Cowling refusing to let it drop

Chris LakeyNorwich City could find themselves back in the dock after the increasingly bitter feud with Colchester United took another twist. Colchester chairman Robbie Cowling says he is considering an appeal against the findings of a Football Disciplinary Commission (FDC) which ordered City to pay �500,000 for the services of manager Paul Lambert and two of his staff - but failed to dock league points as he had demanded.Chris Lakey

Norwich City could find themselves back in the dock after the increasingly bitter feud with Colchester United took another twist.

Colchester chairman Robbie Cowling says he is considering an appeal against the findings of a Football Disciplinary Commission (FDC) which ordered City to pay �500,000 for the services of manager Paul Lambert and two of his staff - but failed to dock league points as he had demanded.

Cowling believes City should have been docked six points before they even kicked a ball in anger next season - and has even questioned Alan Bowkett's position as Canaries chairman.

With the ink hardly dry on the decision - which cost City �425,000 in compensation, a �75,000 fine and a �125,0000 fine suspended for two years - Cowling says he is considering his next move and demanded the full story be revealed.


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"We are still considering whether we should appeal against these findings," he said.

"They did everything they could to delay the tribunal process and I think a six-point deduction starting next season would have been fair."

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The conflict between Cowling and Bowkett has been evident throughout the saga, which began last August when Lambert left Colchester for Carrow Road, taking his assistant Ian Culverhouse and director of football Gary Karsa with him.

City yesterday refused to add to the statement they released on Tuesday, but Cowling was in no mood to accept the decision as a fait accompli.

A statement on the Colchester United web site said: "Colchester United's position is that we are satisfied with the compensation figure as we had originally asked for �400k to release Paul Lambert from his contract.

"Norwich were originally prepared to pay us �160k, which they subsequently reduced to �126k before increasing it to �180k and then �213k.

"Colchester United are also satisfied that the FDC found Norwich City guilty of a serious breach of rule 20 for illegally approaching Paul Lambert before receiving permission from CUFC.

"However, CUFC do not consider that the sanctions imposed on NCFC are aligned with the FDC's findings and are considering their options."

Cowling clearly wants more and wants at least one head to roll - that of Bowkett.

"He stood up at his AGM (in February) and told the club's shareholders that their approach had been legal when - just days previous - their solicitor admitted a rules breach to us. I think that now makes his position untenable."

Cowling wants the full findings of the FDC to be made public .

"I look forward to the publication of the full findings of the FDC," he said. "They will demonstrate to everyone, apart from those with heavily tinted green and yellow glasses, that the behaviour of Norwich City was appalling and that Colchester United did nothing but act impeccably throughout the whole process.

"It is a shame when a club with a proud history of doing things the right way believe that they can and have achieved more by inappropriate means.

"There should never have been any other obstacle to Paul Lambert joining Norwich other than following the rules and then agreeing the correct level of compensation.

"Norwich could have achieved easily through the right means what they achieved through improper means and it has not only been a more expensive exercise for them but has also tarnished the once good name of Norwich City Football Club.

"Having read the statement on the Norwich web site, it is my opinion that Norwich City are currently abusing the confidentiality of the findings to maintain a version of events that is far removed from the true events.

"However, rather than give you my version, about which Norwich City would undoubtedly make similar claims, I invite (City chairman) Alan Bowkett to join me in requesting from the FDC a full public disclosure of their findings.

"That way both sets of fans can read an impartial version of the true events and decide for themselves who has or hasn't acted in the appropriate manner."

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