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South Norfolk Old Boy

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  1. So, having been told a few weeks ago that season ticket sales were holding up well and that the best supporters in the world were again flocking to Carrow Road clutching their hard earned money and that the club was ever so grateful and promise to do better next season…….we find that maybe all is not so rosy.   Mr “Spin” Cullum had us all believe that we needed to get in quick to avoid disappointment and we duly obliged by buying early to avoid not getting to see our “heroes” battle it out with Scunthorpe because it was a sellout. Now the truth emerges. For weeks I have spoken with people who have said they were not going to renew, yet I had Andrew Cullum telling me that they must have done. Who should we believe? Well now the truth is out. Having used up the waiting list and had many “no takers” they have to admit that Fortress Carrow Road won’t be quite as full this year as it was last year. Let’s be honest why should it be. Yet somehow Andrew manages to turn the whole disaster into a positive by reminding us that we only had 6,000 season ticket holders 10 years ago.   City Supporters may be loyal but they aren’t stupid. Gradually more and more have come to realise that we are following a club lead by directors whose ambitions extend way beyond getting into the Premiership – they extend to the parachute payments in the following two years.   I’m not so disappointed, and certainly not surprised that the figures are well down. What disappoints me more, but doesn’t surprise me, is that right up until the truth had to be told we were fed stories about sales being right up there with last year.   Let’s hope that somehow there are enough decent players left over when the big spenders have had their feeding frenzy and we can pick up one or two. That’s not meant as a swipe at the club, I believe we need to manage our affairs properly. What the parachute payments have done is created a situation where those coming down can bully the established clubs (that’s us now I’m afraid) and start to do what Liverpool used to be accused of – buying players to stop the others getting them.   Here’s a novel thought – do away with parachute payments and spread the money around the Championship sides who didn’t have the benefit of the £50m payout for being in the Premiership for a season.
  2. In there somewhere is some sense. Delia has nailed her flag to some pretty indefensible masts in the past. Let’s look at them:   Bryan Hamilton: Delia really threw her toys out of the pram over that one. She believed that a manager who did the equivalent of buying players on eBay was good for the club. Eventually she gracelessly bowed to overwhelming pressure and let someone sack him. Just in time.   Nigel Worthington: Some will argue that the six months that she stubbornly held onto her Nigel when all around her were privately telling her to bale out has cost us the chance of a Premiership spot because, let’s face it, our best chance was this season and we blew it with an small, inadequate, largely untalented squad assembled by Nigel. Want an example of what could have been done with little cash investment had we changed to a proper manager earlier – Sunderland.   Ipswich: Her Delia saw a shining example of a club that we should try to emulate. Their clever management while in the Premiership was the way she wanted to take our club. Sheepshanks could do no wrong. Really?   Charlton: An even bigger example of where we should be as a club. Three managers in one season and about to go into financial meltdown as they have not been as prudent as we were led to believe. Maybe they have learned their lessons and will dump a few players and bounce back. But, maybe they will do a mini-Leeds. Good example for us that one.   Now we have Delia’s pronouncement on foreign investment and all those nasty non-Norfolk people wanting to get involved with our club and put loads of money into getting us into the Premiership. What does little ol’ Norwich want with all that sort of thing? Tried it once and didn’t like it… Yesterday Rick Waghorn wrote an article largely in defence of this position suggesting that a foreign investor wouldn’t sit down with supporters in Diss and explain what was (or wasn’t) happening in the club. He asked if we would really want a club where the directors didn’t listen to the fans, but simply turned it into an investment that achieved and maintained Premiership status. Ummmmm tricky one that Rick and Delia! Now let me think – cosy chat in Diss or entertaining football at the highest level? I’ll have to get back to you….
  3. Noticed a little bit in the EDP today saying that Peterborough had decided to release Danny Crow. Only recognised him because of strangely shaped head and haircut. This will be the same Danny Crow that so many posters berated our late manager about just after he scored a few goals in a few games for Posh and just before no one leapt in to pay £500,000 for him! Maybe those same posters would like Peter Grant to step in and bring him back her as a direct replacement (ie in the reserves or on loan) for Ian Henderson. No? I though not! Funny ol’ game isn’t it.
  4. Since his injury Dean Ashton has often been at Carrow Road. Sometimes he is on his own, sometimes he is with his partner. He sits just just behind me and my daughter. Several current but injued  players and visiting ex-players  sit in this block of seats and it is often interesting just to do some "player spotting" before the game. It is also an area popular with WAGs. They are even easier to spot. They are wearing very few clothes even in mid winter, jeans two sizes too small for their size 6 bottoms, short furry jackets and pink caps. They are also unsually and alarmingly orange in skin colour, a fact that is accentuated by the wearing of sun glasses as a sign to the rest of us that we should recognise them!
