List of Norwich City F.C. managers
Norwich City F.C. is an association football club based in Norwich, Norfolk, and was founded in 1902. The club's first manager, John Bowman, was appointed in 1905. Since then, 39 men have held the job on a permanent basis. As of January 2015, the club manager was Alex Neil who was appointed on 9 January 2015 following the resignation of Neil Adams.
Ken Brown holds the record for most games in charge, with a total of 367 between 1980 and 1987. Excluding caretaker managers, the shortest reigns were those of George Swindin and Jimmy Jewell, who both managed 20 games; Jewell's tenure was ended by the outbreak of the Second World War.
The last Norwich manager to win a major trophy was Ken Brown, who won the Football League Cup with Norwich in 1985. Norwich have never won the FA Cup, but have reached the semi-finals three times – most recently in 1989 and 1992, but most notably in 1959, when Archie Macaulay managed the then third-tier club to several giant-killing victories before losing a semi-final reply to Luton Town. Norwich reached the top tier of English football for the first time in 1972, under the leadership of Ron Saunders. The highest league finish Norwich have ever achieved was third in 1992–93, under Mike Walker. The following season, he managed Norwich in their only European campaign to date in the UEFA Cup, when they became the only British club to ever defeat Bayern Munich at the Olympic Stadium.
Norwich City was founded as an amateur football club and, in the early years of the club's history, there was no manager. Arthur Turner, was the joint secretary of the club, and his wide-ranging role included that of "match secretary": according to Eastwood, this meant he would "look after the playing side" and we know that he spent the summer of 1903 "looking for players to take City to the top of the [Norfolk & Suffolk] league". Following an FA Commission of inquiry, the club was informed on the last day of 1904 that they had been deemed a professional organisation and hence ineligible to compete in amateur football. The FA announced various shortcomings in the club's practices, many of which involved Turner specifically, including:
fees ... paid for the use of a gymnasium and also for the training and massage of players. The sum of £8 was also paid to a player when he left the club. Payments were made to players without a receipt being taken. The club advertised for players ... [the] secretary ... spent considerable sums of money in travelling to other towns in East Anglia ... travelling expenses were ... excessive.
The club officials, including Turner, had to be removed from office and Norwich were to be ousted from the amateur game at the end of the season. The response was swift: at a meeting, just two days later, it was resolved to find a place in the professional game. On 30 May 1905, they were elected to play in the Southern League, in place of Wellingborough, but by then the club had secured their first professional manager, John Bowman. Bowman also has a place in Norwich City history for making the first recorded link between the club and "canaries", although at this time the club nickname was still "Citizens". Bowman selected himself to play in Norwich's first ever Southern league match, and went on to serve two years as manager, playing a handful of games along the way.
The new appointee was James McEwen, a Scot and a current City player. Tom Parker was the first Norwich manager to achieve promotion, as the club won the Division Three (South) title in 1933–34, before being relegated in 1938–39 by the slimmest of margins – a goal average of 0.05. Norman Low came close to regaining Second Division status in several seasons of the 1950s, but the return of Tom Parker led to ignominy of finishing bottom of the Football League in 1956–57. The poor performance on the field was overshadowed by financial difficulties and the club was rescued from liquidation, reformed, and Archie Macaulay appointed manager.
Rise to the top division
Macaulay oversaw one of the club's greatest achievements, its run to the semi-final of the 1958–59 FA Cup. Competing as a Third Division side, Norwich defeated two First Division opponents along the way, notably a 3–0 win against the Manchester United "Busby Babes". City lost the semi-final only after a replay against another First Division side, Luton Town. The "59 Cup Run" as it is now known locally, "remains as one of the truly great periods in Norwich City's history". Norwich were the third-ever Third Division team to reach the FA Cup semi-final. The "59 Cup Run" as it is now known locally,
Macaulay then extended success to the league. In the 1959–60 season, Norwich were promoted to the Second Division after finishing second to Southampton, and achieved a fourth-place finish in the 1960–61 season. From 1960, Norwich spent the next 12 seasons in the second tier, with finishes of fourth in 1961 and sixth in 1965 being among the most notable.
