Fans split over Delia Smith’s admission Norwich City board “got it wrong”

Delia Smith admits Norwich City Delia Smith admits Norwich City "got it wrong" over Chris Hughton. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd.

Monday, May 19, 2014
6:29 PM

Delia Smith’s candid admission about how the Norwich City board “got it wrong” last season has received a mixed reaction from fans.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The joint-majority shareholder said the club had made a mistake not sacking former manager Chris Hughton in January.

She suggested that, had they done so, the side could have avoided relegation.

Hughton was replaced in April, but, in his five games in charge, new manager Neil Adams was unable to keep the club in the Premier League.

Explaining the decision to stick with Hughton in January, Smith said: “We didn’t feel at that time there was anybody out there.

“We got it wrong. It might have happened where if we got a caretaker manager we might have stayed up. But there was no guarantee.”

The comments reignited debate on Twitter over the Canaries woeful season, with some fans disagreeing that there were no suitable candidates in January, and endorsing her admission that “we got it wrong”.

One said it was “nonsense” there were no alternatives.

Others, however, praised Delia and the board for their “sensible” approach.

Smith, who was interviewed on BBC Radio Norfolk, along with her husband Michael Wynn-Jones and chief executive David McNally, said she felt the season had a “deadly curse” on it.

“Whatever we did didn’t seem to work,” she added.

Wynn-Jones also pleaded with City fans to have faith in the club’s board, saying: “All supporters have a right to criticise, to air their views, I rather like it when it’s informed views rather than through prejudice.

“You mention the overall history we’ve been directors for 18 years or so and I’ve supported this club for 61 years and I know in Norfolk terms that’s not a lot but nevertheless, it does give a certain sense of perspective.

“It doesn’t diminish the frustrations of going down, but we’ve been involved on the board for three relegations and three promotions and now we’re looking to make it 4-3 (for promotions).”

The couple also said they would not leave the club, unless it was “in good hands”.

42 comments

  • Delia says that the board were unable to sack Hughton in January because there was no replacement available. They've just given the job to Adams. He was available in January

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    ncfcyellowman

    Friday, May 23, 2014

  • I give up with the people who monitor this site. Reject aperfectly good post with nothing offensive, reason given.Duplicate. How can it possibly be a duplicate when you didn't print the first one? Derrrrr, it defies belief sometimes

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    oldtimer

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • Alright Archie, what was offensive about my post????????

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    oldtimer

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • Will the Delia and MWJ knockers give it a rest and realise just where this club would be without them In administration most likely and scratching around for peanuts in League 2. Yes, the Hughton appointment was a disaster, and yes they should have moved him out long before they did, but ultimately the decision isn't theirs and theirs alone, they have a Board of Directors to answer to. The whole board have been magnamimous enough to admit their mistakes, and are undoubtedly as passionate about our club and its success as we are. Football managers are like bride and groom, sometimes they succeed in life (Lambo and co. here), sometimes it's unsuccessful (Lambo at Villa) and it ends in divorce. A good manager at one club need not necessarily be good at another, a fact that has been proven time and again. Adams was not given a fair crack of the whip, and I am not sure that he has enough about him to make it work on his own. I still say we should be looking at Mike Phelan as Neils right hand man, he worked with the most successful manager and club in the top flight for years, so he must have been doing something right. If we are not going to go with something along those lines, then at least bring in a forward thinking, attack minded, disciplinarian type manager, who will take no nonsense from the "couldn't care less" prima donnas we seem to have been signing, with Adams as his Number 2.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    oldtimer

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • I for one am happy with Delia. Look at the owners of Man Ure, Cardiff etc, are they really what we want? I thought the most interesting comment from her was about how Adams took on playing the last 5 games with no strikers, hmmmmm. Don't think this bodes well for RVW or Hooper's Norwich futures.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    PaulWho

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • Why should we have faith in Delia? Err, maybe because she practically owns the club. She saved our sorry backsides a time ago which some here seem to forget. Just remember, its her loans to the club that keep it afloat. So, can we please all just now move on and shut up about the past season because frankly its all getting rather boring now.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Tootyfrooty

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • No one complained about the board when City were climbing from league 1 to the Premiership. Yes they were slow to react to the awful football and the poor defence and attack but I really feel they have learnt from the Hughton mistake and things decision wise can only get better.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    goldie

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • Delia mistake after mistake you haven't a clue and never will have, hopeless clueless board, why should we have any faith in you

