goalkeepers within our squad – and potential new signings as well for a management team to decide on.”
As for his own position – and that of Messrs Crook and Butterworth alongside him – Gunn was hopeful of a swift resolution.
“Hopefully, we'll find out soon. We put our case to the board last week and we were very thankful that we were given that opportunity to do so.
“We know that we want to be part of the future of this football club; the club needs stability; we need to plan ahead.
“But I've still got an empty feeling in my stomach after last week's events and I want an opportunity to put that right. And the two guys sitting with me, I brought them t the club [Butterworth and Crook] and I want them to have an opportunity to help me and Norwich City get back to where we feel we belong.”
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