Former Norwich City midfielder Todd Cantwell has described the treatment he received from the club prior to his move to Rangers as “barbaric”.
Cantwell came through the academy at Carrow Road and was a member of the team that won promotion to the Premier League in 2019 and 2021.
He spent time on loan at Bournemouth the following season and was not picked by Norwich from mid-November 2022.
“I was like a bad egg,” the 25-year-old told The Beautiful Game podcast.
“I spent nearly two to three months in the 23s set-up which after what I had achieved at Norwich it was barbaric.
“I felt like I had all my respect, honour and achievements stripped away from me.”
Having joined the Canaries at the age of 10, Cantwell said he had an “amazing relationship” with owners Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones and loved playing for former head coach Daniel Farke, who guided them to both promotions.
He had to have a couple of weeks away from training in 2021-22 because of a family issue and only made eight Premier League appearances for Farke and his successor Dean Smith before being loaned out to Bournemouth.
“My time at Norwich sort of fizzled into a bad place really,” Cantwell added.
“Dean Smith came in and he wasn’t the manager that was going to get the best out of me like the way Daniel played.
“I felt like everything had been stripped. There was no respect for me any more. It was like you were a new signing who they signed on a free and if it didn’t work out then no problem.
“It wasn’t ‘this lad has come through the academy, dedicated his life to this club and won two Championship titles’, it was just ‘Todd’s different. We can treat him like that’.”
‘I informed Delia Smith’
Cantwell said that at the height of his problems, he did try to make contact with Delia Smith.
“The way football clubs are run now, and especially the way Norwich was run, it wasn’t really fair to involve her,” he said.
“I informed her what was happening, but didn’t really expect anything to come from her because it’s not really her job but I wanted her to know that I hadn’t turned my back on the football club the way it was probably presented to her.
“That just felt right for me, for someone who had shown a lot of faith in me from a young age.”
It was in mid-January that current boss David Wagner confirmed the club were willing to sell Cantwell and told BBC Radio Norfolk: “Unfortunately, for whatever reason, he has not made the progression everyone had hoped.”
“One of the first conversations I had with him was that I’m gone. There was no chance I could buy into another plan here,” Cantwell said.
“It was a ‘I wish you all the best’ conversation.”
He became a Rangers player 10 days later, having agreed a “long-term deal” and has so far scored six goals in 20 Scottish Premiership appearances.