Norwich City’s new MD Steve Stone reveals his fan mission

Steve Stone will support Stuart Webber's bid to overhaul Norwich City's squad. Picture: Paul Chester

Steve Stone will support Stuart Webber's bid to overhaul Norwich City's squad. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Steve Stone is out to build bridges with the Canaries' fanbase.

Stone's remit is to drive up revenues and run the business side of the club as part of the new structure unveiled on Saturday at Carrow Road.

The club's board is in advanced discussions over the appointment of a sporting director, who in turn will play a key role in recruiting a head coach to replace Alex Neil. Stone had two spells as interim CEO during a turbulent phase that saw the departures of both David McNally and Jez Moxey, and the new managing director is in no doubt lessons must be learned.

'By the nature of football not all fans will agree all the time with what you do but the worst thing you can do is not to tell people what you are doing or why you are doing it,' he said. 'A lot of time goes in from a board point of view to make this the best club it can be. Fans don't necessarily see that. That is not the fault of fans, that is our fault for not communicating in the best way. My belief is always to be as open as you can be with fans and any stakeholders and I accept in not all cases fans will agree but they will hopefully understand.

'When there is a vacuum of information you tend to think the worst. That is human nature. There has been a lot of uncertainty and perhaps that goes back to the interim periods. I have been here two years and there has been an amazing amount of change at board and chief executive level. This feels like the first time we have got some stability to look longer term, rather than trying to fire fight.'

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Stone knows it is vital he forges a strong relationship with the incoming sporting director to give City's revamp the best chance of success.

'I think it will be different from my first role as interim CEO because then the focus was firmly on player trading, as it was in a transfer window, and we were just in the process of being relegated and had to try and change the playing staff around,' he said. 'That will be the remit of the new sporting director. Now, there will be definitely be an overlap between the two roles. We have to work together when it is looking at things like what finance is available to the first team and, longer term, what the finances are for all football activities like getting the best value for the academy.

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'I also feel this new role will allow me to focus on the business side and most importantly relationships and engagement wit the fans. That is one area we have definitely not been good enough in the past six to nine months.'

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