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  1. The right decision. It was a shocking failure of due diligence. It raises some troubling questions on the business acumen of the management team at the club. I'm sure (or at least I hope) those tough questions are being reflected on.
  2. The current landing page for the website. Seems less "historical marketing" and more fundamental part of the product:
  3. McCallum had a good game last night. Defensively kept first Olosunde and then the in form Freddie Ladapo completely silent. Rotherham had nothing down Coventry's left (though to be fair they had very little full stop). Offensively he was also solid. He put in several good crosses both in play and from set pieces. His long throws were dangerous and Coventry were unfortunate not to score from at least one of them. He also won the free kick in a dangerous area that resulted in the goal. He looked composed on the ball. Whilst perhaps not as eye-catching as Da Costa on the right, he is clearly one of the more (if not the most) technically gifted players in Coventry's side (along with O'Hare and James). On that showing he'd fit right in to a Norwich side in the Championship (or another top half Championship team). Hard to say how he'd do in the Premier League - but looks like a talented young player. I'm sure Adams' call with him last night was a positive one.
  4. Spot on Shefcanary. To give some more detail: 1. We're much more fluid as a team. All nine defenders and midfielders drop deep for the ball (e.g. see against Forest when Skipp and McLean were being marked, Rupp (our #10) would drop for the first ball out of defence). Few teams in the champs have the disclipine and ability to press our entire midfield. 2. We're much more disclipined. Not to pick on players, but Cantwell, Buendia and McLean all had a tendency to want to do the hollywood pass or dribble past players in our own half. They have become more disclipined and rarely try that kind of stuff, leaving it (where it should) in the opposition third (e.g. think about how few times we've given the ball away in dangerous areas recently - last time I can remember was versus Stoke(h)). 3. Teams are struggling with squad depth now. At the start of the season we were seeing teams use four or five subs early which allowed them to press for longer. When the first XI got tired they'd swap out around the 50-60 min mark. That's why it took late goals to beat a lot of teams. Now teams are missing lots of players to injury and the bench is filled with more limited, out of form, or returning from injury players. Asking those players to play 50 minutes is harder and managers are less able to do it. 4. The Hanley-Gibson partnership is excellent for bringing the ball out. Gibson is a great passer, he is perfectly capable to pass long, straight to Pukki (who rarely gives the ball away). More importantly he passes with speed. His passes have a real snap to them. When we are passing around the back it's not slow, lazy passing (compare to the opposition and how easy it is for Pukki alone to push a team towards one side of the pitch). The opposition really have to run to cover the outballs. Similarly, at this level, Hanley has the speed and power to break though the press with a run, usually with a safe outball to Aarons ready or a pass to Buendia. 5. Farke is a better coach. We tend to forget, but Farke is (still?) a relative newcomer to management. He's more tactically aware and we're better able to deal with the opposition throwing us off with their tactics (although not perfect: see Luton (a), Middlesbrough (h)). He's improved at reading when we have to adjust things slightly, and more importantly the players have been coached well to adapt their gameplay and keep their disclipine to do that.
  5. I know what you're saying Bethnal - though I'd suggest they are touch and go for the playoffs. I see it as 2 out of 6 of Reading, Bournemouth, Cardiff, Stoke, Barnsley and Middlesborough. Regardless, the top four look head and shoulders above the rest this season. It'd be a tall ask for Bournemouth to win the playoffs, even if they make it.
  6. That's true which is why he tends to be the one to come off. Obviously it's relative! Compared to Vrancic it's not a contest - compared to Emi and Skipp they tend to last the minutes a bit better.
