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Norwich City confirm new structure; Steve Stone becomes managing director with a sporting director and head coach to be appointed

PUBLISHED: 11:01 18 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:25 19 March 2017

Steve Stone has stepped up from his post as finance director to become managing director as part of a football revamp at Carrow Road. 
Picture: Antony Kelly.

Steve Stone has stepped up from his post as finance director to become managing director as part of a football revamp at Carrow Road. Picture: Antony Kelly.

Archant Norfolk 2016

Norwich City have announced three new roles as part of a wide-ranging structural revamp, which will see a sporting director working in tandem with a head coach as they plot the future direction of the Canaries.

Norwich City chairman Ed Balls is excited about the pending new sporting director. Picture: Matthew Usher/Focus ImagesNorwich City chairman Ed Balls is excited about the pending new sporting director. Picture: Matthew Usher/Focus Images

Interim chief executive Steve Stone has been confirmed as the new managing director to lead the business and the search will now continue for a sporting director to oversee all football operations, including recruitment, and a head coach to take charge of the first team squad.

Alex Neil’s dismissal last week has sparked a new direction, with interim boss Alan Irvine in charge again for Saturday’s Championship home game against Blackburn.

City released a statement outlining they plan to announce the sporting director in the near future, with that search at an ‘advanced stage’, who will then work with the club’s top brass to recruit a head coach.

It read: “We are delighted to confirm that director of finance Steve Stone, who has been recently serving in a second stint as interim chief executive, takes up the full-time role of managing director with immediate effect.

Alan Irvine stays in charge for Saturday's Championship game against Barnsley after Alex Neil's dismissal. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdAlan Irvine stays in charge for Saturday's Championship game against Barnsley after Alex Neil's dismissal. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

“The process of recruiting a sporting director is at an advanced stage and the club will make a further announcement to confirm this appointment in the near future.

“The sporting director will work with the board to identify a new head coach, with Alan Irvine managing the team on a caretaker basis for Saturday’s Championship match against Barnsley before the international break.

“The new head coach, technical director Ricky Martin and academy manager Richard Money will all report into the sporting director in a revamped footballing structure.

“The head coach will work together with the Sporting Director on recruitment, to identify the right players with the ability, commitment and hunger to improve the club’s performance on the pitch.”

Stone joined the club in 2015 after holding similar roles at Spirit Pub Company and Gala Bingo.

“The club is in a financially stable position, with great teams and people in place right across the business. We’ll be working together creatively to maximise the money available to support the first team and academy and we are committed to improved engagement with our fans as part of our strategy,” he said. “Once again, our supporters have shown their remarkable and humbling loyalty and season tickets for next year will be capped at 22,000, meaning there will be more full houses at Carrow Road in the 2017/18 campaign.

“We need to match that loyalty by working together to get this club going again and drive it forwards and that is what we will strive to do.”

Chairman Ed Balls, speaking to the club’s official site, stressed it was right to head in a new direction both on and off the pitch following a disappointing campaign that culminated in Neil’s sacking.

“After a considered review of every aspect of the club, the board has opted to change our previous model of having a single chief executive responsible for both football and business activities,” he said. “As managing director Steve Stone will run the business, while a sporting director will lead our football operations. While neither of them will be a board member, they will report directly to us and be responsible for delivering success in their areas.

“The sporting director will considerably enhance the football expertise available to the board, which we think is vitally important. We are interviewing candidates for this role currently and, once appointed, their first job will be to lead the recruitment of a head coach.

“Meanwhile Steve Stone has demonstrated no-nonsense efficiency and a deep appreciation for the history and values of Norwich City in his roles as director of finance and interim CEO for us. He is the board’s first choice to lead the business effectively and ensure we continue to serve our supporters to the very best of our abilities at all times.”

MORE: What Norwich City fans think of the restructure

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