Ex-Norwich City chief executive reveals torment

PUBLISHED: 12:04 10 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:04 10 September 2018

Neil Doncaster helped lead Norwich City to the Premier League  Picture: Archant

Neil Doncaster helped lead Norwich City to the Premier League Picture: Archant

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Neil Doncaster has revealed how his family life suffered during a high profile stint as Scottish football’s figurehead.

Doncaster, who spent eight years in a similar role at Carrow Road, is a key figure north of the border and was firmly in the public eye during the financial problems that engulfed Glasgow giants Rangers.

The 48-year-old, who has been chief executive of the Scottish Professional Football League since 2013, moved his young family back to England on police advice at the height of the Rangers’ fallout.

“There was one instance when I was with my young son, who would have been about two or three years old. I actually had him in my arms in a supermarket. Suddenly I had a guy absolutely screaming abuse in my face,” he said. “That’s not very good.

“It’s not great at all for the family. But the passion you see in Scotland around football inevitably leads to people who want to express their frustration.

“This was round about the time of the Rangers insolvency. I couldn’t tell you what the guy’s issue was.

“Initially, my wife came up with me to Scotland. Our children were born here.

“But it was around that same time that the older one had to start school. The amount of flack I was getting made us think it was probably a good idea for them to go to school elsewhere. We were even receiving advice from the police over our safety so, with that in mind, it became a relatively straightforward decision. So that’s the lifestyle we have now. The family live elsewhere and I spend most of my time up here.”

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Neil Doncaster was chief executive of Norwich City for eight years Picture:  ArchantNeil Doncaster was chief executive of Norwich City for eight years Picture: Archant

City reached the Premier League in 2004/05 during Doncaster’s tenure, but he departed after a descent into League One to be replaced by David McNally.

Speaking to the Daily Record, Doncaster insisted the disruption to his personal life comes with the territory.

“I’m well paid but you don’t do jobs like this for the money,” he said. “You do it because you absolutely believe in it. If you’re not willing to give your all then this is not the job for you.

“My wife has been absolutely rock solid. She was up for the challenges of bringing the family up separately. She embraced it and made it work.”

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