In 1962, Ron Ashman guided Norwich to their first trophy, defeating Rochdale 4–0 on aggregate in a two-legged final to win the League Cup. Norwich finally achieved promotion from Division Two when they finished as champions in the 1971–72 season under Ron Saunders; Norwich City had reached the highest level of English football for the first time.
Saunders capitalised on this success, taking Norwich to their first appearance at Wembley Stadium in 1973, losing the League Cup final 1–0 to Tottenham Hotspur. However, following a boardroom row after a 3–1 home defeat to Everton on November 17, 1973, Saunders resigned as Norwich Manager on the spot. The new man in charge was John Bond. A highly successful first season saw promotion back to the First Division and another visit to Wembley, again in the League Cup final, this time losing 1–0 to Aston Villa. Bond managed to keep Norwich in the top-tier of English football for another six seasons. The club finished tenth in the 1975–76 season; at the time their highest ever finish. Under Bond though, the club never managed to qualify for European competitions.
The 1984–85 season was one of mixed fortunes for the club; a fire gutted the old Main Stand on 25 October 1984 but on the pitch, under Brown's management, they reached the final of the Milk Cup at Wembley Stadium, having defeated local rivals Ipswich Town in the semi-final. In the final, they beat Sunderland 1–0, but in the league both Norwich and Sunderland were relegated to the second tier of English football. By winning a major trophy, Brown's side qualified for the UEFA Cup, but were denied their first foray into European competition when English club sides were banned, following the Heysel Stadium disaster. City made an immediate return to the top flight by winning the Second Division championship in the 1985–86 season. Brown's success continued into 1986–87, when Norwich finished xxxxxth, but following the departure of his assistant, Mel Machin, the club made a weak start to the following season and Brown was dismissed in November 1987. Dave Stringer, who had made more than xxx appearances for City as a player, was appointed manager. He kept Norwich in the top tier and the following season Norwich finished xxxth, which, like 1986-7, would have been enough for UEFA Cup qualification, but the ban on English clubs was still in place. Stringer also managed to guide City to the FA Cup semi-finals in 1989 and repeated the trick in 1992. However, the 1992 season saw Norwich flirt with relegation, finishing 18th and Stringer resigned.
Premier League and Europe
Mike Walker was Stringer's permanent successor. He arrived in time to guide the club through the pre-season before the 1992–93, inaugural season of the English Premier League. Media and pundits tipped Norwich for a season of struggle, but the club led the league for much of the season and were eight points clear of the field shortly before Christmas. Weaker results in the final weeks of the season mean Norwich finished third in the league, their highest ever finish,thereby finally qualifying for European football.
Walker's team played in the 1993-94 UEFA Cup, defeating Vitesse Arnhem of the Netherlands 3–0 in the first round. In the second round, they faced Bayern Munich of Germany. Norwich won the tie 3–2 on aggregate; their 2–1 victory in Munich earning them a place in history, as the only English team to beat Bayern Munich in the Olympic Stadium. The Independent described the win in Munich as "the pinnacle of Norwich City's history". Reflecting on the shock result, Four Four Two wrote "The news that Norwich had gone 2–0 up in the Olympic Stadium seemed frankly surreal." Norwich's cup run was ended by Italy's Internazionale, who defeated them 2–0 over two legs. Mike Walker's success at Norwich attracted attention and, in January 1994, he left the club to take charge of Everton. Walker's replacement was first team coach John Deehan, who was assisted by Gary Megson, then still a player. Deehan led the club to 12th place in the 1993–94 season in the Premier League.
During the 1994 close season, the club sold 21-year-old striker Chris Sutton to Blackburn Rovers for a then British record fee of £5 million. By Christmas 1994, Norwich City were seventh in the Premiership and were therefore challenging for a return to the UEFA Cup. But, following a serious injury to goalkeeper Bryan Gunn, the club's performance nosedived; with just one win in their final 20 Premiership fixtures, Norwich plummeted to 20th place and relegation to the second tier of English football. Deehan resigned just before relegation was confirmed and his deputy, Megson, took over as temporary manager until the end of the season. Martin O'Neill, who had taken Wycombe Wanderers from the Conference to the Second Division with successive promotions, was appointed as Norwich City manager in the summer of 1995. He lasted just six months in the job before resigning after a dispute with chairman Robert Chase over Chase's refusal to permit O'Neill to spend significant sums on strengthening the squad.
