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"It is very bad timing" - evening with City chairman Ed Balls goes ahead after Alex Neil sacking

PUBLISHED: 19:35 10 March 2017 | UPDATED: 19:45 10 March 2017

Ed Balls. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Ed Balls. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

A black tie dinner evening with the Norwich City chairman Ed Balls is going ahead at Carrow Road this evening as the club announce the departure of boss Alex Neil.

An Evening with Ed Balls, priced at up to £100 a head with a three course meal designed by Delia Smith, will take place tonight in the shadow of the shock late sacking of the manager who led the Canaries to the Premier League in 2015, via a memorable play-off final success against Middlesbrough at Wembley.

Fans outside Carrow Road this evening said they were pleased with the decision but surprised at the timing of the announcement - following a morning press conference from Neil and on the eve of another crucial Championship fixture.

The club released a statement at 6pm declaring it had been a “tough but unanimous decision” to relieve Neil of his duties.

Stewart Finnemore, 33, said Neil “should have gone a long time ago.”

“It is very bad timing for them because of the game coming up tomorrow,” he said. “I am glad it has been done now.

“He had poor decisions, and bad substitutions in games. To be it didn’t look like he had the players on side either. 
“We were losing so many games we should have won, and not performing, like against Bristol City.”

Mr Finnemore said he was looking forward to seeing Neil’s replacement.

“I would take Gary Rowett, who I think did a good job at Birmingham. We won’t get anyone of the calibre of Garry Monk, because he is doing very well at Leeds this season.”

Others said they felt sorry for the outgoing City boss as first team coach Alan Irvine prepares to take charge of the team for tomorrow’s match against Blackburn Rovers at Carrow Road.

Peter Hurn, 74, said: “I don’t think the board were really left with any option [but to sack Neil].

“I had stuck by him up until now, and I feel sorry for him in a way but something had to be done.

“What I am surprised by is the timing of it all, it being the Friday before the football on the Saturday. I think most probably we will win tomorrow now. The players haven’t really been playing for him for the last few months, and with the assistant taking over it might be the change they need.”

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