U's in hands off our stars warning

COLCHESTER United's Chief Executive, Steve Bradshaw, has insisted that Norwich City are way off the mark with their compensation offer for “poaching” manager Paul Lambert.

Carl Marston

Colchester soccer, Bradshaw quotes

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United's Chief Executive, Steve Bradshaw, has insisted that Norwich City are way off the mark with their compensation offer for “poaching” manager Paul Lambert.

And Bradshaw was also quick to state that the U's will be pushing for a clause in the compensation package, preventing Lambert from taking any of his players with him to Carrow Road during the remainder of the season.

The U's did not accept Lambert's resignation on Monday evening, but they could do little to stop the Scotsman's desire to leave and become Bryan Gunn's successor at City.

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“We believe there has been a breach of League regulation 20, and so unless compensation can be agreed, we will go to tribunal,” revealed Bradshaw.

“We are six figures apart in terms of compensation at the moment.

“There is no antipathy towards Norwich City, and hopefully we can work with them to agree on a reasonable figure. If it's a long-term process, then it will go to Tribunal.

“Norwich's figure is reflected in the change in salary (of Lambert), but it does not take into account the significant disruption that follows a new manager coming in.

“Paul brought in eight or nine of his own players, and the new manager might not like them. Big costs are involved, not just the salary of a manager.

“Paul has brought in some very good players, so it's frustrating that having done all that, he should decide to leave.”

In response to the claim that Lambert had effectively walked out of the club, after his resignation had been turned down, Bradshaw said: “He's Norwich City's manager, that's that.

“The truth of it is that his heart was in a different place, so it would have been difficult to change his mind. But I admit that it was a surprising way for Norwich to act.”

Skipper Dean Hammond may have played his last game for the U's, with his move to Southampton imminent, but Bradshaw wants to stop any of the current playing staff joining up with Lambert at Norwich.

“We will seek as part of the compensation clause that no player will be able to leave for Norwich in the next season,” confirmed Bradshaw.

“But I would be wrong not to thank Paul Lambert and his team for all their hard work. We were not in such a strong place last year, both on and off the pitch, when they first arrived.”

With regards Lambert's replacement, Bradshaw continued: “I have already had several phone calls from top drawer applicants.

“This is a terrific job to come into. Usually, when a new manager comes in there are problems everywhere, but not here.”

First team coach Joe Dunne took charge of the U's as caretaker manager during last night's home match against Gillingham, ironically his former club.

Bradshaw revealed that it might take as long as three weeks to appoint a new permanent manager.

“We don't want to have a knee-jerk reaction and appoint the wrong person who might put the club back a few years. I would say that three weeks is the outside limit.”

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