Soon after O'Neill's resignation, Chase stepped down after protests from supporters, who complained that he kept selling the club's best players and was to blame for the relegation. Indeed, between 1992 and January 1995, Norwich had disposed of a number of key attacking players: Robert Fleck (for £2.1M), Ruel Fox (for £2.25M), Chris Sutton (for £5M), Efan Ekoku (£0.9M) and Mark Robins (£1M). Nearly 40 years after being instrumental in saving the club from bankruptcy, Geoffrey Watling bought Chase's majority shareholding. Gary Megson was appointed Norwich manager on a temporary basis for the second time in eight months. Megson remained in charge until the end of the season before leaving the club. Just four seasons after finishing third in the Premiership and beating Bayern Munich in the UEFA Cup, Norwich had finished 16th in Division One.
English television cook Delia Smith and her husband Michael Wynn-Jones took over the majority of Norwich City's shares from Watling in 1996, and Mike Walker was re-appointed as the club's manager. He was unable to repeat the success achieved during his first spell and was sacked two seasons later with Norwich mid-table in the First Division. His successor Bruce Rioch lasted two seasons and departed in the summer of 2000, with promotion yet to be achieved.
New millennium, club centenary
Rioch's successor, Bryan Hamilton, lasted in the job for six months before he resigned with the club 20th in the First Division, and in real danger of relegation to the third tier of English football for the first time since the 1960s. The new appointee was Nigel Worthington, who had been Hamilton's assistant manager. Worthington's time as Norwich manager was one of peaks and troughs, with mid-table comfort a rarity. In his first part-season, he successfully steered the team away from the threat of relegation. The following season, Norwich exceeded expectations and reached the play-off final, losing to Birmingham City on penalties.
Norwich City celebrated its centenary in 2002, in the course of which a Hall of Fame was created, to honour people who have "made the greatest contribution to the club in its long history both on and off the pitch". To-date, xxx significant figures from the club's history have been honoured, including xxx managers.
After a season of consolidation, in 2003–04 Worthington led the club to the First Division title, a success achieved by a margin of eight points and Norwich returned to the top flight for the first time in nine years. For much of the 2004–05 season, the club struggled in the Premiership, but the team staged a remarkable comeback in the final weeks of the season, the catalyst being victory against Manchester United 2–0. Norwich, who had not won in months, suddenly went on a run, securing 13 points out of 18. With the bottom three sides to be automatically relegated, on the last day of the season, the club were fourth from bottom and a win would therefore have kept them in top flight football, but a 6–0 away defeat to Fulham condemned them to relegation.
The club was expected to make a quick return to the Premiership in the 2005–06 season, but a terrible first four months to the campaign saw City fall as low as 18th in The Championship and, "by October, following some inept performances and bad results, the fans started to turn on Nigel Worthington". Dean Ashton was sold for a club-record £7M, approximately a 100% profit on the fee they had paid just one year earlier. Half of Ashton's fee (£3.5M) was immediately reinvested in the purchase of Welsh striker Robert Earnshaw, who helped the Canaries' revival to a ninth-place finish. Worthington made just one permanent signing in the close season, and when a poor run of form ensued, leaving the club in 17th place in the Championship, he was dismissed. First team coach Martin Hunter acted as caretaker manager for a fortnight before former City player Peter Grant left West Ham to become the new manager.
Grant brought in his fellow Scot, Jim Duffy, as his assistant, and managed to lift the side to finish 16th in the league. During the 2007 close season, Grant brought in nine players, however ten players, including Earnshaw, departed and Darren Huckerby caused controversy by criticising the club for selling their best players. When the 2007–08 season opened with only two Norwich wins by 9 October 2007, Peter Grant left the club by "mutual consent". Jim Duffy took over as caretaker manager for three games, losing them all. On 30 October, former Newcastle United boss Glenn Roeder was confirmed as the new manager. Roeder released a number of players, largely replacing them with inexperienced loan signings. Results improved enormously, lifting the club from five points adrift at the foot of the table to a comfortable mid-table position.
Following a poor first half of the 2008–09 campaign it was announced on 14 January 2009, that Roeder had been relieved of his first team duties after 60 games in charge of the club, and just 20 victories. The appointment of Bryan Gunn as temporary manager did not prevent relegation to the third tier of English league football (League One), a level the club had not played at since 1960, at the end of the 2008–09 Championship season.
