'There can only be one captain of the ship' - Or not as the case may be
City's East Anglian rivals Ipswich Town have confirmed managing director Ian Milne will depart at the end of the month, with the relegation-threatened Blues' weighing up a new football structure.
Milne will leave ahead of his scheduled summer exit as owner Marcus Evans tries to boost Paul Lambert’s chances of pulling off a great escape.
“We have discussed for some time Ian’s role ending in the summer,” confirmed Evans, speaking to Town’s official site.
“However with a new manager recently appointed and Lee O’Neill taking on a wider role across the club as general manager football operations, it feels appropriate that we bring Ian’s departure forward.
“In due course I will be considering the appropriate appointment of a new MD, however I already have a close and growing relationship with the manager, the academy team and Lee on the football side.”
Milne was appointed in 2013, initially alongside Jonathan Symonds, but has been unable to arrest the decline in Suffolk.
Town go into this weekend’s Championship fixtures rock bottom and 34 points behind the second-placed Canaries. Milne was no fan of City’s own attempts to try a different football model back in 2017 which saw a first overseas head coach appointed in Daniel Farke, working closely alongside sporting director Stuart Webber.
“It’s interesting what’s going on at Norwich,” said Milne. “They’ve gone for a sporting director and a head coach, but I must admit I think there can only be one captain of the ship – the manager.
“They are trying that route and it’s clearly worked at some clubs, but, it has to be said, not at the majority. We’re going to see more younger, foreign managers, like the (David) Wagners, but we believe in what we are doing here. We think it works well and it’s proven to have worked well in the not too distant past.
“Good managers do not grow on trees. We see that with so many of the managerial appointments that haven’t worked for clubs.”