Iwan Roberts: David McNally was never bigger than Norwich City

Former Norwich City chief executive David McNally.

Former Norwich City chief executive David McNally. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

No one person is bigger than any football club and I think we all need to remember that.

Yes, David McNally has done a lot for Norwich City since he joined the club back in 2009, but for the board of directors to unanimously accept his resignation makes you wonder what's been going on behind closed doors at Carrow Road.

If David was unsure of his position at the club and thought it was time for him to step aside surely it would have been better had he waited until after Sunday's game at Goodison Park and not offered his resignation with two games to go.

I'm not sure the announcement should have been made on social media. Surely the club, Michael Wynn Jones and Delia Smith deserved better than that?

I met David on a few occasions and ran the London Marathon with him for the Community Sports Foundation back in 2012.

However, in recent years I don't think he's been too impressed with some of my opinions which I've written in this column, which has meant me staying away from Carrow Road as I'm not sure I'd get a warm welcome down there which does sadden me as whatever opinions I've had they've never been personal towards any individual.

One thing I did criticise is the football board that David put together and I stick by every word that I said at the time.

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I questioned the credentials of the people that were on that board and l have to say that they've done very little to make me change my opinion of them. I look back and what a shame that Joe Royle and Micky Phelan left the football club.

I think Alex Neil could have benefited so much from having either of these at the football club, especially when things weren't going well on the pitch.

I totally understand that it might have been difficult for Alex still to have had Micky Phelan at the club after he was given the job when Phelan wanted it, but I do think that more effort should have been made to keep these two footballing men at Norwich City.


Life is never dull at Norwich City football club and the goings on this week have proved exactly that.

Relegation again to the Championship and the resignation of CEO David McNally on Monday... I think it's fair to say they've had better weeks!

I've tried to be optimistic over these last few weeks about the club's survival chances but deep down I had that sinking feeling since that costly defeat against Sunderland.

It had such a negative impact on everyone, especially the players, and they've not recovered from that loss.

Whether it's a lack of belief or character to bounce back, the team simply haven't shown since the start of the new year that they had what it takes to stay in this league.

In their last 17 games before the home game against Watford the other night the team had won just 11 points from the 51 that were on offer and have failed to score in 11 of those games.

They've also kept just the three clean sheets – with those type of statistics there's only one way you're going and that's down.

Norwich have lost 21 of their 37 games this season, only Aston Villa have lost more so it's not down to being unlucky that they've been relegated.

They simply haven't been good enough. The team's scored just 35 goals in the Premier League this season, only two teams have scored fewer.

So where did it all start going wrong? I think people got a bit carried away over the Christmas and New Year spell when the team won three of its four games, losing only to Spurs – the only club to have a better record than Norwich over the festive period.

With other clubs struggling at this time I think a lot of people thought that the Canaries were nearly safe, even though there were still plenty of games left and points to be played for. I've been involved in football for 30 years and one thing I've learnt is to never get carried away with things and think you've cracked it. That's the time this beautiful game we love will come and bite you right where it hurts!

And that's exactly what happened to Norwich City after January 2.

After the home win against Southampton which moved the club on to 23 points they then won just two from their next 10 games, which in my opinion cost the club its Premier League status.

It's very difficult to recover from that type of run, especially when you've lost to the likes of Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Swansea in that poor run.

Granted there was a mini revival after the 0-0 draw at home against Manchester City and the victories against WBA and Newcastle, but the last four defeats simply put the final nails in the club's relegation.