Norwich started their League One campaign on 8 August 2009 at home to fellow East Anglians Colchester United. They were widely expected to return swiftly to the Championship, however they suffered a shock 1–7 defeat. This was their worst home defeat in their 107-year history, beating the previous record, a 1–6 loss to Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic (now A.F.C. Bournemouth) in 1946. The fans' displeasure was obvious. Gunn was sacked six days later and his assistant Ian Butterworth was placed in temporary charge. The club moved swiftly to appoint the man who had masterminded the downfall of Gunn, Colchester manager Paul Lambert. He oversaw a turnaround in fortunes to lead them to promotion back to The Championship as League One champions, during a season that included a 16-game unbeaten run that included just two draws. The following season saw Norwich promoted to the Premier League, the first time the club had been promoted two years running. Lambert resigned as Norwich manager in June 2012, moving to Aston Villa, being replaced a week later by Chris Hughton. With Norwich one place above the relegation zone and five matches remaining in the 2013–14 season, Hughton was sacked, and replaced by youth coach Neil Adams. However, they could not avoid the drop to the Championship.
Adams initially fared better after a summer of rebuilding, with an initial spectacular burst of wins: but performance became spottier towards Christmas,with Norwich in and out of contention for the playoff race through till January 2015. However, a bruising 2-0 defeat in the FA Cup to Preston led to Adams' resignation and replacement with Hamilton Academicals coach Alex Neil. A revitalised and disciplined Canaries side charged to 17 victories out of the remaining 25, but were edged out of automatic promotion by Watford. The playoffs saw Norwich fight off local rivals Ipswich in two hard-fought games, before disposing of Middlesbrough in the final at Wembley.
|Win %||Percentage of matches won|
|Bowman, JohnJohn Bowman||England||30 May 1905||20 June 1907||78||31||23||24||39.7||–||–|
|McEwen, JamesJames McEwen||Scotland||1 July 1907||31 September 1908||43||13||10||20||30.2||–||–|
|Turner, ArthurArthur Turner||England||1 March 1909||31 March 1910||86||27||22||37||31.4||–||–|
|Stansfield, BertBert Stansfield||England||1 August 1910||31 May 1915||248||78||75||95||31.5||–||–|
|Buckley, FrankFrank Buckley||England||19 March 1919||10 July 1920||43||15||11||17||34.9||–||–|
|O'Hagan, CharlesCharles O'Hagan||England||10 July 1920||24 January 1921||21||4||9||8||19.0||–||–|
|Gosnell, AlbertAlbert Gosnell||England||24 January 1921||9 February 1926||223||59||79||95||26.5||–||–|
|Stansfield, BertBert Stansfield||England||1 March 1926||19 November 1926||26||8||8||10||30.8|||
|Potter, CecilCecil Potter||England||30 November 1926||26 January 1929||101||30||26||45||29.7||–||–|
|Kerr, JamesJames Kerr||England||4 April 1929||16 February 1933||168||65||43||60||38.7||–||–|
|Parker, TomTom Parker||England||7 March 1933
2 May 1955
|16 February 1937
21 March 1957
|271||104||69||98||38.4||Third tier champions 1933–34||–|
|Young, BobBob Young||England||22 February 1937
1 September 1939
|21 January 1938
31 Dec 1945
|Jewell, JimmyJimmy Jewell||England||21 January 1939||1 September 1939||20||6||4||10||30.0||–||–|
|Lochhead, DuggieDuggie Lochhead||Scotland||1 December 1945||2 June 1950||104||42||28||34||40.4||–||–|
|Spiers, CyrilCyril Spiers||England||2 June 1946||10 December 1947||65||15||12||38||23.1||–||–|
|Low, NormanNorman Low||England||10 May 1950||22 April 1955||258||129||56||73||50.0||–||–|
