Alan Bowkett acknowledges criticism over lack of January managerial options at Norwich City

Neil Adams has officially been promoted from Under-18s manager to Norwich City's first-team boss this summer. Neil Adams has officially been promoted from Under-18s manager to Norwich City's first-team boss this summer.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014
12:17 PM

Alan Bowkett acknowledged it is a “fair criticism” to say Neil Adams should have been appointed in January to stave off Premier League relegation.

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Majority shareholder Delia Smith went on record saying she felt there was no candidate to replace Chris Hughton at the turn of the year – raising the eyebrows of some fans, given Under-18s manager Neil Adams was eventually handed the reins for the final throes of an ill-fated campaign.

And now Adams has been handed a three-year contract to steer the Canaries back to the top flight.

“I think that’s a fair criticism,” said the City chairman. “And if you would have said to me ‘appoint Neil in January’ – as some of my friends who are fans are – I said no because we had sufficient points and I felt with a couple more wins we were going to be OK in terms of staying up.

“And then later, it was a complete reassessment of the situation because we were very conscious the football was dull.”

Bowkett admitted he and chief executive David McNally had their own relegation hangover to shake off.

“Both mine and David’s wives have been telling us for god’s sake, get over it,” added Bowkett. “My wife says it’s only football, although I explained to my wife she thoroughly doesn’t understand what’s going on here. However, she is right.

“So David and I decided that’s it, the past is the past. We are joined at the hip to make this a very successful football club and we are determined to give it a real go next year to seek promotion.”

49 comments

  • But with FFP, shouldn`t it shift toward intrinsic sustainability? Take away Sky money and the whole game`s in a barbed-wire boat. All those Mansions in Herts, Cheshire, Sandbanks and Trowse, suddenly vacated by their newly impoverished ball-kickers & their keepers. Puts Worldwide starvation in context. If only those dependency types had the cojones of footy players. Man up, you lot!!

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • To back up Michigans point and respond to those holding out Everton and Southampton as role models I refer you to the Wiki list of club owners and their net worth. Everton, it is true, has a local man in the Chair but the net worth of the owners is £273m. Southampton's owner has a declared wealth of £3 billion. The figure for our owners is £23m. In fact if you check the list you will see that our owners' natural league position would be mid\upper Div One. So you could argue they have done well to only once taken us down to the third tier. If there is no change of ownership then life in the PL, if regained, will always be a tenuous affair.

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    Lincs Canary

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • Sorry - meant to start with "Dear LincsCan" or the like!

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • My question was honest and simple. Your answer has veracity. The people in charge are untrustworthy. Untrustworthiness permeates this "Industry" from top to bottom. From Sepptic Bladder to NCFC`s recently released Tea-Lady. Milking a Cash-Cow is one thing. This lot are Vampires.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • Agree, Mattias. Though `destroy` sounds too macho for Hughton. Smother? Suffolkate? ;-) Strangle? Bore to death? Mmmm, Mmm, we could`ve dominated ver possession but lacked quality in ver final furd - and ver middle furd - and ver first furd really, I suppose. But that was a side full of class and I told ver lads not to build up their hopes too much. Dissenters, like Holt, were a nuisance, and had to go - in the interests of my survival. Vat diddent work eiver. Gercha, Carsun.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • Regarding FFP, MB, it is a maze of rules. This season the Championship clubs, excluding the relegated PL clubs, have to submit last years accounts by 1st Dec (2014). Debts up to £3m are tolerated. Over £3m and up to £8m has to be cleared by a cash injection from the owners. Clubs failing to do that have a transfer embargo imposed from Jan '15 as do clubs with debts over £8m. If any of last seasons promoted clubs has breached the rules it is faced with a fine(tax) which is on a sliding scale commensurate with the debt. The initial deal was that Championship clubs who were within the rules would receive equal shares of the fine. The PL has subsequently, without clear explanation, overidden that rule and declared the money must go to charity. Debt riddled QPR are likely to be hit with a crippling fine of around £30m. However, the PL has now decided it will not be responsible for collection and it is up to the Football League to sue offending clubs - and that is just so it can go to charity. The QPR owner has also said he will contest the fine. Now then, what was your question MB?

