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ALEX NEIL SACKED: Ed Balls praises Alex Neil’s ‘dignified’ reaction to sacking at event

PUBLISHED: 09:18 11 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:47 11 March 2017

Norwich City chairman Ed Balls. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Norwich City chairman Ed Balls. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire

PA Wire

Norwich City chairman Ed Balls praised Alex Neil’s dignified response to the sacking, a fan has said.

Alex Neil has been sacked as Norwich City manager. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdAlex Neil has been sacked as Norwich City manager. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Stewart Lewis attended the Evening with Ed Balls event at Carrow Road on Friday night, which had been due to feature key moments of the Strictly Come Dancing contestant’s life and work.

But with the news that Neil had been sacked emerging just moments before, the focus turned to the board’s reasoning in the first of four question and answer sessions.

Norwich City fan Mr Lewis said Balls - who had arrived straight from the board meeting - praised Neil’s reaction to the decision.

MORE: Alex Neil sacked by Norwich City

“Ed was at pains to say that when they told Alex Neil, he was completely professional and dignified,” he said. “Ed said that ‘if I had respect for Alex before, which I did, then I have even more now’.”

He said the chairman was quickly asked to explain the board’s timing.

“He was much more forthcoming than I thought he would probably be,” he said. “He told us the board reviewed the situation in December and they were swayed by two things - firstly, he still seemed to have that drive and purpose and, secondly, that it was during the second half of the season that he led the charge and got us promoted, so they hoped he could do the same again.

MORE: Alan Pardew could fit the bill at Norwich City

“Ed really down played the money side of it and said money had no part in the decision, but that it was recent performances that influenced it, particularly at Burton and Sheffield Wednesday.”

And when asked about the odd timing of the news - the Scotsman had held a press conference detailing his future plans earlier on Friday - Mr Lewis said that was a key question for the audience.

“Ed said there was no intention for it to be any slight on Alex Neil,” he said. “The board meeting was long scheduled for 2pm and it was just unfortunate that he was giving a press conference at the same time.

MORE: “It is very bad timing” - evening with City chairman Ed Balls goes ahead after Alex Neil sacking

“I got the impression that nobody knew he was going to talk about his summer plans.”

• What is your reaction to the news? Leave your comments below.

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24 comments

  • Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. I wonder who and what Tutti-Frutti might be... Cold and a mixed-up fruit, sometimes nuts? Jist a-wundrin', Tommy...

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, March 13, 2017

  • Mister Verbal has spoken !

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Sunday, March 12, 2017

  • P>S> I could be quite dignified if someone bunged me £2 million quid for 6 months work that was a complete disaster. There are several merchant bankers quite jealous of Alex Neil's payoff.

    Report this comment

    francophile

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

  • To pay £100 to listen to that fat useless idiot ramble on about Strictly Come Dancing then there must be more mugs out there than I originally thought. He is an absolute liability to NCFC and the quicker he can be persuaded to go forth and multiply the better.Delia has not got the money or the business acumen to make NCFC a Premier League fixture so either we all stop moaning or vote with our feet.That is the only way anything will change, Watch Alex Neil's replacement, cheap and cheerful and not fit for purpose, any bets.

    Report this comment

    francophile

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

  • Ed Balls? I'm not going to moan but what postives has he actually brought to NCFC ? I can not think of anything good. For one, we know what he has done if true is cost NCFC 2 million quid to be given to an unproven manager when he failed at his job ( while getting a nice day day for his signature ) Two, he is offered a position on the BOD at NCFC, showing he took the position seriously during the season he goes on TV dancing with the stars for 3 months ( what a joke that was ). All I can see that this bloke has been employed to do, is to be clubs mobile live entertainment system week in week out which I see is an embarrassment to our great Club. I do hope and pray that the clubs restructuring includes the axe for the Prancing and Dancing Ed Balls ache....

    Report this comment

    Houstoncanary

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

  • Ed Balls? I'm not going to moan but what postives has he actually brought to NCFC ? I can not think of anything good. For one, we know what he has done if true is cost NCFC 2 million quid to be given to an unproven manager when he failed at his job ( while getting a nice day day for his signature ) Two, he is offered a position on the BOD at NCFC, showing he took the position seriously during the season he goes on TV dancing with the stars for 3 months ( what a joke that was ). All I can see that this bloke has been employed to do, is to be clubs mobile live entertainment system week in week out which I see is an embarrassment to our great Club. I do hope and pray that the clubs restructuring includes the axe for the Prancing and Dancing Ed Balls ache....

    Report this comment

    Houstoncanary

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

  • Would you trust Ed Balls? Still the glassy look in his eyes from the old Labour days, could tell a lie without blinking in front of the cameras! Please get rid of him, he has absolutely no idea but seems to be one of Delia,s Luvvies.......when will she learn.