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Canaryinslovenia

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • I guess the Board has to learn from this why they hesitated in sacking CH given the run of results. What was different that meant they hesitated where they might not have done with another manager in the same position. They really need an open and honest debate on that one. They clearly went more than the extra mile in giving him a chance. Why? I don't think 'no-one else available' whilst it maybe a factor is the whole truth on this. Anyway, now for the future and I for one realise I have not a clue who the next manager is and have realised I don't really know enough to know who it should be. But I do think the Director of Football idea has some merit when it comes to appointments. In any other business you would have people on the Board with experience of the business, a Director of Operations at least.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Surrey Canary

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • We can't change anything that's happend , or the position we find ourselves in . The only thing we can do is trust in the Board to appoint the right manager ( I have no real preference as to who that should be ) , we have a halfway decent squad and no debt add that us the fans and we should be ok whoever gets the job . We have to keep moving forward and deal with the season ahead in a positive way . Besides we get to humiliate the inhabitants of the blue toilet twice , life does not get much better ;-)

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    mjc75

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • The board have been very good on the business front but relied on the Chief Executive to advise on Football matters. The previous mistakes made were under Neil Doom Caster, so far David McNally has made one good and one not so good choice of manager. However, it seems to me that most supporters thought his second choice was the right choice at the time, the only mistake was taking too long to show Hughton the door. However, that is now all in the past so now we Must look forward to the future and the Championship is a fine place to start with, so lets all look on and upwards.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • Owning up to a mistake is great but what is the learning from it? Speculating on who was available or not and whether a caretaker could have kept the team up is irrelevant. Every manager has bad patches and the judgement needs to be made as to whether a bad patch is a blip that you tolerate or a trend that you have to act to change. I think that the board's record is generally to give too many chances to a manager who is failing, because they are nice people. The frustrating thing for most of us was that CH's public statements seemed to suggest that he did not understand why we were performing badly and there were passive aggressive criticisms of the team. The tactics seemed crude and inflexible and the logic behind the substitutions unclear and unproductive. For the most part the team seemed confused, un-motivated, toothless, and likely to fall apart at the first reverse. Most of the fans, and the players, seemed to have lost confidence and saw this as an downward trend but the board were still happy to give the nice man more chances to redeem himself. The learning has to be to spot the trend and to act, even if it hurts. We need a team that holds together and is always a threat, not one that wilts like a bunch of pansies in a dry basket on a summer's afternoon.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • What the Board should have learnt from the Hughton debacle, from previous managerial appointments and from our player recruitment policy is that an experienced Director of Football must be appointed to oversee all aspects of the club's playing side and to liaise closely with the CEO and incoming Manager on future appointments. In the long term and especially on the finace side the Board has done a sterling job and I have nothing but praise for the way they had kept the boat afloat in the bad times and the money Delia and her Husband had injected. But when it comes to playing matters there is something badly lacking. Better and more experienced judgements need to be made on crucial issues such as Managerial appointments, scouting and player recruitment. We were until a few weeks ago in a major business - the Premier League - which demands good practice right across the board. In my view the club's scouting system and referrals and all the liaison between that body and the Manager needs a complete overhaul and bringing in a Director of Football would be the catalyst to all that.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • I wouldn't say there was any serious split in the fans. I think most fans look at some of the owners of our peers and how completely mental some of them are and cherish the fact we have an owner who is a genuine supporter who cares deeply about the club. Can you see Delia changing the colour of the strip and renaming Carrow road the "Cookbook arena" because in all likelihood that's what a foreign investor would do to us. then they'd saddle us with debt and we'd go out of business. The only split is with those still shouting "Houghton Out Buh!!" months after he has already left. Future is all that matters now.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Steady On

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • Should have stayed in the kitchen.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Dick

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • Wrong decision made for the right reasons. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Crazy

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • Delia has admitted she made a mistake and in my eyes that is enough. We might also have had a different attitude to how the Hughton situation was handled if we had been in that boardroom. It can't be easy. At least we've got the answers we wanted. Now we forgive, move on and get back out of the Championship. The board have been excellent the last few years, let's not backtrack now. OTBC

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Powers1902

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • having read all the posts, I feel NoggintheNog and blackdog2 are well balanced although I must admit I was a Hughton outer from beginning of season.. hopefully the dawn of a new era where our team actually try to score a goal when we have possession instead of the fear of losing it.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Kristafa

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • Honest of her to admit it but unfortunately the Board including past and present incumbents have got it wrong on too many occasions when it came to appointment and dismissal of Managers.As a result,I am not filled with confidence that they will get it right this time.Those of us who wanted Hughton to go were not speaking with hindsight as we wanted it months ago.If no one else was available there seems no good reason not to have given NA the job in January rather than wait until 5 to go and 4 of them against top sides which gave him no realistic chance of keeping us up.There was a lack of decisive action which I hope will not be repeated.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    irongloves

