Norris badgered his way to Town

IPSWICH Town's new £2m signing David Norris “badgered to death”, the Plymouth board in a bid to leave Home Park, according to Argyle chairman Paul Stapleton.

By Mike Bacon

IPSWICH Town's new £2m signing David Norris “badgered to death”, the Plymouth board in a bid to leave Home Park, according to Argyle chairman Paul Stapleton.

The startling revelations came after Stapleton launched a fierce defence of his club's January transfer policy - a policy that has seen Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Dan Gosling, Barry Hayles and Norris all leave the Devon club.

Norris' move to Ipswich was a protracted one which only went through on the final few days of the transfer window. But Stapleton blames former Argyle boss Ian Holloway for unsettling and confusing many of the former Home Park stars, including Norris.


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Stapleton said: “"The problem began because last summer when he (Norris) was told by Ian Holloway that he could leave the club in January.

"David got a bit confused, I think, and believed that the board had agreed he could leave in January.

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"January 2 came and he came to see me, saying he wanted to go. He saw me many more times in January, each time saying he wanted to go.

"He badgered us to death - I saw Norris more times in January than I saw my family.

“It took until January 31 for him to go because, all the way along the line, we told him we didn't want to lose him. Two days before the transfer deadline, he told me he never wanted to play for Argyle again. That phone call seemed conclusive in my mind.

“Paul Sturrock said we should only let Norris go if we received money that represented good value and even on January 30, when I spoke to Ipswich chairman David Sheepshanks, we weren't of a mind that we would definitely do the deal.

“It was only when Ipswich came up with a significant amount of money, and the friendship of the Bolton chairman and Ipswich chairman, who negotiated over a sell-on clause included in David's move to us from Bolton, that the transfer went through.”

Last night Norris refused to be drawn into a war of words.

“I would like to just keep a dignified silence and concentrate on my football at Ipswich Town,” Norris told the EADT.

“I am happy at Ipswich and have much to look forward to. I enjoyed my time at Plymouth, but my future now is at Portman Road.”

Argyle chairman Stapleton meanwhile has clearly been angered by much of what has happened at his club over the past few weeks, and the pressure has fallen upon the Home Park board, especially after their home defeat to Hull on Saturday.

This weekend they travel to Holloway's new club Leicester although Stapleton is insisting that the timing of his statement has nothing to do with the upcoming fixture against Holloway's new side.

"I know some people will think that the timing of this is not the best, seeing as we play Leicester at the weekend, but these things have been on my mind for some time now, Stapleton added.

mike.bacon@eadt.co.uk

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