|Macaulay, ArchieArchie Macaulay||Scotland||15 April 1957||14 October 1961||224||105||60||59||46.9||Third tier runners-up 1959–60||–|
|Reid, WillieWillie Reid||Scotland||14 December 1961||9 May 1962||31||13||6||12||41.9||League Cup champions 1961–62||–|
|Swindin, GeorgeGeorge Swindin||England||23 May 1962||30 October 1962||20||10||5||5||50.0||–||–|
|Ashman, RonRon Ashman||England||10 December 1962||23 June 1966||162||59||39||64||36.4||–||–|
|Morgan, LolLol Morgan||England||23 June 1966||17 April 1969||127||45||47||35||35.4||–||–|
|Saunders, RonRon Saunders||England||9 July 1969||17 November 1973||221||84||61||76||38.0||Second tier champions 1971–72
League Cup runners-up 1972–73
|Bond, JohnJohn Bond||England||27 November 1973||12 October 1980||340||105||114||121||34.5||League Cup runners-up 1974–75||–|
|Brown, KenKen Brown||England||19 October 1980||9 November 1987||367||150||93||124||40.9||League Cup champions 1984–85
Second tier champions 1985–86
|Stringer, DaveDave Stringer||England||9 November 1987||1 May 1992||229||89||58||82||38.9||–||–|
|Williams, DavidDavid Williams[iii]||Wales||1 May 1992||1 June 1992||1||0||0||1||00.0||–||–|
|Walker, MikeMike Walker||Wales||1 June 1992||6 January 1994||80||36||20||24||45.0||–|||
|Deehan, JohnJohn Deehan||England||12 January 1994||9 April 1995||58||13||22||23||22.4||–||–|
|Megson, GaryGary Megson[iii]||England||9 April 1995||14 June 1995||5||0||1||4||00.00||–||–|
|O'Neill, MartinMartin O'Neill||Northern Ireland||14 June 1995||17 December 1995||26||12||9||5||46.2||–||–|
|Franklin, PaulPaul Franklin[ii]||England||17 December 1995||20 December 1995||1||0||0||1||00.0||–||–|
|Megson, GaryGary Megson||England||21 December 1995||21 June 1996||27||5||9||13||18.52||–||–|
|Walker, MikeMike Walker||Wales||1 August 1996||30 April 1998||98||32||26||40||32.7||–|||
|Faulkner, JohnJohn Faulkner[ii]||England||30 April 1998||12 June 1998||1||1||0||0||100.0||–||–|
|Rioch, BruceBruce Rioch||Scotland||12 June 1998||13 March 2000||93||30||31||32||32.3||–||–|
|Hamilton, BryanBryan Hamilton||Northern Ireland||5 April 2000||4 December 2000||35||10||10||15||28.6||–||–|
|Worthington, NigelNigel Worthington||Northern Ireland||4 December 2000||2 October 2006||280||114||62||104||40.7||Second tier champions 2003–04|||
|Hunter, MartinMartin Hunter[ii]||England||2 October 2006||16 October 2006||1||0||1||0||0.0|||
|Grant, PeterPeter Grant||Scotland||16 October 2006||9 October 2007||53||18||11||24||34.0|||
|Duffy, JimJim Duffy[ii]||Scotland||9 October 2007||30 October 2007||3||0||0||3||00.0|||
|Roeder, GlennGlenn Roeder||England||30 October 2007||16 January 2009||65||20||15||30||30.8|||
|Gunn, BryanBryan Gunn[iii]||Scotland||15 January 2009||14 August 2009||21||6||5||10||28.6|||
|Butterworth, IanIan Butterworth[iii]||England||14 August 2009||18 August 2009||2||0||1||1||00.0|||
|Lambert, PaulPaul Lambert||Scotland||18 August 2009||1 June 2012||142||70||35||37||49.3||Third tier champions 2009–10
Second tier runners-up 2010–11
|Hughton, ChrisChris Hughton||Ireland||7 June 2012||6 April 2014||82||24||23||35||29.2|||
|Adams, NeilNeil Adams||England||6 April 2014||5 January 2015||32||11||8||13||34.3|
|Neil, AlexAlex Neil||Scotland||9 January 2015||Present||89||39||17||33||43.8|||
This table lists the total number of managers of each nationality.
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- Bayern Munich moved to the Allianz Arena at the beginning of the 2005–06 season, meaning this achievement cannot be duplicated. See Olympic Stadium, Munich.
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- Including two, Jamie Cureton and Darel Russell, former Canaries.
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