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    Lincs Canary

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • If we stay with current owner and board, the future will be a series of frustrations. We have had a couple of tastes of reasonable success over the last 20 years or so, and I would like to see it pushed further. Delia has done great for NCFC, but I think it is time to move forward. We want to see entertaining football against top clubs at Carrow Rd., so a new rich owner who wants to succeed in football is needed to put the club on a sound business and results basis. My concern is others are overtaking us in terms of success so staying the same means going downwards.

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    MichiganCanary

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • I`ve yet to forgive Everton`s gift of 3 points to Coventry, back in 1985. Everton had won the title already and did a `Warm Beach Awaits` act. Coventry had been 8 points behind us when we`d finished our fixtures - they still had 3 to go. They won all of them. Including beating the Champions-Elect, Everton, 4-1. Something is rotten, some folk thought....

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • I agree to a point. We had built a superb platform for ourselves to push on and be in the same bracket as Everton & co. Sadly we appointed Chris Hughton who arrived with his wreckin ball. He then set about destroying everything we built, from coaches, players, fan morale, style of play. He changed literally everything.

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    Mattias333

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • I would love to be in the Everton bracket of clubs, and we are not far off in truth, they've had a few close calls over the years, but look pretty secure in the Premiership now. They are a great club, I lived and worked in Liverpool for a few years, and the first question would likely be 'who yer support lad?' I remember a new colleague in response to my answer carefully weighing it up and saying 'fair enough, never really did anyone any harm' which I didn't know whether to take it as a compliment or not. On another occasion I was being gently teased, as we had just lost 4-0 or something to Millwall, and a Bluenose jumped in and said to the Red, 'they were good enough to ruin your last day in front of the Kop', and the Red came back straight away and said 'yeah, and they stuck 5 past you in one half at your place as well' I left them to get on with it, but they know their football up there. Being a great club isn't always about continued success, it's about what you mean to the area and supporters you have - in that regard most football clubs are 'great', it's just that they are not great to everyone else that's all.

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    Coldharbour Canary

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • Ooops! a terrifying overuse of `terrific` there!

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • Yes, Bill Kenwright is a good ol` boy, Swiss. He financed and produced a terrific stage musical about the life of Roy Orbison. Terrific! BK was terrific in `Corry` too!

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • Coldharbour; it is a pity, that which has befallen Southampton. A bit of success, superb football, terrific talent coming through the ranks, and what happens? The manager is tempted away, and the predators with `unlimited` resources come a-hunting for Lallana, Shaw, Rodriguez, Lambert et al. I wonder if the FFP Rules will have any perceptible effect? It`s a dirty world.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • I am not at all attracted to the idea of the club being bank-rolled by an oligarch, corrupt politician, dodgy business conglomerate or family. Though these charcaters do seem control many PL teams, my hope and model for Norwich is Everton. The board of Everton FC Ltd own 68% of the shares and the majority is controlled by local boy made-good as a theater producer, Chairman Bill Kenwright. Everton has a board of solid citizens, good support and play attractive football on a limited budget. The downside is that they run a pretty big debt which is serviceable as long as they remain in the top flight which they have done, all but a blip of a couple of years. I am not saying that we have the history of Everton, but it is possible to do it without selling out.

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    Swiss Canary

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • Btw: congrats to blackdog2. He has single-handedly broken the monopoly of "moaners" and freshened it up with "grumblers". Let`s have more linguistic variety! Seriously,bd2, as you might have guessed, I totally agree with your views on "sugar daddies". Of course, we could both be wrong. ;-) OTBC.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • All spot-on, LincsCan. Specially the 3rd Tier bit. How long before the over-inflated footy bubble bursts? When there`s a better global medium for whatever it is Sky and the like are pursuing? When the Oilygarchs, Fake Tan Men, Leverage buyers and Boston-based Baseball Businessmen, et al, find a better toy? Meanwhile, grassroots football is dying. Bowkett`s "I`m just an ordinary Joe" act was laughable and insulting in equal measure.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • Coldharbour that is a well put together comment which in another way is what I was also getting at earlier but sadly there are not sufficient people on here to have a rational debate, the obscene, derisory, grumblers soon take over the boards plus of course the poor trolls from down the road having their idiotic comments!

