Transfer mistakes of the past will not be repeated, insists Norwich City managing director, Steve Stone
PUBLISHED: 16:03 01 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:03 01 May 2017
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Norwich City managing director Steve Stone believes the club's new approach to recruitment will avoid the mistakes that have been made in the past.
City are preparing for a pivotal summer when there are expected to be a lot of comings and goings as they look to revive a squad that has failed this season.
Sporting director Stuart Webber’s arrival has instigated a change in the club’s transfer policy, which has focused too much on the short term gain, according to Stone.
“You’ve got to have a better plan than we’ve had before, when we’ve sometimes spent money on over-age players who aren’t motivated to deliver,” said Stone, who will be focusing on the business side of the club as Webber takes care of the football issues.
“I’ll be very surprised if we’re scratching around for players on the 31st of August or the 31st of January, as we’ve done in the past. Stuart is a planner who’ll do things in advance.
“I’m looking forward at least two years with a number of scenarios, depending which league we’re in. We’re planning into the future, not just the next transfer window.”
In an interview with fans website myfootballwriter.com, Stone admitted that the club’s best chance of reaching the Premier League will be next season as City look to spend the last of their parachute payments wisely.
“We know our best chance is next season; we’ll be focused on it. That said, we haven’t always been our most successful with transfers when we’ve had the most money.
“Clearly, there’ll be important changes this summer.”
Some City fans remain concerned that even if City could make it back to the top-flight, they haven’t got the financial backing to stay there. However, Stone insists that the new management structure at City, brought in after Jez Moxey’s departure as chief executive, can allow the club to thrive in the Premier League.
“It’s obviously easier if someone’s dumping a lot of cash in, as long as you’ve got the right structure. But I absolutely think it’s sustainable to be in the Premier League with the funding structure we have, if we’ve got the right set-up to spend the money properly.
“Looking back a year, if we’d made slightly different decisions with our transfers we might well have stayed up, earning another £100million. If we’d managed that successfully, things would be very different now.
“We have to be at the top of our game. But I believe it can be done, or I wouldn’t be here.”