There was an inevitability about the prevalence of Mark Attanasio’s name when Stuart Webber sat down to discuss the state of play at Norwich City.

The fact it took until the 29th minute of Webber’s interview with The Pink Un to mention the American underscored quite how much there was to get through for the sporting director, who hadn’t done this for 18 months.

Explaining disastrous 2022-23 season was understandably the main topic of consideration for many fans, and how it would be rectified their primary concern. But a new face on the board of directors is not a common occurrence at Carrow Road, and the impact it could have on the club is enormous.

That was Webber’s verdict, at least, describing Attanasio as someone who “will be really good for this club”.

With that utterance coming in the same minute he’d confirmed the 65-year-old would have no impact on transfer funds, however, that begs the question as to what he can really affect in NR1.

By the Welshman’s own admission, his new colleague is not somebody with an extensive knowledge of football.

The Pink Un: Sporting director Stuart Webber discussed Attanasio in his recent interview with the Pink Un.Sporting director Stuart Webber discussed Attanasio in his recent interview with the Pink Un. (Image: Denise Bradley/Newsquest)

“I watched a baseball game three months ago when I was out there,” Webber said, “and I'm like: ‘Why are you not running now?’ I felt like a proper amateur. Mark knows that as well about our sport, that he's going on a journey to learn that and learn the business within that.

So what is it that Attanasio brings? Given the direction of the sport in modern times and his background, it’s no surprise Webber highlighted data as one of the key aspects.

“I think they've been super helpful,” he continued. “We've built a data and innovation department around the training ground in the last 18 months, and I think if we look at data he owns the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team.

“They're lightyears ahead in how they use data compared to European sports, just because it's been culturally a thing they've done forever. It’s a bit like that we're lightyears ahead with our sports science and medicine, so they're coming to visit us all the time to take ideas back on that, and we're going to visit them a lot around the data.

“So they're helping us build this data team because, to be honest, I never realised the complications of data. You might have data engineers, people who are off-the-scale intelligent. These are guys who've worked for NASA and stuff and are too clever for me. But the help we've had from them on that has been unbelievable.”

It’s not just the sporting side being aided, either.

I don't want to talk for (commercial director) Sam Jeffery on a commercial aspect, but the help that he's having in terms of opening potential markets around that has been great,” Webber said.

"I talk to my counterpart out there a lot, to share ideas and share best practice, share learnings, and it's the same all the way through the club. It's Glyn Lewis in sports science talking to their people, our nutritionists talk to theirs.

“It's been great to have that different sort of idea, and different people from elite sport who aren't maybe just stuck into the day-to-day of football, because sometimes you can get caught up in not getting your head up and looking a little bit wider. So it's been good.

“Fair play to Michael Foulger (who sold his shares to Attanasio), because he did the right thing for the football club, not necessarily what was right for Michael.

“He probably could have got more money elsewhere, but it's about finding someone whose values fitted Delia and Michael and fitted the football club, someone who could work with Delia and Michael, somebody could come here and step-by-step help the club.

“That’s what Mark’s done with the Brewers. They built that club step by step, they don't just write big cheques and go and do what they want with it, he's done it sort of step by step. So I think the two businesses align very well.”

While much of the focus will be on the short term, change is clearly coming in the long term. According to Webber, that only means positives for Norwich City.