Inquiry lawyer has reputation for 'executive terminations'

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The Independent Football

Peter Norbury, the lawyer at the heart of the Football Association's inquiry into the crisis surrounding Sven Goran Eriksson, is an expert in "executive terminations" who was dubbed "the hatchet man" during a brief and unsuccessful flirtation as a rugby league club chairman at Wigan.

"His chairmanship was a pretty good example of how to get everything wrong," an informed source close said yesterday. "He certainly didn't seem competent in that particular role.

"He alienated people left, right and centre, on one occasion going into the dressing-room after a match and berating the coach, John Monie, in front of his players, which is something that should absolutely never happen."

During his 18-month stint in charge at the end of the 1990s, Norbury dispensed with Monie's services and upset numerousclub officials. He was also involved in an embarrassing legal row with the Australian winger, Wendell Sailor, who agreed to play for the club but then never arrived. Norbury, who had already held a press conference to say the signing was a done deal, relinquished his post in 1999.

Norbury, a 50-year-old employment law specialist and a partner at the Manchester office of the City firm, Eversheds, has been much more successful in the law profession. He has represented numerous major plc clients, including McDonalds, Kelloggs and Adidas.

His experience in football has included working for Manchester City and the Football Association, for whom he reportedly worked on Eriksson's original contract with the FA in 2000. A former student at Manchester Grammar School and later Sheffield University, he qualified as a solicitor in 1978 and has been a partner at Eversheds for 20 years.