Chris Hughton for Norwich City? A Geordie View!

Posted on June 6th, 2012 | 46 Comments |

Chris Hughton - Norwich bound?
Norwich bound?
Today’s Independent newspaper is reporting that Chris Hughton is in talks with Norwich about their managerial vacancy, following the defection of Paul Lambert to Aston Villa.

At one stage it was thought that Chris was in the running for the West Bromwich Albion job, but that all cooled down and it looks like Norwich could now be his destination.

This could be a really good move for Chris, who has once again proven himself to be a good manager by taking Birmingham to last season’s playoffs on a shoestring budget due to limited resources. Birmingham’s financial problems are well known, and Norwich must be a better opportunity for him. And of course, the catering is better at Norwich given that Delia Smith makes all the pies personally, erm allegedly! ;-) He would also be taking over a good, competent squad left behind by one of the English Premier League’s up and coming managers. And to be fair, he currently fits into that category comfortably himself.

Birmingham City released a club statement this morning which read:

“Birmingham City FC can confirm that Norwich City FC have made an approach for Chris Hughton with regards to their vacant managerial position.

“Hughton expressed a wish to speak to the Canaries and permission was reluctantly granted.”

Birmingham’s Acting Chairman, Peter Pannu, said:

“Chris is a great manager and deserves the opportunity to speak to Norwich, which is why we have granted him permission to speak to them.”

Norwich City have also confirmed the situation from their perspective:

“Norwich City can confirm that Birmingham City have granted the club permission to speak to Chris Hughton about the vacant managerial position at Carrow Road. The club will be making no further comment at this stage.”

Of course, United fans know Chris well due to the sterling job he did in winning promotion from the Championship and stabilising the club’s position before being released in favour of current incumbent, and double “Manager Of The Season,” Alan Pardew. There are still some Newcastle fans who argue that the decision to replace him was the wrong one, and that Pardew’s subsequent success has been partly built on the legacy Chris left behind.

It’s also public knowledge that Chris is a popular figure with the Birmingham City supporters, having done well for them during his 12 months at the helm, having good runs in the Europa League and FA Cup, and finishing fourth in the Championship before ultimately losing out in the promotion playoffs. I guess losing him would be a big blow to those fans, and one wonders what the future will hold for Birmingham if they do, in fact, lose him.

If Chris does move to Norwich, I’m sure all United fans will wish him well – except for when he plays us of course! – and will keep an eye on his progress. Please use the comments box below to share your own views on this news.


NUFCBlog Author: UTD111 UTD111 has written 59 articles on this blog.

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46 Responses

  1. Norwich fan here. I think he will bring the stability we need. The club has had a lot negative publicity in the last couple of weeks with Lambert walking out on us in the manner that he did and Holty handing in a transfer request while repeatedly kicking off on twitter as well.

    I think Hughton will hopefully be able to calm all the hysteria down and build on the success we had last season. Norwich fans are under no illusions that 3 quality sides are coming up and that this season will be a battle. But I think he is the right man to lead us through.

  2. I’ve just been looking at Delia’s menus at Carrow Road. Think I might have a day out up there next season.

    Ed, divven’t worry about Chris, he’s a very good manager.

  3. Norwich have done brilliantly over the last 2-3 seasons & deserved better from lambert.

    CH should stay at brum & finish the (really tough) job he started there. He’s done amazingly with what’s gone/going on there.

    ‘so called’ bigger clubs poaching up & coming managers, stealing other peoples thunder-SUCKS!

  4. Clint: I’ve seen some stuff worky has said about Brum, and Hughton seems to be doing a brilliant job with one hand tied behind his back. Isn’t there also a court case?

    I don’t blame him for wanting to leave. Loyalty! Ask Chris about owners’ loyalty to managers :)

  5. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    June 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    “CH should stay at brum & finish the (really tough) job he started there. He’s done amazingly with what’s gone/going on there.”

    Clint, Birmingham City were supposed to file their accounts months ago but have constantly delayed and missed their deadlines, the biggest shareholder in the club is still up on money laundering charges in Hong Kong, the directors are resigning and the club have had a transfer embargo slapped on them until they get their accounts in order, so Hughton can’t buy or sell any players for next season. It’s a complete mess there. They’ll get £2 million in compensation for Hughton leaving though.

  6. worky/GS,

    I’m thinking of the brum fans, bollox to the owners!

    The fans deserve someone like CH!

  7. Incidentally,
    i reckon CH would do a great job at norwich, though he maybe needs things a bit tougher now, based on his last/first few jobs.

