New Canary chief Paul Lambert hit the ground running at Colney this morning as City No2 Ian Butterworth and the club's sports scientist Mark Garfoot both left the Norfolk club in the wake of yesterday's appointment.
Butterworth's last act was to over-see last night's 2-1 defeat at Brentford before resigning his position at the club, according to an official statement released by the club this afternoon.
“I have taken the decision that it is right for all parties for me to move on,” said Bryan Gunn's right-hand man, Black Spot all-but delivered the moment that Canary chief executive David McNally boarded that plane for Exeter on Friday morning with Gunn's dismissal document in his hands.
Butterworth, left in charge for the game at St James' Park and last night's trip to Griffin Park, has been round the block far too many times before; he knew as well as the next man that any incoming manager would bring in his own No2.
The fact that Lambert's No2 is the man who swept up behind him in City's glory, glory days in Europe – Ian Culverhouse – will merely heap further irony upon events of the last five days as Gunn fell victim to the man that administered that 7-1 opening day defeat on him.
“Obviously things haven't worked out during my time here in difficult circumstances,” added Butterworth. “And I obviously felt the new coaching team wouldn't want me hanging about.
“I'm hugely disappointed it hasn't worked out, but I would like to wish everybody at Norwich City every success in the future – hopefully the boys can quickly find their feet and start getting improved results.”
Us chairman Robbie Cowling revealed yesterday that he had been faced with a mass resignation of 'Team Paul' at the Community Stadium on Monday night as Lambert, Culverhouse and 'football operations manager' Gary Karsa all quit to accept new job offers up the road.
Lambert was, of course, officially unveiled yesterday morning; the ink barely dry on his rolling contract.
The impression remains that McNally still has a certain amount of work to do patching up the Colchester end with the League One leaders suggesting City were still 'a six-figure sum' short of their compensation demand; that a trip to the Football League tribunal could yet loom if the matter was not resolved in an adult and amicable fashion.
The expectation now is that Culverhouse and Karsa will be formally unveiled in their own new roles within the next 24 to 48 hours.
Where this all left City reserve team boss Ian Crook also – for now – remains up in the air.
The club's famed UEFA Cup playmaker has stepped back over the summer to take charge of the reserve team and wasn't due to travel with the first team to away games under his new role; that, of course, all changed on Friday night as he was whisked down to the West Country to keep Butterworth company.
Whether Crook's long-standing friendship with Culverhouse will stand him in good stead is the next question; 'Team Paul' might be no more than three or four bodies strong in which case the axe may not fall on the City reserve boss.
The exit of sports scientist Garfoot could yet herald another interesting return if Lambert opts to call upon the services of his Colchester fitness chief Dave Carolan – formerly of Colney before Glenn Roeder went to work on the backroom staff with something of a vengence.
This evening and the busy McNally was ushering two out before welcoming at least two more in in the shape of Culverhouse and Karsa whose role will need a little more explanation than being 'a football operations manager'.
That clearly covers a multitude of potential sins, but could be something akin to the role that John Robertson enjoys in Martin O'Neill's backroom set-up; a 'floating' role, in football terms. Good around the lads…
“We would like to place on record our sincere appreciation of the work that Ian has done for the club during his time on the coaching staff and his professionalism throughout – especially taking charge of the team in difficult circumstances following the departure of Bryan Gunn,” said McNally, in the official club statement.
Announcements are likely to come thick and fast as Lambert, 40, wastes little time in stamping his authority on Colney.
The other intriguing question tonight is whether Lambert would find room to squeeze one of his old Celtic team-mates into his new set-up. Chris Sutton – now, of course, retired and living back in Roughton – has been keen to move into the world of coaching and the arrival of his former Bhoys skipper could be just the ticket.
He could be one to watch as 'Team Paul' gathers shape over the next 48-hours.
“We have a new first team manager in place and he is actively restructuring his backroom team at Colney,” confirmed McNally.
“When there is further news to announce we will let our fans and the media know in the normal way.”
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