  5. This can only be the media winding up what is not the sharpest knife in the box and getting him to make ridiculous comments like this before very game. Message to the media - popping down banana skins for poor old Gary was mildly amusing at the start of the season when we were all still expecting a good one. Now, it just isn''t funny any more, so stop it please. If he walks past you in the Colney Car Park, remind him which car is his and leave him alone.
  6. Jack - I was at Old Trafford that day. I won £6 on a fruit machine and used the money to by a train ticket and admission. Oh how we laughed when The Stretford End emptied with us 2-1 up........ ........Oh how we didn''t laugh when we tried to leave only to find that they had arrived at the back of our stand and were blocking our exit!
  7. For those old enough to remember, try Drazen Muzenic. Couldn''t speak, or understand, a word of English, which was just as well really.....
  8. Having supported City for over 40 years I have to admit that this lot are beginning to scare me. Mr Munby says we are prepared for, and presumably budgeting for, relegation to League 1. This is the same Mr Munby who budgeted for us to go straight back down from the Premiership. OK, I hear you say – he was right on that occasion. But there is such a thing as a self fulfilling prophecy and I am genuinely concerned that this board, with its absolute and dogmatic following of the rules and principals of prudent accountancy and apparent lack of the first idea of how to run a football club, are about to lead 25,000 loyal followers into the abyss that is League 1. We are supposed to be comforted by the fact that the guru of football knowledge at the helm has a cunning plan to get us promoted back to The Championship (while budgeting for a fall to League Two of course). I can almost see his smiling face on the balcony at City Hall as we celebrate our return to The Championship in triumph.   Yes, I know that this board led us away from the Chase era but, hey, at least that guy left the club with property and land assets. This lot have finally sold off all the “crown jewels” around Carrow Road and we are still planning for relegation and £19m in debt. How long will it be before we hear of the plans to sell Carrow Road itself and lease it back? Not long I suspect. If a club cannot survive and hold it’s own with the highest crowds in the league how on earth do the others manage to survive. Some, we know, have benefactors, some have parachute money left. But the ones with benefactors are only offsetting smaller crowds than us and the ones with parachute payments left are at least investing that money in the team.   I am not suggesting for one minute that anyone on the board is feathering their nest or doing anything other than what they believe is in the best interests of the club. Maybe the time has just arrived when there is a need for a chairman who can INSPIRE the 25,000 supporters. At the moment, every time he opens his mouth it is to plead poverty or to announce to the Yellow Army that there is no need to worry because the General is planning for defeat in the battle and has everything sorted out for when it happens.   Promotion to the Premiership took everyone by surprise. Look back at the results and consider the nature of many of the wins and one can almost see again the jaws drop inside and outside the club as we marched so easily into the top flight. Mr Munby and his mates hadn’t budget for that one you can rest assured. They did, however, quickly announce that they were budgeting for an immediate return and, hey presto, they were proved right.   Please God he isn’t proved right again because we would find League 1 just as difficult to get out of as The Championship. Given that our Chairman is about as charismatic as his former manager (and don’t they look spookily alike) maybe the best thing he can do is join Delia, Michael and Andrew Cullen in keeping their heads firmly down for the time being or get some “talking sense lessons” from Neil Doncaster.   Plan away with the accountants as long as you like Mr Munby but leave us with some hope. Don’t expect to receive a round of applause at the next home game for your forward thinking, and don’t think for one minute that your statement is going to make us idiots believe that avoiding relegation equals a successful season and that all is well at Carrow Road.      
  9. If our players could use their feet as accurately and consistently as they manage to put them in their mouths we’d be running away with this league. Am I alone in being heartily depressed and embarrassed as player after player is wheeled out on a Thursday or Friday to provide the media with some comments for publication designed to sell newspapers and gee us all up for Saturday afternoon? Pathetic! Why was Donkerty allowed to set himself up as an even bigger Aunt Sally than he already is? What’s happened to the Carrow Road spinning machine that used to be Andrew Cullen? My guess is that he’s putting together some convincing messages about season ticket sales for the coming weeks and months. Surely someone at Carrow Road should tell this lot of underachievers that Saturday mornings newspapers are still laying around after the game ends and they just end up looking ridiculous. When was the last time a player came out and said “I was a right twonk last week – but this week I’m going to make up for it” – and then it happens? I can’t remember such an occasion. So, hop back into your cleverly private number-plated gas-guzzling SUVs and toddle off home after that hard couple of hours training and keep your mouths firmly closed until you start to put in some performances to justify your pontifications at the weekend. Maybe you should be asked to take a leaf from the board of director’s book and keep their heads well and truly down.