  8. @ last one of the true gentlemen of football returns to where he belongs

  9. Do u reckon Chrisy might have a chat with Grant Holt, and tell him –

    “Listen son, ur a good lad, but if ur gonna leave Granty, i cant stop ya, and i think Newcastle would be a good place for u to go mate, as a bench warming/Ameobie type handful, for big match cameo’s…”

    Holt to Toon?

  10. He’d (Holt) be better served staying at norwich, they love him there.

    The grass isn’t always greener (or yellow & greener)!

  11. Good to see Chris. Hughton get the recognition he deserves.
    No easy task, managing Brum., for all the reasons mentioned above by Workey.
    Even made a concerted run at promotion, not bad considering the horses he had.
    A decent guy and a pretty good manager, wish him the best of luck at Norwich.

  12. I know this is a NUFC blog, but is anybody at all interested in the Euros?

    Maybe for players that may come to NUFC? Or if Ben Arfa happens to be the star, what happens then?

    I am going to watch a few games down the “soccer bar”, Germany – Holland is the one I am looking forward to most.

    The matches are on at a decent time here, either 11am or 1.45pm.

  13. Chuck, there might be a lesson for Newcastle United in Birmingham’s last season. Of course, the first team squad was in a state of flux with lots of players going in and out of the first team through relegation. Virtually all the top players went and more junior players stepped up, there were loans and so on.

    However, the thing which was even more noticeable was how their League form rose once they were finally out of the Europa League. They probably could have battled for the automatic promotion places if it hadn’t been for that, and they seemed to taper off a little too at the end after playing over 60 games in one season.

    Players entering and leaving Ashley’s shop window, as well as keeping League form with a load of extra Euro games to play will probably be Pardew’s biggest challenges with NUFC next season too.

  14. GS says:
    June 6, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    “Germany – Holland is the one I am looking forward to most.”

    GS, that’s the one that the Sausagemunchers and the Cloggies will be looking forward to as well. Neither of them are really that fussed about England games, they’ve always see each other as their main rivals.

  15. GS,
    it’ll be interesting to se how Cabaye & HBA perform, but that’s about it for me.

  16. superficialy the england squad reflects the best PL teams –

    1st – Joe Hart, Joleon Lescott, Gareth Barry, James Milner (Manchester City),
    2nd – Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Welbeck (Manchester United)
    3rd – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
    4th – Scott Parker, Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur)
    5th – none!
    6th – Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, John Terry (Chelsea)
    7th – Leighton Baines (Everton)
    8th – Glen Johnson, Stewart Downing, Steven Gerrard, Andy Carroll (Liverpool)

    others – Rob Green (West Ham United) John Ruddy (Norwich City)

    But can anyone claim that these are anywhere near the best players in the top PL teams? Except at most 4 or 5 of them are not the best players in their own teams !

    Time has overtaken the England team – the PL is cosmopolitan, we have a big slice of the best of everyone else’s players – so what’s the point of a team of second bests who happen to be english ?

  17. Birmingham fan here, absolutely gutted and disappointed to see CH go. The club is in a right state at the moment. How much of a state we don’t know because the board don’t tell us anything. Our chairman said in the play off semi programme notes that the accounts were only delayed by a small technicality but whilst not rosy there were no major financial problems and they would “in any event, definitiely be published by the play off final” allowing the transfer embargo to be lifted. Well the play off final came and passed and low and behold no accounts published and not a word heard since or explantion. Two of our directors resigned yesterday with no explanation and Carson Yeung has been given 56 days to vacate his home after defaulting on loands he took out using the property as collateral. His assets have been completely frozen and things don’t look very good for him.

    One of the most worrying things for us fans though is who the hell would even want to take the managers job with the current problems.. transfer embargo in place so not able to sign any new players, likely to sell our best players to generate cash (from an already tiny squad) and then not being able to replace them.

    Just renewed my season ticket at £503 last week and now have no idea who will be in charge, if we will be able to buy players, who we will sell. We have virtually no board level presence and we now face having no manager or leadership for the forseeable future. Looks like Hughton is taking our entire backroom staff with him too, so it’s not like we can put one of them in temporary charge.

    The silence from the club in general is deafening. I can honest say I feel completely deflated and depressed. Hard to believe we have gone from winning the Carling Cup to this in just over a year.

  18. Workey @ 13#
    Of course, being in the european tournaments has it’s extra demands on the side.
    Therefore it’s neccessary to have a bit of depth, in order to rest certain players.
    If we dont strengthen the side it will be for the most part, a waste of time, with little to gain, other than a bit of experience playing against continental sides.