  7. I would have made the same decisions as Farke: The game was finely balanced. Changes could turn the game in our favour. They could turn the game in Rotherham's favour (if we don't get settled quick enough). Rotherham wern't particularly dangerous outside set pieces, so it wasn't urgent to make a change. The only obvious change was Vrancic coming off. You have two options: like-for-like with Dowell or change our shape (e.g. Tettey). Being frank, Dowell has not really shown he's capable of controlling the game yet. Further, he's not particularly workman like and from what little we've seen not that great in the air (bizarrely Mario isn't too bad in the air). Bringing Tettey on breaks the balance of the midfield and we saw that at the end where we just were trying to play out the minutes. Besides Tettey is notoriously awful defending set pieces and that was arguably Rotherham's biggest threat. Another change was bringing Pukki off - but he was still getting sniffs at goal and I'd much rather him upfront than Idah (with the greatest respect to Adam, he's unlikely to fashion a chance on his own). Also, Rotherham wern't playing out from the back much, so there was little chasing for Pukki to do. The only other change was to take one of Cantwell or Buendia off (taking both would really stymie our creativity). Buendia is a workhorse so it didn't feel necessary. Cantwell is our weakest player in the air and has lower stamina than the other midfielders. But he was arguably our best player on the ball second half and the one most controlling the flow. You could have brought Hernandez on, but he does give the ball away and has less discipline than Cantwell. Rupp was probably the obvious choice as he's tidy on the ball, won't give it away and is better defensively. Neither would have particularly helped defending set pieces however. In short, I'd have made the same changes as Farke. Though I'd space them out more for game management purposes.
  8. The answers: 1 Super at free kicks! MARIO Super -> MARIO; the freekick king 2 Leeds seethe for me all around plus he's our number 1? EMI Leeds seeth for EMI when we signed him; me all around = EM; he's our number 1 = I 3 Peg lost DOWELL Peg = DOWEL; Lost = L 4 Speedster, change to halt pace PLACHETA The Polish speedster PLACHETA; anagaram of halt pace = PLACHETA 5 Time cut short - sounds harsh TIM KRUL Time cut short = TIMe; sounds harsh = CRUEL = KRUL 6 German Jesus needs a walking frame CHRISTOPH ZIMMERMANN German Jesus = CHRISTOPH; needs help walking -> ZIMMER (frame) 7 We've not seen much of him but tells a good tale with some English BARDEN Not seen much of young MICHAEL; tells a good tale = BARD with some english = EN 8 Hops around the edge of penalty area after always asking for more OLIVER SKIPP Hops around = SKIP; the edge of Penalty area = P -> SKIPP; after asking for more = OLIVER (twist) 9 The Mayor firstly means to tidy up? MCLEAN The Mayor = KENNY McLEAN; Firstly means = M; to tidy up = CLEAN 10 Host guard of the six yard box? MCGOVERN Host = MC; Guard = GOVERN; not quite a dominating presence in our six yard box as Krul though 11 Found in lonely Argos ONEL lONELy plus his love of Argos 12 The great Macedonian sounding cuppa ALEXANDER TETTEY The Great = ALEX; Sounding cuppa = Tetley = TETTEY 13 Initially the Greatest Of All Time? PUKKI GOAT in finnish = Pukki; his goal scoring record sets him on the way to being our GOAT? 14 The big one from Burnley BEN GIBSON Big BEN on loan from Burnley 15 Fouled major hints JOSH MARTIN Anagram of major hints 16 Holiday resort for mother sheep BALI MUMBA Holiday resort = BALI; Mother = MUM; Sheep = BA 17 A great traveller and reportedly more expensive bloke MACO STIEPERMANN Great traveller = MARCO (Polo); reportedly expensive = steeper = STIEPER; bloke = MAN(N) 18 This midfielder has erupted into quite a player this season RUPP Struggled with this one…; eRUPPted; had a great season until injury 19 Gives a lot does our captain GRANT Gives a lot = GRANT; our captain: GRANT HANLEY 20 LB for a new job's resonance JACOB SORENSEN Anagram of job's resonance, the LB job has certainly resonanted with him 21 Spaniard with his five wingless villas QUINTILLA Our only spaniard; Five = QUINT; wingless villas = ILLA 22 Tango unusual - Holty doesn't like his dancing! TODD Tango = T; unusual = ODD; Big Grant Holt has been slamming his dancing recently 23 Model with not quite extensive sickness JORDAN HUGILL Model = Jordan; not quite extensive = HUGe; sickness = ILL 24 Barmy party after an end of Christmas set-back SAM BYRAM Anagram of BARMY = BYRAM; after end of christMAS backwards = SAM 25 Partners Eve - up front ADAM Partner of Eve = Adam, up front = striker 26 The top full back! MAX The top = MAX; our top (only fit) full back?