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    blackdog2

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • It is good debate, no doubt about that. To stay in the Premier League year after year, you need to be big and have money. There 7 or 8 of those every year, a couple tend to drift in and out depending on investment. There are always a couple of clubs who have suddenly managed to hook a good manager no one else spotted, who compiles a good team, but they and the players move on. I know a Southampton supporter who is just a depressed as me, if not more so at the moment. Then there are the rest of us, and we can't expect to be there every year. Because a few injuries here, a disappointing result there, add in the odd mistake as well and suddenly you are in trouble. What we should expect is that the players fight to stay in, and there were times when it was evident that wasn't happening last season - save for a few examples. Do we want to have an investor throw millions and millions at the club to get us to the top? is that sustainable? What would these messages have looked like in the mid nineties when Blackburn were riding high? Would us Canaries swap our Board for theirs now? Ultimately football isn't a profitable business for the vast majority of clubs, it is a loss making sport. We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that actually at the moment, we are not in a financial mess, we are not as comfortable as we were, but we aren't facing the prospect of not having a club around next season, which some supporters are and not that long ago so were we.

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    Coldharbour Canary

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • Good debate going on here. The crux is the ambitions we have for our club. Stay with the board we have and there is no doubt in my mind we will at best be a well supported club making the occasional foray in the top flight which, due to our inability to compete financially as well as having directors with flawed judgement on football matters, will always end in relegation sooner or later. Also as we look forward to next season bear in mind this board took us down to the third flight of football for the first time in over 50 years. Lambert turned saviour but they got lucky with him. I understand the concerns some have about replacing the board\owners but without change I do not see how we will ever stay afloat in the PL.

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    Lincs Canary

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • Dubai's point is spot on. NCFC is business that is results focused, points, pounds and league they are in. For a director to report on the business in this manner proves the need for change at the top.

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    MichiganCanary

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • If they think their wives are right it looks like we've got a petticoat government running the Club.

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    irongloves

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • Canaryinslovenia

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • Dubai Canary and Canterbury Tales et al - do not get me wrong , I am still fuming about the last two seasons. But mistakes have been recognised and admitted by the Board. I just think that little will now be gained by constantly reliving the Hughton era and the timing of his dismissal. Unless you are calling for the Board to resign, which I think would be a bad idea, then now is the time to draw a line under that farce and get on with looking forwards rather than backwards.

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    Brycland

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • Well said Dubai Canary . And I take it your bosses would be happy for you to watch your staff badly perform week after week and watch your competitors performing better than you. I take it that you would back your operational manager to the hilt even when your customers complain week after week about a product you were providing was self evident not fit for purpose?

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    Canterbury Tales

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • As the regional MD of US company I am sure that my shareholders and stakeholders would be perfectly happy with my explanation that I'd take 'fair criticism' for planning to halve the revenue next year from £100M to £50M would be perfectly acceptable. I am sure that they would be just as understanding as we Norwich City supporters are here !

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    Dubai Canary

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • PaulWho

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • What a load of self-serving, patronising twaddle. Even by Hyacinth`s stellar standards. Joined at the hip. What`s that supposed to mean?? All this `Mr. Regular Guy` stuff is (not) straight from from the Tony Blair Book of BuII$h`t. Though the female spouse-dominance is a common feature....

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • Clean\small\local\rural\parochial. Have we moved on to a village cricket debate? As for the "Do you want a rich sugar daddy to take over?" question. Not sure. Do any PL clubs have one?