    Obviously the reason for Pardews statement about it being difficult to repeat this years finish.
    But being a manager is about the best utilization of the squad, a horses for courses situation.
    Not only that but putting out sides best equiped to compete with both the Stokes and those playing a possession game.
    We also know it’s getting harder to finish near the top, with most EPL sides stronger and deeper and money will be spent this summer.
    Question is, will we end up with a side that has both, depth and quality, or will we go for a bit of profit?
    Then replace our sold off stars, with younger, and cheaper?

  19. Wow! DNK

    That sounds really ominous. You folks have my sympathy.
    If the accounts are screwed, is the suspicion that somebody has taken spadeloads of money out of the club?

    From what you say, there doesn’t seem likely to be anyone left responsible for running the club soon!!

  20. DNK,

    gutted for you & your fellow fans mate.

    I guess it’s not surprising then that CH may well leave?

    It just goes to show that people/s flying in to buy english clubs may not be the answer to all fans prays & dreams.
    How is this allowed to happen & continue by the pathetic lump that is the fa?
    They couldn’t give a toss ‘what happens next’. How many more football institutions will go this way before anything is put in place to properly scrutinize these destroyers of clubs?

    Hang in there bud, here’s wishing you all the best mate!

  21. DNK
    We NUFC fans, know what you mean, we were there ourselves not too long ago.
    But cheer up, nothing is forever.
    A new owner and a good manager, can work miracles.
    I believe there are those looking at the club, knowing how your owner needs dosh and you could be the new Citeh, before long.
    But one can hardly blame Hughton for securing his future with the present insecurity at the club.

  22. Think Chris will do great job at Norwich been my second team since being posted down there in 1987 while in the RAF.Always tried to play good football.Just hope next season i do not have to watch another 4-2 thumping.

  23. Really have no idea as no one is telling us anything.

    The only thing we no for sure is Yeung, who is the majority shareholder and the main player/moneyman has had all of his assets frozen due to money laundering allegations (that he is looking more and more likely of being convicted of).

    Trading of shares in BIHL (our parent company) have been suspended to. Yeung took out a multitude of loans after to buy the club in the first place (he knowingly paid £80 million for the club when it had been valued at closer to £40 million), apparently he had no real cash, just various assets and paper money. His plan was to raise our profile in China to generate a lot of our income. Obviously it didn’t work, we then got relegated. The clubs liabilities massively outweighed our income so Yeung took out more loans from various Chinese business associates at whopping interest rates to provide working capital.

    With his assets being frozen he hasn’t been able to pay any of his debts or provide the club with any money, but there are serious questions about whether he would have been able to do so even if his assets weren’t frozen. His trial isn’t going to be until November and it could take months.. so no money coming in until that is resolved and if he is found guilty they will take everything anyway.

    We’re pretty much stuck in the middle. His priority at the moment is obviously going to be staying out of prison and fighting his legal case rather than the club.

    We just want to know the truth, no matter how bad.

    There is definite talk of a party interested in taking the club over but apparently they are waiting for BIHL to collapse so they can buy for peanuts. Whow knows how long that will take..

  24. Thanks all. We’ve been in worse places. Keep right on as our song says. Just so frustrating to go from such a high to such a low in such a short time.

    I know there are more implications than merely a ten point reduction, but I would almost happily take a ten point deduction now and write this season off it it meant getting rid of these idiots, getting a new manager in and having some stability so we can start rebuilding.

    But as Clint says, I think there was a period where a rash of foreign take overs started as all these new owners believed football was a license to print money. I think slowly people are starting to realise that it’s not. Unless they are mega rich tycoons buying clubs as a hobby, happy to sink their millions into it with no financial return, I think the days of foreign owners turning up from nowhere promising tens of millions to spend on players are well and truly over.

  25. As for the European championship.
    Of course Spain are the team to beat, apart from them, could be anyone, (except the team i picked in the lottery Ireland)
    If Greece could win it, anyone can.
    I really can’t see any group of death here, they all look like tough divisions.
    But when one sees the Swiss bang five past the Germans,
    (yeah it was only a warm up, never the less)
    Looking forward to the tournament.

  26. DKN
    Would’nt be so sure, you have a large fan base a stadium that probably needs a bit of help, but it’s not all bad.
    Hey! was it any better at Portsmouth ?
    They got a new owner and who knows where they may go from there, still plenty of wannabee owners with a bit of dosh out there.

  27. DKN
    Which song is that, not the old Harry Lauder song, “Keep right on till the end of the road”
    There ya go, better than singing shit like “I’m forever blowing bubbles” whoever Bubbles is?
    Or that rousing number “Blue Moon” depressing !

