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ricardo

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Thanks Ricardo, your reports are always well worth a read and what I look for after a game, even if I''ve been myself!

As for the report on tonight, thanks again for providing a decent report for those of us who couldn''t make it. Sounds like an interesting night, it''s always nice to hear what is going on behind the scenes at our club.

I think if we compare the current set up compared to a few years back with Doncaster, we have come a long, long way. I''m sure Hughton will come good in time too, we took time to find our feet under Lambert in the Prem after two years of success, I''m sure we''ll find out feet under Hughton too.

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[quote user="Thumbelina"]One more question Ricardo. Did you unmask yourself?  [H][/quote]I hope not[;)]

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Thansk Ricardo, really good read.

 

There is never any boubt about just how apprciated DS & MWJ contribution financially in support of this great club by most fans, but I think those who are always down on them are so because of theur past performance in the running of the club and how thier choices nearly lead the club to administration.

 

Secondly I have some reservations of the whole Lambert thing, as the post match speach after the Villa game was all about goodbyes and it was from whispers around a golf course on a charity day that the rumours that Lambert had said pre Liverpool at home that he would not be managing Norwich next season.

 

Just listen to the speach if it''s available anywhere, not once did he mention next season, not once did he give any reference to pushing on the next season!!!! more of a goodbye.

 

I''m sure that the full story will one day be told to all, can''t wait to read that in Wes''s autobiography.

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A very fair reflection Ricardo - two further observations:

1. In the discussion of us having the best owners in football but not having a billionaire benefactor to write a cheque at the end of the season, it calls into question the efficacy of such an ownership structure given the financial imperatives of the PL and the club''s primary strategic objective of remaining in the PL.

2. I thought Hughton was thoughtful, open and reflective. I am not a member of the Hughton out brigade but I was concerned that when he was discussing his willingness as a coach to change systems to me at least he seemed quite uncertain. This may have been due to the presence of a public audience. The positive interpretation is that we have a coach willing to change approach if things are not working. The concern would be if what I perceived as uncertainty is inadvertently communicated to the players.

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Thanks for the report Ricardo. Unfortunately I couldn''t go last night. It would have been nice to meet you as well as some of the usual suspects. I don''t know if you''ve been to many of these forums but they''re usually '' much of a muchness '' in that the top table is always in control. Good to hear that Chris Hughton came out of it well.Regarding the '' bombshell '' over Lambert''s ridiculous attempt to screw compensation out of us that''s just laughable but the Board reps usually drop one of those in at most of these forums presumably to get the audience '' onside ''. A clever tactic on the face of it but they must think we were all born yesterday. If they knew about Lambert''s intentions earlier why didn''t they publicise it straightaway ? Or are we led to believe yesterday was the first they knew of it too ?

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[quote user="ricardo"]Ricardo arrived at the Norfolk Lounge at 7.05 pm to partake of pre forum refreshment. Still no Peroni on offer so it was a pint a of Grolsch as a fair substitute. With Bowkett, McNally and CH in attendance we kicked of at about 7.35 with McNally re-iterating the aims of the club. Then on to Bowkett who revealed that the only aim this year was to retain Premiership status. He said relegation would mean a 75% reduction in turnover and also that we were in fact close to administration 3 yrs ago. (so Wiz was correct)

On to questions and the first subject was ground expansion. Several people spoke of the advantages of increasing capacity but Ricardo got the impression that the board had cooled somewhat on this prospect. In a nutshell, the UEA research had shown demand was there but the technical problems were such that we were looking at several more years of Premiership income before anything was likely to happen.

Questions were asked about the release of Vaughan on loan and CH explained that he felt he needed a run of competitive games to prove his fitness and he couldn''t guarentee that at CR. However if he had a decent season he would come back a better player. Next we went on to formations and CH said he preferred a flat four in midfield but was not rigid in this and was open to changing things as and when personnel and circumstances required. T be honest I was very impressed with CH throughout this evening and I didn''t get the impression that he was dogmatic about playing one up front etc. He also gave a convincing explanation as to why he subbed Jacko on Saturday.

Then Bowkett answered the inevitable question about Lambert''s resignation. Apparently he flew back from the Isle of Man when Lambert gave him a 3 hour ultimatum to be allowed to talk to Villa. It seems Lambert couldn''t wait and just walked. We are taking Villa to a tribunal but the big news of the night was that Lambert is taking us to a tribunal claiming constructive dismissal and £2 million compo!!!! Interesting legal tussle ahead it seems.

Following this there was more talk about the problems of fitting Wes into the system and although CH admired his attacking qualities there were other things to consider. The question was asked about whether we tried to get Naughton and the answer was the asking price was too much. No players have ever refused to come to Norwich and although there was a budget cap, there was no wage cap.

