Norwich sporting director feels Covid-19 has created paranoia in transfer market

Norwich sporting director Stuart Webber believes there is a “paranoia” surrounding the transfer market as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic continue to be felt.

A handful of big deals have punctuated a quiet window to date with clubs still coming to terms with the financial losses caused by the Covid outbreak.

Webber revealed last week that Norwich lost around £35million as a result of the pandemic and that the sale of player of the season Emiliano Buendia to Aston Villa was, in part, to balance the books.

The Sky Bet Championship winners have added Milot Rashica, Angus Gunn and Pierre Lees-Melou on permanent deals with Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour joining on a season-long loan.

Scotland midfielder Billy Gilmour will spend the season at Norwich on loan from Chelsea.
Scotland midfielder Billy Gilmour will spend the season at Norwich on loan from Chelsea. (Mike Egerton/PA)

Webber is expecting more business across the Premier League towards the end of the transfer window as Norwich look to retain their top-flight status in the coming season.

“It is about who is available and who is willing to come,” he replied when asked about any further incomings at Carrow Road.

“If you look throughout Europe the market is very slow, we are a club who has done some of the most business and we still feel like we have got a bit to do.

“I think there is a paranoia around the transfer market at the moment with Covid, for sure the money has been hit and people are concerned about selling at the wrong price and that player being worth a lot more in six weeks time.

“You can feel that paranoia from clubs which I really understand. We will look anywhere and everywhere to find players. It is about being smart, not rushing in and being patient.”

The Canaries operate a self-funding model and spent less than £4million as they were relegated from the Premier League two years ago.

Daniel Farke, who signed a new four-year contract last week, guided Norwich to an immediate return.

There have now been calls for more money to be spent in an attempt to avoid another battle against the drop – but Webber does not want the club to put short-term success above their financial stability.

“You have to be very careful what you wish for,” he added.

Emiliano Buendia left Norwich for Aston Villa earlier in the summer.
Emiliano Buendia left Norwich for Aston Villa earlier in the summer. (Mike Egerton/PA)

“There are lots of clubs playing League One football now who chased a dream, as a football club you have to respect where you are in the food chain.

“There is only one team who can win the Premier League, four who can qualify for the Champions League and two for Europe.

“With the greatest respect to ourselves there are much bigger football clubs than us who have spent millions and millions and failed miserably.

“I think we spend a lot of time communicating with our fan base what is success for our club, we could go away from those values but then you lose the connectivity.”