Stuart Webber: Norwich City's sporting director leaves Carrow Road 'with pride'

Norwich City's sporting director Stuart Webber says he is leaving his role "with a sense of pride".

The 39-year-old will step down after six-and-a-half years at Carrow Road.

Norwich have twice won promotion to the Premier League during Webber's time at the club but were relegated 12 months later on both occasions.

In a letter to fans, Webber said: "I have given everything to this special city and it is the right time for me to take a short break from the sport."

He will be replaced in the role by Arsenal's loan manager Ben Knapper after Saturday's Championship match at Cardiff City.

Webber, who joined from Huddersfield in April 2017, informed the Canaries' board of his decision in March.

Writing on the club's website, he said: "I am truly honoured to have served this great club as its first sporting director and I will always be thankful to Delia and Michael for the trust and faith placed in me.

"During this period I have had the privilege of working with three experienced and highly-talented head coaches and I have learned from all of them."

He added: "There have been tough moments with players and difficult conversations, but I always put the club first. As I prepare to leave Norwich, I want to thank all the players I have worked with and to acknowledge their professionalism and desire."

Highs and lows

Webber began his career in Wrexham's youth set-up and had a three-year spell as Liverpool's director of recruitment before becoming head of scouting at QPR and later Wolves.

He joined Huddersfield in the summer of 2015 and five months later oversaw the appointment of David Wagner - now in charge of Norwich - as head coach.

Wagner guided the Terriers to promotion to the Premier League in 2017, a month after Webber had left to take up his newly created role at Carrow Road.

One of Webber's first tasks was to oversee the appointment of Daniel Farke as head coach. The German twice guided Norwich to the top flight before being sacked in November 2021 with the team bottom of the Premier League, despite having just achieved their first win of that season.

They were relegated under Farke's successor Dean Smith at the end of the 2021-22 season and in January this year Webber revived his partnership with Wagner when the latter was appointed on a 12-month rolling contract.

During Webber's tenure, Norwich broke their transfer record for selling players six times, including the departures of James Maddison - for £20m - to Leicester, Ben Godfrey - for £25m - to Everton and Emiliano Buendia - for an initial £33m - to Aston Villa.

In May he courted controversy by saying that women's football was of "zero interest" to him despite describing Flo Allen, the general manager of Norwich City Women as a "rising star".