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • Will the Delia and MWJ knockers give it a rest and realise just where this club would be without them In administration most likely and scratching around for peanuts in League 2. Yes, the Hughton appointment was a disaster, and yes they should have moved them out long before they did, but ultimately the decision isnt theirs and theirs alone, they have a Board of Directors to answer to. The whole board have been magnamimous enough to admit their mistakes, and are tundoubtedly as passionate about our club and its success as we are. Football managers are like bride and groom, sometimes they succeed in life (Lambo and co. here), sometimes it's a unsuccessful (Lambo at Villa) and it ends in divorce. A good manager at one club need not necessarily be good at another, a fact that has been proven time and again. Adams was not given a fair crack of the whip, and I am not sure that he has enough about him to make it work on his own. I still say we should be looking at Mike Phelan as Neils right hand man, he worked with the most successful manager and club in the top flight for years, so he must have been doing something right. If we are not going to go with something along those lines, then at least bring in a forward thinking, attack minded, disciplinarian type manager, who will take no nonsense from the "couldn't care less" prima donnas we seem to have been signing, with Adams as his Number 2.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    oldtimer

    Monday, May 19, 2014

  • After hanging on to Worthington for too long I asked Delia if she had learned from her mistake. She told me she had. This catastrophic season proves that she clearly hadn't. I really hope she HAS learned from her mistake this time, because I won't forgive her a third time.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    jigs69

    Monday, May 19, 2014

  • Nobody disputes Delia's enthusiasm and financial commitment to Norwich City, but in terms of managers it has not just been one mistake. She was an enthusiastic advocate of Bryan Hamilton, Peter Grant and Bryan Gunn, all disastrous appointments and all of which suggests that decisions relating to the football side of the club (as opposed to the business) should be left to others.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Outside The Box

    Monday, May 19, 2014

  • OK...three points. 1. It is a genuine admission from the Chairman of the Board...let's be honest...they had not got too much wrong up to there in the previous four years or so. 2. For all his efforts Neil Adams did not get a win from his last few games. The side showed signs of improvement sure, and they had had their confidence destroyed by the previous manager, but the results are the results. 3. Looking at the names currently being touted...Malky was not available in January due to his problems with Cardiff, Lennon did not want to move before the end of the season, Laudrup was not available, Sherwood was not available and Adams may not have been the way to go then either. It was not an easy decision at the time. Always remember that the best view of any problem is hindsight. My fervent hope is that the Board get it right now and employ the services of a manager with a positive attacking view of the game.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Gordon Jablonski

    Monday, May 19, 2014

  • I myself are glad we have someone like Delia & Michael in charge of our football club. I believe they are true fans of NCFC and long may they continue. I don't want to see our club owned by foreign investors who have no allegiance to NCFC whatever money they pump into the club and the sucess it may bring ( man city for example) Give Delia & Michael credit where its due - they are not mega rich but they put their money into the club when it was much needed. I for one are prepared that they make a mistake now and again I'm sure they suffered along with most of us through the Hughton ' rain' but maybe were convinced during internal meetings that he would come good in the end. Hindsight is a wonderful thing which is available to us all- foresight doesn't come so easily when having to make big decisions. Cut them some slack for their honest comments.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    NoggintheNog

    Monday, May 19, 2014

  • Well said mardler.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    LittleYellowBirdie

    Monday, May 19, 2014

  • Oh no, we had politics on another board and now mardler is quoting "judge not" from the Bible. Matthew 7:1 I think. OK, I repent if I said Delia had done a bad job, God only knows where we'd be without her (Beach Boys, 1966, new English version).

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Lincs Canary

    Monday, May 19, 2014

  • The person who don't make a mistake aint been born yet and also the person who dont make a mistake don't do a days work! Delia and McNasty had the courage to admit they made a mistake others would have bluffed their way through plus where would City have been without Delia and Michael's money?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    blackdog2

    Monday, May 19, 2014

  • norwichlad23 shame on you for suggesting Brian Clough on a Norwich forum. The man who wouldn't let any of his players play in a testimonial for one of our players who's career had been ended by injury without having a considerable bung thrown in his direction! When quizzed about taking bungs he 'joked' that he thought bungs went in the bath. Ha Ha Brian!