At the end CH said although he was disappointed with the Fulham and Liverpool results he thought in the rest of the games we had played well and probably should have been a couple of points better off than we are now. This would have given a truer reflection of where we are as a team (Ricardo whole-heartedly agrees with that sentiment).In finishing CH said he was happy here and looked forward to bringing us better results.

Hopefully I got most of the main points down but if I missed anything it was because the Grolsch is rather unkind on the bladder and Ricardo had to make two unscheduled visits to the starting stalls.


[/quote]

So the News of The World, who we sued for damages were also pretty accurate !!!!

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What he actually said was that we were heading for administration. That wording is important and to put it in context. I''m sure I remember at that time the board budgeted for 2 season''s in League One.

 

 

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Another one here to praise your reports Ricardo.

Much better than anything you''ll find written by a professional. And you didn''t even have Snowys help ;)

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Purple wil probably back this up, but I thnik you will find that in May 2010 there was certain pressure put onto the board by the lenders who more or less enforced the changes including the removal of Doncaster, who''s replacement had been profiled to the board by Hodgeson and then Bowkett came on board to stabalise and calm the waters.

 

Don''t think we were days away from opening the doors to the administrators but we were fast heading down that road and the board were gently nudged to make the changes by the money men....look at where we are now, you have to credit DS & MWJ for taking note and advice from those in the know.

 

Since then Bowkett & MacNally have been the best board members since the lovely gent Geoff Watling, IMO.

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[quote user="ricardo"][quote user="Resident Canary Stig"]I do enjoy your reports Ricardo, but what were your overall feelings? Were you convinced by them? Or would you rather be convinced by actions?[/quote]

I have said before that I have been impressed with Bowkett and McNally. Those of us who have been to many AGM''s over the years will remember the amateur stuff from previous Chairmen and CE''s. I firmly believe we are in good hands with those two.  Bowkett said something that surprised me tonight about Delia and MWJ. He said that in proportion to their wealth they had backed the club to a far greater extent than any other owners in the Premier League.

As to CH, he strikes me as a thoughtful and genuine guy. He is also a much better speaker than Paul Lambert ever was. I believe he will be a success at this club even if things are a bit hairy at the moment. 
[/quote]

Yeah - but that''s not exactly difficult is it! You thought Kenny Dalglish was impossible to understand until you heard PL open his mouth. Or should I say ....''mumble through pretty much closed lips'' becuase that''s what he does! 

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[quote user="Indy"]

Purple wil probably back this up, but I thnik you will find that in May 2009 there was certain pressure put onto the board by the lenders who more or less enforced the changes including the removal of Doncaster, who''s replacement had been profiled to the board by Hodgeson and then Bowkett came on board to stabalise and calm the waters.

 

Don''t think we were days away from opening the doors to the administrators but we were fast heading down that road and the board were gently nudged to make the changes by the money men....look at where we are now, you have to credit DS & MWJ for taking note and advice from those in the know.

 

Since then Bowkett & MacNally have been the best board members since the lovely gent Geoff Watling, IMO.

[/quote]

 

As you seem to believe Purple has some knowledge in this I''d be interested in his reply. What I believe to be the truth is that the owners sacked Munby and Doncaster. The public detail is that they resigned but I''d be sure they were pushed. For the following 6 weeks the owners set about finding their replacements. They secured McNally and then finally persuaded Bowkett which took some doing because he had stated he had no designs on a place on the board. Despite peoples long held grudges and beliefs about our owner both Bowkett and McNally were quite happy putting their reputations on the line to work for them. Bowkett then managed to buy the club time with the lenders in order to finance football in League One. I believe once that was done the board budgeted for a two year stay at that level.

 

Whilst things were bleak heading for administration is not the same as what was reported in the NOW or what many say on here. If renegotiations are all it takes to stave off certain administration then why have other clubs never done it? And my other point is that Bowkett and Mcnally would need financial commitments from the owners to take to the lenders in a similar way to Watling did when Chase walked away.

 

 

 

 

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[quote user="Indy"]

Purple wil probably back this up, but I thnik you will find that in May 2010 there was certain pressure put onto the board by the lenders who more or less enforced the changes including the removal of Doncaster, who''s replacement had been profiled to the board by Hodgeson and then Bowkett came on board to stabalise and calm the waters.

 

Don''t think we were days away from opening the doors to the administrators but we were fast heading down that road and the board were gently nudged to make the changes by the money men....look at where we are now, you have to credit DS & MWJ for taking note and advice from those in the know.

 

Since then Bowkett & MacNally have been the best board members since the lovely gent Geoff Watling, IMO.

