Video: Norwich City’s chief executive David McNally on Chris Hughton’s future and the Canaries’ Premier League survival bid
Norwich City chief executive David McNally can give Chris Hughton no guarantees over his Carrow Road future – but the Canaries’ manager has been left in no doubt he must turnaround the club’s Premier League fortunes.
McNally launched a bullish defence of Hughton’s record on Friday morning in a wide-ranging interview covering the manager’s own position, which has been a serial topic outside the club this season, the frustrations of the Norwich supporters and the club’s survival battle. McNally insisted Hughton is acutely aware of the price of failure for him and Norwich City over these coming months with the club currently one point above the bottom three.
“Chris is the first to accept the buck stops with him,” he said. “He has been told in no uncertain terms to get us out of the current position and get our club moving up the football table; and quickly. Right across the board from Delia and everybody else we are as disappointed as those supporters. As far as giving any certainty in terms of Chris and his position here all I would say is it is a results-business - whether that is Chris Hughton, myself as the chief executive or anyone else. We are paid to do our jobs. For as long as we achieve what is required of us we will stay in work. It would be wrong at any level to give any further guarantees. We would be delinquent almost to do that.
“All I would assure the Norwich City supporters is that we are watching very carefully. The whole board is aware of the strength of feeling from the Norwich City support. As guardians of the football club at this particular time in its history we have to do in a balanced way what we feel is right for the football club. What I would say about any change is you have to be 100% sure if you do that then things will be better. In any consideration when it comes to a big decision for the football club we have to factor in are we guaranteeing things will be better for making that change.”
McNally is adamant Hughton’s debut season proved he can lead the Canaries’ to safety despite their perilous position in the Premier League.
“We finished 11th last season and we had some luck good and some bad but you tend to finish in the position you deserve,” said McNally. “No-one has ever done that to the level he did with the smallest payroll in the division and with the scale of the debt repayments that we had to make last year. That was an astonishing achievement. His track record is there for all to see. Clearly this year results have not been good enough and they need to improve, but everyone can see the players and the management are together and there is a real spirit around the group. They are playing for each other. The odd suggestion that he has lost the dressing room is a complete myth.”
• For further in-depth reaction and analysis buy Saturday’s EDP and Evening News which includes an exclusive from the chief executive with the inside track on Wes Hoolahan’s transfer saga which dominated last month’s window.
• Plus an exclusive online Mustard tv video interview with the chief executive from Saturday 3pm.