    Report this comment

    Marigold

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

  • I think AN was Norwich at heart, but it is right to let him go. He seemed to have lost the plot.. Changing the team so many times, like a baker changing the recipe to get the cake to bake right,,,, KAOS,,,,, I think the board must act quickly so a new manager has the time to hopefully sort things out and give us something to look forward to next season. Mr Ed I would also take my sacking well if my boss is going to pay me 2 million to go

    Report this comment

    Swedish Canarie

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

  • Oh dear oh dear... Is there nothing that some of you "fans" wont moan about? If its not Alex Neil its Ed Balls....if not Ed Balls it will be the CEO and if not the CEO then its Delia. For gods sakes, shut up and stop whining all the time. If you dont like it then STOP following NCFC. But there again what would you moan about then? The weather??????

    Report this comment

    Tootyfrooty

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

  • No-one can really accuse NCFC of being anything less than than fair and reasonable over the dismissal of the manager.They backed a young British manager and gave him 3 years,longer than the majority of EPL clubs.Certainly longer than Leeds.Mike Walker and Martin O'Neil would have bitten their hands off for the same given the investment in players.The 3 year stats reveal the problems unsolved,that awful away record and the away goals conceded.Hillsbrough 2017 confirmed Alex Neil could not improve either. The answer is a good defensive coach like Chris Hughton.There's a need for leaders as much as managers too.Dion Dublin springs to mind.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

  • Typical nonsense words from the clapped out failed politician who's already proved that he's a failure as a football club chairman too (as if we didn't know that prior to his appointment). I have to ask myself why on earth anyone would pay through the nose to have an evening with him! Let's hope that the restructuring appointment next week that we're all awaiting with baited breath includes his sacking, plus a promise never again to give "jobs for the boys" to out of work luvvies and cronies.

    Report this comment

    Honest Injun

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

  • The timing of this, less than 24 hours before a match looks odd but, maybe, it isn't so strange. The timing at this point in the season seems ideal: we are not going up and we are not likely to make the play-offs. A new manager now has two months to work with the squad and make some informed decisions _before_ the transfer window opens. The quicker the new manager comes in, the more time he'll have. The board didn't say anything about beginning a search for a new manager so, maybe, it has already started. Maybe that's why AN went late yesterday. Maybe the new man is already lined up. I guess we'll now soon enough. Good luck to AN for the future. I wish it had gone better for you. You just can't tell how a manager will work out can you? look at Chris Hughton.

    Report this comment

    Coleeeey

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

  • At least those poor folks unfortunate enough to find themselves at an 'Evening with Ed Balls' event at Carrow Road last night were spared the drudgery of 'Key Moments of Strictly Come Dancing'. I am sure Alex Neil would have been absolutely gutted yesterday if he was unable to attend. AN owes a great deal to Ed Balls - not only did he supposedly arrange for his £2M severance deal, Ed also spend three months making a complete fool of himself in a TV dancing show - at the same time that AN took City on an unbelievable losing streak !

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

  • The way the whole club has been run for quite some time has been ver unprofessional

    Report this comment

    MichiganCanary

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

  • Sad it has not work out for Alex but we all sure we will hear from him again though Edd balls could had made a song and dance out of it,

    Report this comment

    bland9michael

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

  • I think we can take anyone, who decides to go to "An Evening with Ed Balls", words with a pinch of salt. Balls is not fit to be Chairman of any football club, let alone ours. He epitomises incompetence in everything he has done in his career. Commenting on such an issue shortly after also shows how unprofessional he is. We really miss Bowkett and McNally.

    Report this comment

    Daniel Smith

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

  • Or three for that matter

    Report this comment

    B Inners

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

  • Ed Balls and dignified aren't two words you usually see in a sentence

    Report this comment

    B Inners

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

  • Ed Ball claims AN's press conference was unconnected to his sacking. I don't buy it for a minute. AN's comments can be summed up in two words: "I'm unsackable". He probably was, but he made the 'mistake' (or was it deliberate?) of saying so. How typical of our board, if they sacked him for non-footballing reasons. Did AN overstep the mark, or did he play a very clever game? If he walks into another job in the next week or so, I think we know the answer. Right now it looks as though the owners have been caught in a trap of their own making. They won't like it, but will it be enough to make them quit? We shall see.

    Report this comment

    urban seagull

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

  • Seriously, what a thing to say. I respected the guy, decided to sack him, and I respect the way he took it. How about you show a little respect to the guy by not patronising him. 2 million pay off or not, I don't think anyone will doubt that Alex wanted to stay.

    Report this comment

    MellowYellow

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

  • Alex Neil gone, hopefully ED Ball will not be to far behind him. Completely useless luvvie and totally unsuited as the Chairman of NCFC. Nothing personal, but Ed, please go and Dance Away !

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

  • I could do "dignified" with a £2,000.000 pay off, it must take the sting off it and it's not as if there's really any stigma attached, after all he's the 12 manager in that league this season so another opportunity will come along, probably something decent as well. I hope he does well and thank him for Wenbley.

    Report this comment

    Confucius-he-say

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

  • Confidentiality always plays a big part in the limitation of what is said by all parties in these cases. We will perhaps never know the FULL details behind the resignations of Bowkett and McNally, the contract extension given to Alex Neil, the sacking of Moxley, and the long running poker game between the club and its manager, which ended with the club stacking its hand, sacking Neil, and facing up to the pay-off.

    Report this comment

    Armchair fan

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

  • Mr Lewis believes anything by the looks of it.

    Report this comment

    JimBob

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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