Norris deal was most demanding yet

IPSWICH TOWN chairman David Sheepshanks last night admitted landing David Norris was the most demanding deal he had ever secured.Town have been in pursuit of Norris since last summer and have made numerous approaches to their Plymouth counterparts.

Derek Davis

IPSWICH TOWN chairman David Sheepshanks last night admitted landing David Norris was the most demanding deal he had ever secured.

Town have been in pursuit of Norris since last summer and have made numerous approaches to their Plymouth counterparts.

Sheepshanks said: “This was probably the most difficult deal I have ever done.


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“The intricacies and complication of the deal in dealing with two clubs and of course the player meant it was the most complicated.

“The relationship between us and Plymouth has been first class all the way through.

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“It has been a long and tortuous process with many, many conversations between myself and their chairman Paul Stapleton.

“We might have got frustrated with each other as we were very keen buyers and they were reluctant sellers but a deal was achieved and Paul Stapleton and I remain good friends.”

A major complication was the 50% sell on fee due to Bolton Wanderers but Sheepshanks dealt directly with their chairman Phil Gartside in order to overcome the problem and Argyle eventually got far more than 50% of the £2m paid.

Sheepshanks said: “The Bolton deal was an obstacle to any club wanting to buy Norris and meet their valuation. We came to an agreement with Bolton and that was important in being able to get across the line.

“It was easier for us to negotiate with Bolton and we are grateful to them. They are not a charity and had an entitlement but we were able to broker a deal that was acceptable to them and us.”

Stuck in the middle was Norris, who had to be patient, and Sheepshanks praised his attitude.

He said: “We had to respect the fact that David was an extremely popular player in Plymouth and they were extremely reluctant to sell him.

“Norris was absolutely proper with Plymouth at all times.

“It says a lot about Norris how professional he has been through this and played and was man of the match against Portsmouth when it could not have been easy.

“The agent was also very helpful in the speedy negotiations with David to complete the deal.”

The Town chairman also praised his manager and owner.

He said: “Jim has been very clear all the way through. We did try to sign him last hear but we did not have the resources to meet Plymouth's valuation but when we finally agreed terms with Marcus Evans Norris' name was the first mentioned.

“Marcus has backed me and Jim in this process and it is a large fee for a Championship club to pay.”

Sheepshanks confirmed Town had another large bid for a player, understood to be Gareth McAuley, turned down but insisted a loan deal for a defender would still be possible.

That could last from next Thursday until the final Thursday in March but given it can only be a 93-day loan period it may well be that Town will not make their move until February 22.

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