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    Lincs Canary

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • I agree Blackdog2. What is so sad is that we are a genuine clean local community club and that we made it to the Premiership with no help from money launderers or corrupt foreign politicians. This made us distinctive and to have thrown this away when it was so clear the manager was not up to it is a very depressing experience. To use management speak there was no culture fit between CH and the fans and the Norwich football style. I find it difficult to believe that the Board could not see this before it was too late. To get back into the Premiership- well it will take years

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    Canterbury Tales

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • The posting on here that has got it right is from Brycland, yes it is time to get on board with the new management team, forget the past and don't keep raking the embers over, it is dead, it did happen and the reality is that Norwich fans support and back the club to get out and back to the land of milk and honey. Remember also that this is a small rural community club run by local wellmeaning recognisable people with their money. There is no divine right to be in the premier division and the club is punching far above it's weight in getting there. A question to ask is "Do you want a mega rich sugar daddy to take over and treat it as a toy and plaything? This little old club has a lot going for it that majority of championship, 1st. and 2nd. division clubs, and also quite a few Premier clubs would give their hind teeth for! Just let's get on with it!

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    blackdog2

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • Since Hughton is perfect mid table championship calibre and since next season we will be at mid championship level, I don't understand why all the fuss with changing managers etc. Despite statements by the Board and bearing in mind they watch all the games they must surely have understood that was where CH was taking us. We should have kept him- he would be perfect for our future mid table position. That's what the Board wants- less stress with managing the club but still with 27,000 of us showing up each week.

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    Canterbury Tales

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • To paraphrase some old politician: "There is something of the night about Mr Bowkett. And I do not like it. " Triple cheeseburger and a bucket of fries anyone? At least I didn't do the pun.

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    el dingo

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • I suspect that David McNally will find it rather uncomfortable to be joined at the hip to someone of Mr Bowkett's dimensions. I wonder what his wife's opinion is on that situation?

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    Swiss Canary

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • Hope Bowkett pointed out to his wife that she probably lives quite nicely as a result of NCFC and therefore may well be better advised not to be so casually dismissive of the goose that provides her golden eggs.

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    twotonecanary

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • While I subscribe to the view that people who do not learn the mistakes taught by history tend to repeat those mistakes, I believe it is time to draw a line under the Hughton era and the timing of his dismissal and move on. The Board are a reflection of the kind of Club that Norwich is, a small, parochial ,close, family kind of Club. It makes us the underdogs on most occasions. They make mistakes. But they have stuck with the Club, as we have. They, perhaps, could have sold when the selling was good but they are still there doing what they think is best to advance the Club back into the Premiership. Let's all get on board the Neil Adams team coach and support him for the upcoming struggle. Struggle it will be.

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    Brycland

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • We ended January 5 points clear of 3rd bottom and in 12th place. In fact we were the only relegated side not in the bottom three at the time. Other managers like Allardyce and Poyet were in more danger of the sack than Hughton. So what signs should the board have seen at the end of Jan that, with hindsight, demanded a new manager? The football at home games was attritional but producing results thus not sufficient reason to sack CH. However, the defence was only holding out at home and the away defeats were often calamitous. The five point gap also needed to be taken in context with our awesome final fixtures. But it was a delicate judgement to make at the time and like Bowkett says a few wins would have put us in a good place before facing the final four games. A month on and crucial away games against Cardiff, Villa and West Ham had yielded zero points. The writing then was surely writ large on the wall. The dithers however had set in and wins against Spurs and Sunderland encouraged the inclination to do nothing. Finally came the West Brom defeat and it was like being woken from a dream to be told the house is burning down. So the board sent for Fireman Neil but by then it was too late. Now we await the new season listening to talk of lessons being learned. Not so sure about that. Our board is what it is. Hard up by football standards and inclined to deliver a roller coaster ride.

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    Lincs Canary

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • I like the comment from mardler. Yes we are ONE when it comes to NCFC. When I was talking to somebody the other day about the appointments of NA GH JR and he was going ballistic saying that this was a backward step having previously not having a problem with NA getting the job I suggested perhaps he should look for another club if he was so against these guys. Saying that he hoped that they would do us proud but, secretly hoping they wouldn't so that he could say I told you so.