[/quote]

 

Indy, this subject gets raised in various forms from time to time. I don''t (with one exception) have any inside private knowledge of what went on. I do, though, know about this kind of stuff in general terms, and there is enough information about what happened at NCFC that is public to be able to make some points. The trouble is that when you say the banks "more or less enforced the changes" I don''t know how far-reaching-reaching you think the influence of the banks was. In other words which bits of the changes were enforced and which weren''t, or do you mean all of them?

So I have to start with the extreme "all of them" version, which has (or had?) at least one advocate on this message-board, in which the banks not only forced Smith and Jones to sack Munby and Doncaster but also forced Bowkett on them as chairman. If that was the case it would have happened like this:

The banks would have approached Bowkett and told him they were going to "persuade" Smith and Jones to sack Munby and Doncaster and they wanted him to become chairman, with his first job being to oversee the search for a new chief executive. Because while the job of chairman can be important, it is usually less so than that of CEO. Having got Bowkett''s agreement, the banks would then have engineered the departure of Munby and Doncaster, and Bowkett would have been unveiled pretty much straight away, before drawing up a shortlist of potential CEOs.

What happened was nothing like that. We got relegated On May 3, that they were boardroom changes I knew on May 7or 8, and the sackings of Munby and Doncaster were announced on May 12. McNally (as you say probably as a result of a Hodgson recommendation) arrived on June 12, and Bowkett not until July 3. So not only did Bowkett presumably have no role in the key appointment of McNally (of whom he almost certainly hadn''t heard) but he didn''t become chairman until eight whole weeks after the decision to sack Munby. If the banks had been enforcing all of that it wouldn''t have happened in that order, and certainly not with a two-month gap before filling the post of chairman. It would havebeen more seamless.

All the facts fit in with Smith and Jones deciding to dump Munby and Doncaster of their own accord, getting McNally via Hodgson, and then turning to Bowkett as the obvious poacher-turned-gamekeeper choice for chairman. Remember that Bowkett later volunteered the information, when he had no need to, that he hadn''t wanted the job and it had taken Delia weeks of persuasion to get him to change his mind. If it was the banks who chose Bowkett then that was a plain lie. For what it is worth my suspicion - based on how quickly the sackings came after relegation - is that that they would have happened whether we went down or not. Just as Randy Lerner had obviously decided to sack Mcleish even if Villa stayed up.

All of that said, that the banks, because of our financies post-relegation, at least discussed the situation is perfectly possible. If I had been one of the banks I would have done. That kind of stuff happens. Usually with listed companies with fragile share prices, but occasionally with non-listed companies such as NCFC. And there may have been pressure to make to rejuvenate the board and make it more high-powered. That would not be a surprise. But I suspect that if that happened the banks found they were pushing at an open door. That Smith and Jones had already reached the same conclusions. I do think the post-relegation speed of the sackings is significant.

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Hi Purple, I have a wife who is the head accountant of a large local company and has in the past had some contact with the same fianacial advisors as the club.

 

All I can say and as I have there was minor involvement by a certain financial backer who discussed the situation with the club and I''m not saying had any direct involvements, as they didn''t but as above obviously DS & MJW take these meetings the same as any financial instituation heading for hard times!

 

But as I said we were not days away from the doors being closed as some have made out, but the fact that DS & MJW took so long to persuade Bowkett shows how much pressure was on the board at that time. It was DS & MJW who identified Bowkett and MacNally as stated, they knew who they wanted on board. Full credit to them both as they took a lot of stick at that point and could have walked away (all be it losing any hope of any control on the return on the money loaned to the club).

 

I also believe we have the best board structure we have ever had at the club, so I really hope that Hughton can turn this around, they have made a big investment and taken a gamble on Hughton and his team.

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By the way no bank or investor can say that they want this guy in and that guy out, it was always DS & MWJ who decided that! I had not intension of saying that if that''s how it sounded previously.

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[quote user="......and Smith must score."]Thanks for the report Ricardo.

Unfortunately I couldn''t go last night. It would have been nice to meet you as well as some of the usual suspects. I don''t know if you''ve been to many of these forums but they''re usually '' much of a muchness '' in that the top table is always in control. Good to hear that Chris Hughton came out of it well.

Regarding the '' bombshell '' over Lambert''s ridiculous attempt to screw compensation out of us that''s just laughable but the Board reps usually drop one of those in at most of these forums presumably to get the audience '' onside ''.

A clever tactic on the face of it but they must think we were all born yesterday. If they knew about Lambert''s intentions earlier why didn''t they publicise it straightaway ? Or are we led to believe yesterday was the first they knew of it too ?
[/quote]

 

Pretty much what I meant when I said McNally tells us what he wants us to know.

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