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Gary O’Neil EXCLUSIVE: Former Norwich City midfielder criticises club for ‘poor timing’ of new signing Danel Sinani after furloughing staff during coronavirus pandemic

Gary O’Neil has called out Norwich City after his former club announced the signing of a new player just days after placing their staff on furlough.

At the weekend the Canaries have announced they had agreed a deal to sign Luxembourg international Danel Sinani on a pre-contract agreement.

The 23-year-old striker, who has scored 14 goals in 16 league games for Luxembourg side F91 Dudelange this season, apparently penned the deal back in January and will move to Carrow Road on a three-year contract in the summer.

But plenty of questions have been asked why they have announced the signing now, having only recently furloughed their non-playing staff.

Liverpool and Tottenham both got pelters from the public and their own supporters for using the Government’s job retention scheme, and have now since performed a U-turn over their decisions.

O’Neil has no problem with Norwich using the scheme, as the Canaries can’t afford to keep paying wages during the football blackout in the way the ‘big six’ clubs can.

But the talkSPORT regular doesn’t understand why they would announce a new signing now in light of everything else going on in the world, calling the timing ‘strange’.

New Norwich signing Danel Sinani (right) in action against Sevilla in this season’s Europa League
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“I thought the timing of announcing a new player was poor, it was a strange one,” the former midfielder told talkSPORT host Natalie Sawyer.

“I don’t have a problem with Norwich furloughing their staff, I don’t have an issue with it at all.

“Norwich is not a club that is going to be financial up there with the big clubs, they’re not going to be rolling in money, they’re not going to have all this spare cash to keep playing people when they don’t have any income coming in.

“But while you’re furloughing staff, adding a new player to the wage bill is not a great look. It doesn’t paint the club in a fantastic light.

“We haven’t seen any wage cuts from the players as of yet, either, so I think it could have been handled better and they could have possibly delayed it.

“Norwich is a fantastic club, I enjoyed my time there, and the people in charge run the club very well. If they didn’t need to furlough staff, they wouldn’t have, I’m sure.

“But this, adding a new player at this time, It just doesn’t look great.”

Watch a clip of Gary O’Neil on talkSPORT in full above…


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