  28. It’s that time of day, where a visit to the oracle/barkeep is in order.
    A coupla botellas of Amsterdams favorite brew, plus a take out of sushi to follow, some blue fin or eel, sounds good.
    Manana !

  29. What was/is this “fit and proper rule” to own a club? I wouldn’t be surpised to see funny business at QPR either.

    Anyway, I am going with Germany for the Euros.

  30. Yes Chuck that’s the one. We have a potentialy large fanbase but it has been dwindling by the season. With the exception of the european games and the play off semi final we were averaging about 16-17k a game and that includes the away fanss. If Hughton hadn’t come along and restored a positive frame of mind and positive energy into the club I think we would be getting even less. If fortunes don’t improve and we don’t perform on the pitch or get a very uninspiring desperate manager I can see gates dropping even further. Just very difficult to see a light at the end of the tunnel at the moment.

  31. DNK, I’m just speculating, but I think IF there was something that made Hughton give up at Birmingham, it was probably the accounts farce and watching his first serious target, Leadbitter, going to Championship rivals (Middlesbrough) when there was absolutely nothing he could do about it.

    As you probably know, Hughton gives absolutely nothing away to the media and always plays a “dead bat” with their questions if he thinks they could cause a problem for the club, or the unity of the dressing room etc. He’s a master at it. However, I became a bit of a master in Chris Hughton understatement from covering his time here, and his recent protestions about how necessary it was to keep the players who are already at Birmingham, never mind signing new ones seemed to have a slight air of deperation about them (By Hughton’s standards anyway). It was as if he was pleading to the Birmingham board and in hindsight, it also sounded a bit like his final days at Newcastle when the board here just seemed completely uncooperative in helping him to find a new assistant, which they were because they wanted to bring in a new manager too and had hung him out to dry.

    It’s also strange how the Birmingham board made a big show about how they strongly rebuffed the advances of you neighbours at West Bromwich, yet seemingly left the door wide open and rolled out a red carpet for Norwich to come in. This may have something to do with Norwich being far more willing to pay £2 million compensation than the Baggies, as Norwich have already picked up a million or so for Lambert. West Brom didn’t get any for Hodgson as he was out of contract anyway.

    Could it be that the club are so desperate that they’d rather have £2 million in cash for the short term over an excellent manager for the longer term?

  32. GS says:
    June 6, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    “What was/is this “fit and proper rule” to own a club?”

    GS, whatever it is, a Russian embezzler and extortionist who left Siberian oil workers to starve without wages until they sold him all their their company shares for a pittance, or a family of human rights abusing absolute rulers can pass it.

  33. Hey Worky: you haven’t even mentioned Cardiff, the Yanks, and Arsenal yet :)

    The sad thing is that when a local business consortium puts in a FAILED bid it also tends to be headed by a bunch of chancers as well.

  34. DKN

    Errmm ! know what, you sound pretty depressed !
    I think it’s time to pay a visit to your local GP and explain to him how you are unhappy.
    I’m sure he will have a solution to your problem.
    But it aint Chris.Hughton.

  35. Wow GS
    That was interesting stuff @36 #
    Well say what you may, but they are interesting statistics.
    But what do they really mean?
    As we are all aware Statistics are only figures, that can be used for various purposes.
    So who the hell knows, depends on who’s doing the study and what they want it to reflect.
    Ah i cant be bothered………

  36. GS @ 36 (n Chicago) and Chuck @40 (on the right coast) that is interesting stuff. But factor it all together and we are the only team that scored on both this table and the actual table. That should put us top, should it not?

  37. Chuck: was giving you some stats for your views on the 3 up and coming managers. The bottom numbers seem to say that mostly teams buy success.

    Nothing that we really didn’t know already.

    Hollywood: the NUFC stat was interesting. Only 1 year though.

  38. To me the Chris is a good manager after all he has good experience to push up his team. A good team is known by a good managers. His motivation and hard working is outstanding.

  39. Owners & Clubs – have you see the latest ego trip at Cardiff – the Blues are changing to Red (tuff is you all own a blue replica shirt) and the logo from a blue bird to a dragon (tuff for the lads on the news with bluebird tatoos)
    – all cos the Malasian owners want to market in asia where red is lucky but blue unlucky, and where the dragon is a power symbol while a bluebird is only no.7 on the menu !

    Stuff the supporters & club traditions

    makes you weep!

  40. When you are right, you are right !
    See where another of my touted managers got himself a gig.
    Yep, Steve Clarke just got offered the W/Brom job.