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    baguio

    Monday, May 19, 2014

  • Couldn't have put it better myself.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    brian robb

    Monday, May 19, 2014

  • I'm very Pro-McNally, but I certainly recall a speech about Plan A and B and having suitable replacements in mind when Hughton was under fire in Feb

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    carrabuh

    Monday, May 19, 2014

  • WHOA! Delia & Michael saved the Canaries when NOBODY ELSE STEPPED FORWARD TO DO SO - FACT! They (and others) made an error of judgement in January for which they have apologised. MOVE ON. Those who sit in judgement remember "Judge not that thou be not judged" This proud football club is not yet owned by Americans who seldom if ever admit to error and that is why many american owned FCs have problems and the world in general has profound problems!.What we need is a real appreciation of the future of the club which in view of our location is in the long term BRIGHT! OTBC NMTD

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    mardler

    Monday, May 19, 2014

  • Pa Snipps. Completely agree. Happy to let the board so what they think's best, but at heart I'd love Adams to be given a shot at it.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    LittleYellowBirdie

    Monday, May 19, 2014

  • 'We got it wrong'. yes that's fine and deserves respect. We got it wrong and didn't know who else was out there. Not so sure about that. Sounds a bit like rationalisation, but lets let that one go. “All supporters have a right to criticise, to air their views, I rather like it when it’s informed views rather than through prejudice. This is the one I'm struggling with. Informed by whom? I ask, and prejudice? What does that mean. Smacks a bit of recrimination. Got it right when they appointed Paul Lambert.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Monday, May 19, 2014

  • There have been lots of people belatedly lamenting the departure of Chris Martin now that he has scored a hatful of goals for Derby but I remember these boards being full of detrimental comments about him before he left. I'm not saying you were one of them JD but everyone's an expert with the benefit of hindsight. How many of us would have honestly preferred Martin to RvW at the beginning of the season?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    SplatTheCat

    Monday, May 19, 2014

  • "Hughton", JDDons! Otherwise, I agree 100% with what you said. Btw, The Hughton Hourse Trials start soon.... Chris Martin looks the real deal for Derby. One game away from a return to the Prem. Just has to help beat `Arry`s QPR boys. CM looks like he has learned from Holty after all. There was nothing to learn from Hughton`s gang. Hopeless bunch.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, May 19, 2014

  • I certainly prefer to have a board of supporters rather than a board of investors. We may not go the way of Man city and Chelsea but we also won't go the way of Portsmouth and others! we can blame the board for not sacking Houghton earlier (shame he got lucky in the last 2 matches of the previous season), we can blame the recruitment policy re RVW etc, but what about thise we let leave? What would we have given for a 25 goal a year striker?- oh we had one in Chris Martin and gave him away!

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    JDDons

    Monday, May 19, 2014

  • Delia is immune from vilification as far as I`m concerned. But just because she`s a Saint doesn`t make her perfect. The `deadly curse` that ruined the season was an inept coaching trio and fatally flawed recruitment. Beware of getting into any `folds`, canary tifoso. You could end up feeling sheepish. Be true to yourself.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, May 19, 2014

  • Good on yer Delia. I think many fans - most? - would agree that Hughton should have gone soon after the Fulham defeat in December. That it took until April and the West Brom defeat for anyone to see the light made me angry. I had been unsure how keen I would be as a Norwich supporter for the new season. This frank and courageous statement brings me right back in the fold.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    canary tifoso

    Monday, May 19, 2014

  • I agree with her assessment. I think it's big of her to acknowledge her mistake. And sometimes there is a reason to revisit the past: To learn from it.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Cecil

    Monday, May 19, 2014

  • The person we need is Brian Clough! Shame the great manager isn't around anymore.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    norwichlad23

    Monday, May 19, 2014

  • Delia! don't let making a mistake ruin all you have done for Norwich City! Your biggest mistake was letting your heart rule your head! Ma Snipps made the same error 60 years ago come July, and is still paying for it! Advice from a real old timer is this! Forget about those money grabbers, who make promises, and live in hope! Offer the job to Neil Adams, and watch him aim for the stars! He will give it his all, and won't let you down without a damned good fight!

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Pa Snipps

    Monday, May 19, 2014

  • No use revisiting the past, Lets hope a decent manager is hired as we don't really know who exactly is in the running. We know that Mackay and Zola have been interview but as for the others, Tim Sherwood, Neil Lennon, Ralf Rangnick who knows. The sooner we find out the better and the NCFC board should have acted like other Premier League boards and sacked CH at the first sign of major trouble and why was he hired anyway???

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    norwichlad23

    Monday, May 19, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Homes24
Jobs24
Drive24
MyDate24
MyPhotos24
FamilyNotices24
Weddingsite

loading...

Classifieds, browse or search them online now

The Canary magazine
Order your copy of The Canary magazine

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT