Norwich City: Stuart Webber discusses Mark Attanasio impact

Mark Attanasio has served as a supportive presence to Norwich City sporting director Stuart Webber during the club’s club search for a new head coach and is already implementing some of his ideas at Carrow Road.

The American bought a minority shareholding in the club back in September, having been in talks over an investment since the start of last year.

Attanasio has purchased Michael Foulger’s shares in the club and is the second largest shareholder of Norwich City, investing £10 million into the coffers immediately through the purchase of c-preference shares.

He could increase his shareholding in the club after seven years as part of the agreement and has made little secret about his desire to one day become more involved with the football club.

The Milwaukee Brewers owner attended Norwich’s final day defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in May alongside a seven-strong contingent, with the Pink Un exclusively revealing talks over the American potentially investing in the club the following week.

Official confirmation of his involvement came in September, with Attanasio making his first official trip over to Carrow Road for their 2-1 defeat to Middlesbrough in November.

He has also taken a seat on the board, with his senior advisor Eric Siegel in attendance for Norwich’s Boxing Day clash against Luton – which ultimately secured the fate of former head coach Dean Smith.

Since the ex-Aston Villa man departed the club on December 27, Webber immediately began talking to a range of candidates before naming David Wagner as the next head coach.

READ MORE: What shareholder letters say about Mark Attanasio’s Norwich City involvement

Throughout that process, Webber was in regular dialogue with Attanasio along with City’s other board members before making his recommendation at a meeting that contained the American and majority shareholders Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones.

That proved to be Wagner, who was then offered the role before being confirmed as the next boss. He will take charge of his first Championship game as Canaries head coach on Saturday against Preston North End.

Speaking to BBC Radio Norfolk after Monday’s press conference unveiling Wagner as the new head coach, Webber revealed the impact that Attanasio is already making at the club.

“What is exciting for the club with Mark is that he has been a super successful owner of a sports franchise in the US and his expertise already that he has brought or discussed, whether it is around the data stuff or fan experience has been top class ,” Webber said.

“He has been a great support mechanism through the last few weeks, I’ve spoken to him a lot about it. It’s obviously difficult when people are on the other side of the world but he cares and wants to learn about this business and about this football club.

“He is desperate, as all the board members are, to make the club the best it can be but also his way of working, if you look at his history in Milwaukee, it’s not quick fix. He’s not some guy who will turn up with bucketloads of money and I know lots of people talk about that but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee success either – you’ve seen clubs do that and get it badly wrong.

Eastern Daily Press: Stuart Webber led the search to appoint Norwich City's new head coach.Stuart Webber led the search to appoint Norwich City’s new head coach. (Image: Sonya Duncan/Newsquest)

READ MORE: Special report on Mark Attanasio and Milwaukee Brewers

“What he does understand, and the one thing I take from my five and a half years here, is the community connection to the football club is like no other. Whatever happens, that can’t change and Mark Attanasio understands that.

“People might say ‘we don’t care about that’ but you soon would. If you had no connection with the owners and no sense that people cared about the fans, ticket prices went up every week and fans were treated like customers, it would soon turn to ‘oh actually we quite liked it the way it was.’

“It’s really important that when new blood did come onto the board in terms of Mark, especially from the outside because he’d be lying if he said he’s been a Norwich fan all his life because he hasn’t, but it had to be someone that Delia and Michael and Michael Foulger whose shares he bought were convinced that he would understand that piece because it’s vitally important to us.”

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