  10. 1960 was my first game. There have been some pretty poor teams over the years but this one takes teh biscuit. Take a look round the back of the Jarrold Stand and see all the big flash vehicles with private plates beloning to this bunch of "Billy Big Time" boys and it makes one fear for the future of the club. The youth policy is costing millions and has produced nothing of note for years, any top quality players we are able to get are only here short term to allow this board to squirrel away even more money for a rainy day. They are scraed stiff that we could somehow return to the days at the end of Bob Chase''s reign when we didn''t have a pot to do anything in. Unclle Bob was found guilty of investing the club''s money in all that land around the ground. Well this lot should start to get worried. It''s treble whammy time - 1) The worst bunch of players for half a century at least, 2) Season ticket renewal time is with us nect month and 3) They have sold off all Uncle Bob''s land and have nothing to show for it apart from a nice restaurant, a share in a hotel and a decent Championship striker who has days left with us. His exit will be delayed as long as possible because they can''t spend the money they borrowed to sign him and in the summer they can plead poverty again. Acutally, there was a team in the late sixties that was pretty disgraceful. They would give this lot a run for their money.
  11. Intelligent, well thought out and articulated. Although in defence of the constant moaners who seem to dominate this board the management (board) at CR has not done itself any favours over the past months and it is not unnatural that many will be suspicious of any high level utterance given the many crazy quotes from board members, especially relating to their unswerving loyalty to a clearly "finished" manager. In terms of transfers it looks like the exit of Earnie is the most likely way that even small funds will be freed up for PG. Unless someone comes in for him quickly then we might as well hold onto him until the summer and hope that a cup run will trigger a revival in the league. Cheer up everyone - it''s better than supporting Leeds, Leicester, Watford, Charlton et al.
  12. I couldn''t agree more. I take my young daughter and I have to ask her to go to the loo before the firts half finishes to avoid the smoke. Just cutting a way through it before the game is bad enough and, as we sit right near an entrance/exit we get the pong all through the game. Queues, as HHC points out, are dreadful at half time. People are still trying to get out five well into the interval and therfore arrive back late to their seats (which is an even bigger pain!). It was obvious from day one that there were not enought exits but I guess it''s all about maximising capacity and never mind the paying public. Crocked and "surplus to requirements" players and wives and girlfriends sit just behind us - tight jeans, wide belts, sixties caps, at least two mobile telephones and fluffy jackets (and thats just the players!) - I wonder what they make of it all.
  13. It is about time that everyone at Norwich City begun to understand and accept that you can only treat local derbies as "just another game" when you you are ten point clear at the top of the Premiership and a nailed on certainty to win. When you are a struggling, mediocre Chumpionship side playing your local rivals it represents the best chance you have of giving your supporters something in return for paying your wages every week. Wake up and smell the coffee at Carrow Road! Start to get everyone from the directors to the playing and backroom staff understanding that these games are importnat to the people who provide the money in the club and start playing for your wages even if, as seems apparent on Sunday, you have no local pride. Let''s have no more pre-match talk of - just another game - playing for three points - preparation will be the same as any other game - don''t get carried away with the occasion. Get out there and start fighting - just like an equally mediocre Ipswich side.
  14. It could become more to do with what he wants. With the Hummer still parked at Dunston Hall almost a year after he signed for us maybe he doesn''t see this move as a long term thing - or maybe I''m just  being uncharitable and a suitable property just isn''t on the market.
  15. “It is better to travel in hope than to arrive” – how often have we heard that said. In my opinion the worst thing that has happened to this club was not Uncle Bob Chase - it was promotion to The Premiership at a time when everyone inside the club was taken completely by surprise and hadn’t budgeted for it. Result – take the money, make some half hearted investments in old players and budget to go back down again (the Club stated that was the position). We then had to endure an embarrassing season with Delia hardly out of the media telling everyone about “Little Old Norwich”, following the Charlton Blueprint (some blueprint!) and ranting at half time for the Sky cameras. Down we go as predicted and expected and the players have a taste for defeats and losing away from home. Hey-presto we go and do it all over again against poorer teams only this time Delia keeps very quiet. The protests start and she digs her heals in. All the other board members do their bit and antagonise the supporters even more. We struggle to the end of the season and our Chief Exec and Chairman assure us the money is there for the new players so clearly needed – only they never arrive. Maybe players are not so silly as some make out. Maybe it’s their agents. Maybe the money has been invested in other areas and isn’t there after all. Ten games in – the manager says he doesn’t feel under any pressure and neither do the players. How insulting is that! Finally Delia and Michael do come out and make a statement – and it’s a fudge. Nigel Worthington IS a poor manager. He has proved that over the past 2 ½ seasons. But the real blame for the situation we find ourselves in lays at a different door. Frighteningly for all the real supporters it is the door of someone who doesn’t understand football in anything like enough depth and hasn’t got the bottomless pockets required to create a Premiership club. After watching football at Carrow Road for 45 years I’m afraid I now feel like I’m attending a huge Leisure Complex where the incidental entertainment is a football match. Thanks Delia. Turn the lights out when you leave love!  
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