There are always two sides to every story. And while City are today basking in the glory of getting their man, Colchester will be licking their wounds after Paul Lambert decided to make the short trip up the A12.
And speaking to the U's official website, the Essex club's chairman Robbie Cowling admitted that they weren't a happy bunch.
But in football, the power rests with players and managers. As soon as Lambert gave the nod that he wanted to make the switch to Norfolk, clubs are pretty powerless. Nobody wants to keep an unhappy employee, not when he can just quit anyway.
And the Colchester chairman revealed that after failing to reach an agreement over compensation, Lambert tended his resignation last night. His number two, Ian Culverhouse, and U's 'football operations manager' Gary Karsa followed suit this morning.
And Cowling's timeline of events certainly made for interesting reading…
“I can confirm that Paul Lambert, Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa have all left to take up positions at Norwich City.
“I received a call from Norwich's chairman, Alan Bowkett, on Saturday, about 30 minutes after our win against Yeovil.
“Alan asked me for permission to appoint Paul Lambert as their manager. I was in our boardroom entertaining the Yeovil directors at the time so I told Alan that I would call him back later.”
Cowling then went on to admit that he was left somewhat perplexed at City's decision to appoint the then United chief without even interviewing him.
Canary chief executive David McNally had already seen enough it seems. What he knew about the man and the character from his days as commercial director at Celtic, where Lambert was captain under Martin O'Neill, was proof that he could do the business with Norwich.
“I was a bit taken aback because it was a strange request at a strange time. And they insisted that they had decided to offer Paul the position without conducting an interview.
“We had just finished our game [against Yeovil], I was just enjoying our status as league leaders and clubs normally ask permission to interview managers first.
“All over the weekend and for most of yesterday I have had many conversations with Paul Lambert regarding the Norwich request.
“Although I was extremely disappointed that he wanted my permission to accept their offer I could also understand his desire to progress to what most would perceive as a bigger club.
“For that reason I agreed to talk with Norwich to see if we could agree reasonable compensation for a manager of Paul's ability.”
But, as McNally admitted this morning, compensation still has to be agreed with their Essex neighbours. Even though the former Motherwell, Borussia Dortmund and Celtic man left the club last night, City will still have to cough up.
“I had a number of conversations with Norwich CEO David McNally which resulted in me turning down Norwich's request for permission to appoint Paul Lambert as their manager.
“On Monday morning, Paul was understandably frustrated by the failure of the clubs to reach an agreement and he informed me that he was finding it difficult to focus on his role at Colchester United.
“For that reason I agreed that Norwich could interview Paul but could not offer him employment or in any other way directly or indirectly induce him to breach his contract with Colchester United until they had agreed compensation with us.
“I met again with Paul last night and he handed me his resignation. This morning both Ian and Gary have also provided the club with written notice.”
Despite the whole episode leaving a bitter taste in Essex mouths, Cowling was gracious enough to praise his departing management team. And it is a team � it's easy to forget that when just one new man is wheeled out in front of the press.
“I have enjoyed working with Paul, Ian and Gary. I have supported them 100% and have been willing to do so because they are a very talented team who have produced excellent results.
“On an upbeat note I am confident that with the help of my fellow directors and staff I will shortly be appointing a new manager who is equally if not more talented than Paul Lambert.”
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