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    Egyptian canary

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • Mattias comment is excellent.The Basque language is a help.The Norfolk Dialect could be if seriously undertaken. Nelson would topple off his column if he could see and hear the 'language' he spoke to his dying day so abused and neglected. No excuses as we have Robert Forby's Vocabulary in two volumes as a guide. Teach it countywide - become bilingual- dew different! No more sniggering by so called 'smart' people at 'yokels' Take a leaf from the Welsh and the Cornish! Twenty-first October in addition to being Trafalgar Day and National Apple Day should also be Norfolk Dialect Day that would honour the boy from Burnham Thorpe .Rope in every organisation that purports to being in Norfolk's interest,also Nelson Society, Football Club,FOND etc Promote. promote, promote I'm bilingual and willing to help!

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    mardler

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • So Alan thought that in January we only needed a couple of wins to stay up we had sufficient points in terms of staying up. Well we got three and we still went down so how did that work out then ?

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    turnover

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • Bowkett takes advice from his wife " that it's only football"?!?!?!!!!!!!!!! What is next? Will Delia ask her dog if we should invest in a new main stand?

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    Brycland

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • 'Mardler', the Athletic Bilbao story is a truly special story. The policy of bringing young Basque players through the ranks is unique in itself and the fact they are one of only a handfull of clubs never to be relegated makes the achievement even better. Maybe we should take a similar approach and have a policy of bringing young Norfolk-ian players through the ranks. ;).

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    Mattias333

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • The football was dull last season, only masked by 2 beachbum results!

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    kevin

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • all talk in Blackburn today is Jordan Rhodes coming to Carrow Road soon,be they dont take Wolfie in part ex though

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    canarykid

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • Tut! Tut! Mr.Bowkett in trying to "be fair"you have further muddied the waters. Many of us believed the writing was on the wall for CH in January and said so in these columns. However most if they are honest were with him earlier in his time at Carrow Road - his persona was great. It was simply a matter of belief at the time. Whatever very human errors I would rather have our board a hundred times over than one buying in from abroad (Cardif, Hull and countless others..) Put this on your office wall and elsewhere in the club...... Norwich City "There was never anywhere else like it it was rhe finest club I ever knew, The players the best friends I ever made and the directors the finest group of people I ever met" Percy Varco Open up talks with Athletic Bilbao and discover how they built their club up from scratch in their remote location eventually becoming communally owned by the faithful ....STEP by STEP People in my area call me 'Mr Norwich' - they ask about relegation and altering slightly the words of General Douglas MacArthur I reply "We shall return" After 76 years (1938)of support my belief is absolute We are in any event ...... UNIQUE Pronounciation of NORWICH (Norridge like porridge- not norritch - we do not itch neither are we lousy!) see 19thc Nursery Rhyme Location - remote Living Emblem Colours (from the 15th c when Norwich was a city with a mayor and Manchester a village and nobody ever heard of Newton Heath!) Anthem (perhaps the most famous and not drawn from some other source like "Youll never walk alone) 84 years on the ball and not for turning! Canaries on the board, on the pitch and in the stands we are ONE

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    mardler

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • How about the journo's leaving the past in the past ....... it's gone, leave it, move on ...... AB's only answering a question cos it's been asked. Let's sit tight and wait for the news on transfer activity and contracts and focus on an exciting season that lies ahead ......

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    nevermindthedanger

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • I think perhaps the gravity of the situation will become apparent to Mrs McNally when she discovers that their joint account is £967,000 light this year.

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    B Inners

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • " we were very conscious the football was dull.” Why, therefore, didn't some have a quiet word with Mr Hughton and say "liven it up or else you'll be walking the plank Sonny Jim".

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    Lobbo

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • "going to give it a real good go"...thats a favourite of mine from the old Paul Lambert bingo days! Glad my other half isnt the only one who doesn't understand why us blokes have been so depressed!

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    Mattias333

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • The comments from Mr Bowkett will simply cause more confusion and irritation in the minds of the fans. Nobody, directors included, seems to have understood the situation at the club or really seems to grasp the intense disappointment among the fans. Someone really needs to apologise for the relegation, Chris Hughton was not good enough, the situation should have been addressed by the board and changes made. If Mr Bowkett really thinks "it's only football", then he should resign.

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    Nelson

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

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