  9. D'oh - that's right, number 10 is a surname!
  10. Thanks Kanadyan Kanary. #10 was the last clue I came up with - clue for those attempting: it is a first name only. #2 and #10 were perhaps not expected to play much of a role this season
  11. Inspired by the cryptic EFL teams on the Barnsley forum: https://barnsleyfc.org.uk/threads/cryptic-efl-teams-back-by-popular-demand.299218/ I've had a go at a cryptic Norwich City Squad. Some word plays, anagrams and cryptic clues. Apologies in advance for some of the er... less stellar ones. Some are full names, some are first or surnames only (it was quite a challenge to create the clues). I'll be back later with the answers, but happy to give hints. 1 Super at free kicks! 2 Leeds seethe for me all around plus he's our number 1? 3 Peg lost 4 Speedster, change to halt pace 5 Time cut short - sounds harsh 6 German Jesus needs a walking frame 7 We've not seen much of him but tells a good tale with some English 8 Hops around the edge of penalty area after always asking for more 9 The Mayor firstly means to tidy up? 10 Host guard of the six yard box? 11 Found in a lonely Argos 12 The great Macedonian sounding cuppa 13 Initially the Greatest Of All Time? 14 The big one from Burnley 15 Fouled major hints 16 Holiday resort for mother sheep 17 A great traveller and reportedly more expensive bloke 18 This midfielder has erupted into quite a player this season 19 Gives a lot does our captain 20 LB for a new job's resonance 21 Spaniard with his five wingless villas 22 Tango unusual - Holty doesn't like his dancing! 23 Model with not quite extensive sickness 24 Barmy party after an end of Christmas set-back 25 Partners Eve - up front 26 The top full back!
  12. Some potential answers to some of the questions noted above. Please don't snap my head off. - R.e. key management compensation, see note 28 (p42). c.£4.4m for 2020; c.£2.7m for 2019 - I presume this relates to Webber & Co. (and Farke?). A substantial increase, even accounting for 13 month period in 2020 (though I'm not sure the 2019 above was the 'full cost', maybe the director remuneration, £480k (note 8, p31), should be added for fairer comparison). - R.e. the preference dividend, cashflow statement (p18) shows that as paid (£65k). I suspect the text saying otherwise is "boilerplate" which was never corrected. - R.e. the "short term loan", I think this is the assignment of premier league media income to Barclays that the club entered into in 2019 (see note 18, p36). The assignment and charge can be seen in Companies House (dates: 17 May 2019 and 29 October 2019). The question of whether it is necessary is more difficult. These arrangements are quite common - Macquarie are the leaders in this niche field - many other clubs utilise these arrangements for managing cash flow and working capital. Was it necessary for Norwich at the time? I don't know, though I recall we've had difficulty managing working capital over the past few years. In retrospect, the interest cost (5.2%) now seems quite high given we sit on £40m of cash, but that's with the benefit of hindsight. - R.e. the KPI on player wages - agree with Purple et. al. Very disappointing to see it dropped. It limits comparability between Norwich and other clubs and, more importantly, to assess whether the cost of maintaining the current playing squad is sustainable. - R.e. the contingent liabilities on promotion, these amount to £36.6m + £7.9m = £44.5m (note 25, p44). This compares to c.£30.6m + £2.6m = £33.2m last time around (based on these accounts - which is consistent with my recollection as well). Some thoughts: (i) not all the conditions might be met, so that jump in amount may not actually be realised; (ii) we have a much larger playing squad than before and many of the first teamers will be on much improved contracts compared to last time; (iii) we have invested a significant amount in players this season compared to prior to the last championship season (£4.6m of potential further payments on Dowell, Hugill, Skipp, Quintilla and Gibson - note 30). So overall, the increase doesn't seem unreasonable, though I'd caution the club to monitor this cost carefully and ensure it does not escalate too much. - R.e. cash and tax, the club has c. £44.4m in cash at 31 July 2020 (p18), but owed "Other taxes and social security" of c.£29.1m (note 18, p36). I imagine most of this is VAT, particularly on season tickets sold (see tax owed of £4.6m in previous year). If my hypothesis is correct, the shift in period end, means that it 'captures' the VAT quarterly cycle differently and (presuming the club pays on account quarterly) a significant portion of the cash balance will have been used to pay the tax bill owed. Otherwise, see what Shef Canary, Dylan and Purple (and others have all said) on the main issues. Overall, I'm encouraged by the financial performance of the club. Though I would suggest keeping a close eye on managing wage costs. As we all know, these things only tend to go up and once up don't come down without great overhaul. Happy to answer any questions - though please don't bite my head off.
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