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Stuart Webber hits back at Norwich critics after slow start to season

Lotus Training Centre and SoccerBot360 launch – Norwich City
(Image credit: Joe Giddens)

Norwich sporting director Stuart Webber has hit out at the club’s critics and said they are not in the Premier League “to be tourists and swap shirts” after taking just two points from their first nine games of the season.

Saturday’s 7-0 defeat at Chelsea, which Webber described as “unacceptable”, left the Canaries without a win in their last 19 Premier League matches – a run that stretches back to March 2020.

Norwich are reported to have spent around £50million in the summer and, ahead of Sunday’s crucial game with fellow strugglers Leeds, Webber defended the club’s approach.

“Saturday against Chelsea was unacceptable, and we have to own that,” he admitted.

“That’s on us as a club and everyone in the club.

“We’ve not come to this league to be tourists and swap shirts with other players, we’re here to show we can stay in this league and compete in this league.

“When you lose games, you get criticised and that’s a fact in life. But where I do struggle is some of the stuff that’s been said about the club that’s just not factually correct: that ‘we haven’t had a go’, ‘we’ve not spent’ – we’re the 11th highest spenders in Europe.

“‘We don’t deserve to be in the Premier League’. I’d say that’s pretty disrespectful to our 22,000 season ticket holders and the history of this club.

“For people to say that we’ve given up and that we’ve accepted relegation already, I can’t accept that. Everyone at this club works too hard to accept that.

“It hurts, and I’d heard enough and said that I felt I wanted to come out and say something. I don’t believe in being bullied and sitting in the corner when people throw punches and insults at us. It’s time to fight back.

“Some of the people and some of the stuff that’s been said is from people who’d never get a job here and they wouldn’t have the ability to work at this level, and would never be able to step on the pitch for this club because they’re not good enough.

“So, when they’re chucking slang and comments around about our club, they’re ultimately talking about our owners and our fanbase and we can’t sit there and take that – we’ve got to swing back.”

Daniel Farke is coming under increasing pressure after Norwich’s poor start to the season.

The German was appointed by Webber in 2017 and has led the Canaries to the Championship title in two of the last three seasons – but they finished bottom of the Premier League in 2020.

Webber has backed his head coach, saying: “We’ve got 300 people who work for this organisation and we’ve got 11 players who play every game and a squad of 20.

“This isn’t down to one man. We won the league last year with 97 points and Daniel quite rightly gets plaudits for that but also we had quite a good team and pretty good staff.

“Unfortunately, when you’re sat in the head coach chair you get a lot of stick and flak because you’re a public figure and I understand that.

“Ultimately, I’m the one who sits at the top of the football side of the business and the buck stops with me.

“We’ve definitely got no excuses on why we can’t be a lot better and competitive.

“That won’t mean we’ll stay up, but we should certainly have enough to be a lot more competitive than we currently are.”

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