ALEX NEIL SACKED: The timing could have been better...
- Credit: Steve Adams
Sometimes you just jump the gun – and that's not a reference to club owners whose knee-jerk reaction to a clutch of bad results is to sack the manager.
A couple of hours after Alex Neil's regular Friday afternoon pre-match press conference, I penned an article which started with this: 'If anyone had any lingering questions over the future relationship between Norwich City and Alex Neil, then today's comments by the Canaries boss appear to have answered them.'
How wrong can you be? Answer: about as wrong as the bizarre timing of the decision to sack the manager allows.
I have no argument about the fact that Neil has lost his job.
As far as I am concerned, he had to go. Not only did he preside over a poor, poor run before Christmas, but there were signs that another one was on the way. And there were no guarantees that next season, even if he had cleared out the dead wood and the rotten apples, we might suffer the same fate.
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However, how did we come to a situation where Neil was allowed to talk to the media at 1.15pm – and was then sacked by the board which met later in the same afternoon?
Surely Neil should either have been told of the decision earlier or he should not have been allowed to do the press conference. The latter course of action would have prompted a million questions, but the poor bloke has been hung out to dry.
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One assumption is that it was the only time when all the Board members could be present. Well, if that is true, it still stinks. Sorry, but Neil should have been sacked on Wednesday or Thursday.
Had it been a run of the mill media session it might not have been so bad, but it wasn't. Neil was bullish and talking like a man who knew, or at least firmly believed, he would still be in a job this summer.
'I have the utmost respect for Delia and Michael, who I have been really close to since I came here, and I will do everything in my power to make sure we turn things around and re-pay them, in particular, to move things forward and make things better.'
But there was a rider: 'If the board feel I am not the right person to lead it then that is the board's prerogative'.
As it proved.