Mark Armstrong: Social media, David McNally and Norwich City – a toxic cocktail
PUBLISHED: 12:26 10 June 2018 | UPDATED: 12:26 10 June 2018
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Norwich City fans thought they had seen the last of David McNally using social media on a Saturday evening to open a can of worms.
After revealing on social media he had offered the City board his resignation little more than two years ago following a defeat to Manchester United, the former chief executive used Twitter again to make a point to Canaries supporters.
When Stewart Lewis innocently posted his opinion that it might be best for both Norwich City and Josh Murphy to part ways this summer for some reason, McNally decided to intervene.
“Be careful what you wish for…” came his reply.
It started an impromptu question and answer session with the salient points being that McNally thought City’s 14th-placed finish last season was “embarrassing” and that he was sad to see what he perceives as “a lack of progress” made by the club since his departure in May 2016.
McNally is irked by the suggestion that the belt-tightening exercise currently being undertaken at Norwich can be traced back to the recruitment policy he helped oversee during his tenure.
It’s hard to argue otherwise. It doesn’t do anyone any favours speculating how much players such as Steven Naismith and Matt Jarvis, both signed on McNally’s watch, are earning. That’s the nature of the transfer market, there are successes and failures, but not even McNally can argue that the long, lucrative contracts handed out are still holding the club back.
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That is of course the risk you take in the transfer market and in mitigation you could point to the signing of James Maddison, whose inevitable departure will earn Norwich a lot of money this summer. This deal was also done during McNally’s time at City.
But the overriding fact is that while McNally brought a hard-headed professionalism to Norwich, the club is still living with some of the gambles taken on players during his era.
McNally could argue that he could have steered the club back to the Premier League with the use of the parachute payments but there is no guarantee that would have happened. Norwich City could have quite easily been Aston Villa.
The Canaries have gone down a different path with a new management structure in place. The jury is still well and truly out but the club is on an even keel, which can’t be said for a lot of its Championship rivals, who have broken the bank in the hope of a quick return to the Premier League.
So for all the naval gazing instigated by McNally’s series of tweets last night the club has long since moved on.
It’s perhaps time McNally did as well.