Ipswich Town managing director Ian Milne not a fan of Norwich City’s restructuring
PUBLISHED: 06:00 05 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:16 05 June 2017
Ipswich Town managing director Ian Milne is watching with interest at what is happening up the road at rivals Norwich City, but insists the Blues believe in their own methods.
The Canaries have undertaken some major restructuring following an eighth place finish on their return to the Championship. With their Premier League parachute payments running out in a year, the Norfolk club poached Stuart Webber from the back room staff at Huddersfield Town in April and handed the 33-year-old the role of ‘sporting director’.
Daniel Farke has been appointed as the club’s new ‘head coach’, the 40-year-old German recruited from Borussia Dortmund’s youth set-up just as David Wagner had been at the Terriers, while Steve Stone is ‘managing director’.
Meanwhile, at Ipswich, experienced manager Mick McCarthy oversees everything. David Bowman has a ‘director of football’ title, but essentially oversees scouting. Owner Marcus Evans is a hands-on negotiator, but always leaves the final decision on signings and sales to McCarthy.
“It’s interesting what’s going on at Norwich,” said Milne, whose main responsibilities are off-field matters. “They’ve gone for a sporting director and a head coach, but I must admit I think there can only be one captain of the ship – the manager.
“They are trying that route and it’s clearly worked at some clubs, but, it has to be said, not at the majority. We’re going to see more younger, foreign managers, like the (David) Wagners, but we believe in what we are doing here. We think it works well and it’s proven to have worked well in the not too distant past.
“Good managers do not grow on trees. We see that with so many of the managerial appointments that haven’t worked for clubs.”
McCarthy said as early as January that he would consider his popularity levels among supporters before committing to the final year of his contract.
“I don’t think that was a good time for him,” said Milne. “He was getting a lot of criticism, but we’ve moved on and he’ll come back refreshed.”
Asked if the club had considered potential McCarthy replacements during that period of uncertainty, Milne replied: “I don’t think it came to that. Mick and Marcus were talking the whole time. To be honest, I think Mick made a lot of those comments straight after matches when emotions were incredibly high.”