Early June is supposed to be a quiet time in club football. However, it was anything but at Carrow Road yesterday, with new contracts for Messrs Lambert, Culverhouse, Karsa and McNally being revealed shortly after the details of the long-awaited Football League tribunal verdict.
Late in the afternoon, the figures finally came to light, with City ordered to pay £425,000 in compensation for the services of the three senior members of the Norwich coaching staff they ‘signed’ from Colchester last August.
On top of that, there was a £75,000 fine for breaching Regulation 20 and a further sum of £125,000 suspended for two years, only to be activated in the event that the Norfolk club commit a further offence.
But that news, however, was balanced out with the announcement of those new deals and City chairman Alan Bowkett was delighted to comment. Good timing, some might say.
The exact terms of the contracts were not laid out, but it is thought that the 12-month rolling agreements will still be in place, with more financial reward for the coaching trio in recognition of their ‘job well done’ in 2009/10.
“Paul has done a fantastic job for us since joining in August and has played his full part in restoring some pride to Norwich City,” said Bowkett, speaking to www.canaries.co.uk.
“There’s been a lot of speculation linking him to other clubs and that’s understandable as he is an excellent young manager with a competent and motivated coaching team backing him up.
“We’re delighted he has signed a new deal and demonstrated his commitment to carrying on the job he has made such a fine start to here at Norwich.
“Paul shares the Board’s ambition and progressive ideals as we work hard together towards our ultimate goal of getting Norwich City back into the Premier League.”
“I’m also delighted to confirm that David McNally has signed a new contract. David has worked tirelessly with the rest of the Board and the staff at the club to help turn an alarming slide in our fortunes on and off the pitch into a situation where we have positive momentum again.
“We’re all looking forward to continuing to serve our unrivalled supporters and working together to meet the significant challenges that still lie ahead for this football club.”
As for that tribunal verdict, it brings an end to a sorry episode after months of discontent between the Canaries and Colchester. Bowkett’s opposite number Robbie Cowling has made his feelings perfectly clear via the media and even up until the last moment, the U’s man was pushing for a points deduction to be enforced at the start of City’s 2010/11 Championship campaign.
And Bowkett had one final statement to make, taking a small pop at Cowling whilst doing so. Even though he intends to resume a “friendly rivalry” with the powers that be in Essex, relations will surely never be the same again.
“We always wished to agree amicable terms of compensation with Colchester, but regrettably we were unable to do so. Norwich City always strives to develop and maintain good links with our fellow clubs, and it was disappointing that the two clubs could not find a way to see eye to eye on the issue of compensation. A lot of the detail of this dispute, and the exact nature of the findings, remain bound up in confidentiality so we cannot comment any further.
“However, we do accept and will meet the orders of the FDC [Football Disciplinary Commission] and, financially, provision has been made in our cash flow for some time to enable us to do so.
“We should assure our fans that the sums ordered are something we have budgeted for and will have no impact on Paul Lambert’s player budget for next season.
“The priority for the Board was to ensure that this dispute had no impact on Norwich City’s march towards promotion out of League One. As was aired in public by Mr Cowling, he believed from the outset that we should be subjected to a points deduction.
“We are delighted that the FDC held otherwise. In the interests of moving on and focussing on football we will not be appealing the decisions. Furthermore, as we are looking forward, we feel our relationship with the Colchester board should resume its normal friendly rivalry; we trust this will be reciprocated.
“We look forward to putting this matter behind us, and to reflecting on the appointment of a management team that we are confident can continue its success in the coming seasons.”