Norwich City chairman Ed Balls says David McNally’s resignation has destabilised club

Norwich chariman Ed Balls has paid tribute to former chief executive David McNally. Picture by Paul

Norwich chariman Ed Balls has paid tribute to former chief executive David McNally. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City chairman Ed Balls made it clear on Tuesday morning Alex Neil's position is not up for discussion following the shock resignation of former chief executive David McNally.

McNally was instrumental in bringing Neil to Carrow Road but the board 'unanimously accepted' his resignation over the weekend following the 1-0 Premier League defeat to Manchester United which pushed the club closer to relegation.

Balls revealed the board had met Neil on Monday to reassure the Scot it is business as usual ahead of Wednesday's final home league game against Watford.

'It's been a really tough few days,' he said. 'It was disappointing after Saturday. The players gave their all. On Saturday evening we had David's resignation. We discussed it on Sunday, we thought hard and decided it was something we should accept. What happened after the Manchester United game, David resigned verbally, then in writing, then on Twitter. It came out of the blue for all of us.

'He made a huge difference from League One to the Premier League. He did that while sorting out the finances, and putting a strong executive team in place. Of course he was also responsible for bringing in Alex Neil, who is one of the best young managers in English football. Talking to people within the club and the outside there is a real appreciation of what David did. Financially we were not in good shape when he came in and he made some big changes but he leaves in place a strong club. Look at our season ticket base as well as the great manager we have.'

Director of Finance Steve Stone has taken over as interim chief executive.

'Steve is our finance director and he has been very important in making sure our finances are sound and he is known to the board,' said Balls. 'He provides some continuity and experience to deal with a change that has come around quite suddenly. It sends a signal internally and externally we are going to build on our strengths. What we have to do now with Steve is that we start planning for the long term as well as make sure we focus on Watford.

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'It's been very destabilising to the club. But we've got to make sure going forward the football club keeps going from strength to strength.'

Balls insists the focus must return to the Hornets' visit, although City will be relegated if Sunderland beat Everton at the Stadium of Light.

'This is not over,' he said. 'The players absolutely up for it, as is the manager. We need a cauldron at Carrow Road against Watford to give us a chance.'

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