Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Delia Shows She's Got a Pair.

Bob Morton..I mean Neil Doncaster..."Time to erase that mistake"

Norwich City this evening have announced that Chairman Roger Munby and unpopular Chief Executive Neil Doncaster have left the club. A rather polite statement from NCFC suggested that the pair 'stepped down' and the board thanked the pair for their efforts. Basically, Delia finally plucked up the courage to open the window and boot Doncaster into the street. Well done girl!

Fans of Robocop will remember a scene where Clarence Boddicker places a dvd into Robocop creator Bob Morton's player and plays a message from his boss, played by Ronny Cox. The discussions between majority shareholders, Michael Foulger, Delia Smith and her husband Michael Wynn-Jones has resulted in a very similar message (reading between the lines) to Norwich City fans. "Delia made a mistake, now it's time to erase that mistake"...tick, tick, BOOM.

Since climbing from secretary to board member and Chief Executive, Doncaster has held a reputation of a puppet master. Cajoling the board with his spin. He sits on the FLI (Football League Interactive) board and was responsible for flogging City's internet and broadcast rights. A move that yielded a sub-par product, and one not available to all supporters! Often bending the truth publicly, Doncaster could spin with the best of them when talking finance. Rumor had it that he was not the best of negotiators and akward when dealing with agents. And we all know bad negiotiators often fail to sign good players.

Munby, the departing chairman never really seemed a problem, well not to those on the outside anyway. He appeared to be a nice fella, always outside the turnstiles at away games, willing to have a natter with the fans.

In fact, Doncaster was also very accessible to supporters. Just this past Monday I emailed him questioning his comments about Norwich City's financial hit due to the drop. He always replied and was up for a debate. Problem is, you would never like the answer you got and never believed that HE believed what he said. Most fans felt that he had his own agenda, one concerning self-preservation at the expense of change, new blood on the board and investment.

Norwich City today confirmed Chairman Roger Munby and Chief Executive Neil Doncaster have both stepped down from their roles at the club....We want to sincerely thank both Roger and Neil for their hard work and commitment to the club over their years working with us.

-NCFC statement.

Loosely translated the above says..."This ship is drifting out to sea and the captain can't read a map, therefore he has been thrown overboard and the auto-pilot is bringing us in to dry dock until a new captain can be found."

Getting tough. Delia finally realizes that the 'top man' of failed companies has to go.

Majority shareholder Delia Smith has taken a beating in recent years. Lots of fans, especially the young ones, have forgotten what Delia has done for the club in the past. She has done a great job in turning the club into one with a Premiership stadium and fantastic training facilities. The football, however, has been less than fantastic. Still, she delivered a play-off final and a season in the Premiership.

The problem is, that after the drop the mismanagement of money and awful decision making has left my beloved City in a freefall, resulting in relegation this term and a 100 reasons for Delia to do some much needed soul searching. I never in a million years expected Doncaster to get shit-canned though. I was expecting Munby to be made the scape goat and maybe Delia herself. But never Doncaster. I doubt he saw it coming himself!

Doncaster appeared to be a tsar-like figure pushing the board any direction he chose. He had the spin, and they were too nice to question him. That was my impression anyway. Today's news is finally a sign that Delia has decided to aggressively step back into the kitchen (sorry) and take to the heat. To do what she has felt needed doing a long time ago.

There will be more changes coming for sure. Structure of the board, an announcement that Gunn and Co. will carry on as manager (hopefully) and possibly news of some much needed investment. But until then, this is a step in the right direction. A sure sign that Delia wants to seize the club back from the tight grip of failure.

No more Mrs. Nice Chef.



Kopper said...

This was what we wanted. Doncaster gone will really improve NCFC's dealings with agents and other clubs. No one wanted to deal with him and several times, we lost out on players because he was a pain.

Now maybe we'll get a Chief Exec who will tell the truth, good or bad. Doncaster has his own doublespeak dialect and the fans knew long ago to take most of what he said with a grain of salt.

jjf3 said...

BD, I won't be foolish enough to say that I agree with you (I know NOTHING!!), but since 2 of you agree, I'll presume that this is good news for next season. And I'll keep paying attention, even if its going to be a little more difficult to do so...

Just watching the end of the Reading-Burnley game from earlier today, and Burnley pretty much stomped them. Paterson's goal that broke the match open is an absolute stunner...yes, its because Reading's D never closed him down, but there was no sense a goal was about to happen. And 6'5 (I think?) keeper Hahnneman had it covered, if he was a split-second quicker, but Paterson absolutley crushed it...
the 2nd goal looked like the kind of "only-time-in-my-life" goal that I might score, if I played...

Coyle has created a very impressive club, even if Reading's home form was horrible coming into the game...

I haven't seen much of the Blades this season, but if Eagles is back for the game at Wembley, I suspect I might be watching "derby" matches at 4 pm on Setanta on Saturday afternoons next year...

Matt said...


Didn't see that coming quite so soon, but glad it has. For the first time in recent years prudence was in fact the right thing for the club this time. With the fans forum coming up on Thursday, getting rid of Doncaster was definately prudent.