Date:Monday April 26 2010
The much-anticipated off-field meeting between Colchester United and Norwich City begins today as the reigning League One champions will be finally forced to pay reanimations for procuring Paul Lambert.
The Scot joined City following a 7-1 capitulation at the hands of the U`s in August, a match that would arguably define their season. Negotiating compensation so far has proven impossible, however, so the matter will be resolved today and tomorrow before committee.
City have taken the league table by storm since Lambert arrived - winning 31 of his 48 games in all competitions to date - a fact which may aid Colchester`s cause as they seek fair settlement by tribunal. The one-time Celtic player was lured to Carrow Road at the start of the season by another former Parkhead employee, their current Chief Executive, David McNally.
Lambert himself has already admitted he has the U`s to thank for his appointment, since the game effectively served as an audition for the job.
He also put Saturday`s title-clinching win over Gillingham in that contexttelling BBC Radio Norfolk: "If you look back at the first day we came with Colchester, a few weeks later you end up here, the club being beaten 7-1. I think that`s when you really sit back and take stock.
"You`ve been beaten heavily, the club has lost its manager... fans running onto the pitch. You look at that and it`s been an incredible turnaround - a near-perfect season," he added.
Colchester and particularly U`s Chairman and owner Robbie Cowling have made no secret of the fact that they wish to spoil the party though. Cowling has stridently reiterated many times that he wants City to suffer a points deduction alongside a financial penalty, although it seems unlikely such a precedent will be set.
Working against the Essex side is also the fact that Cowling also actually allowed Lambert permission to speak to Norwich about the vacancy at all, despite his initial outright refusal to accept the prospect of any resignation.
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Date:Monday April 26 2010
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