Jump to content
Note to existing users - password reset is required Read more... ×
Sign in to follow this  
thebigfeller

There's three main problems at Norwich City

Recommended Posts

(In ascending order of importance):
3. The manager. He''s never convinced; he doesn''t know his best team or best formation. What was the point of going three at the back to tighten things up last season, only to throw this straight out and go back to being so soft it''s unbelievable, with a defence like a sieve? That means the entirety of last season was wasted. It must confuse the players hugely. It certainly baffles me.
2. The players. When football fans search around for someone easy to blame, it suits them to overrate the playing squad, because it gives them hope of better things under a different manager. I don''t share that hope. This squad is the epitome of mediocrity. I look at much of it and think "who are these people?" Without Maddison, we''d have been in massive trouble last season. Well, we''re without him now... and sliding. Pritchard, Murphy and Gunn have gone too, and none of them have been replaced with better or equivalent players.
That''s a comment on Webber''s poor recruitment - but it''s not all his fault either. Webber, the squad, and Farke are all symptoms of a much more fundamental problem:
1. The board. The poorest owners in the Championship. A league which continues to change rapidly. Unlike in the past - think of the late 90s, when clubs like Swindon, Grimsby, Port Vale, Tranmere, Stockport, Crewe or Bury could all do perfectly fine at this level on gates of much less than 10,000 - there''s really only one club in this season''s Championship which doesn''t naturally ''belong'' here: Rotherham. And they have backing: like Barnsley in the division below.
It probably needs re-emphasising just what a miraculous job Messrs Lambert, McNally and Bowkett did in getting us out of this league and, however briefly, establishing us in the Prem on such a low wage bill. In 2010/11, along with Derby, we were one of only two clubs in the whole division who maintained a wages/turnover ratio of below 60%. Most others were at a minimum 90%; many were well into three figures.
But miracles don''t happen twice. Huddersfield, who many will point to, will almost certainly go back down this season and slide back into anonymity - but even they, built sustainably, have had substantial cash injections from their owner along the way. Burnley, a real model club at present, might struggle this year... and actually sailed very close to the wind before going back up and staying there. Almost everyone else are funded beyond their natural means.
But our owners can''t do that. So we start each season, or under any new manager, with one hand tied behind our backs. It''s precisely those constraints which led Lambert to leave; he knew we couldn''t sustain it forever. At Brighton, meanwhile, Hughton prospers because he has real backing - from an owner with deep pockets who knows that the only way to profit in English football is, one day, to sell the club on having dramatically improved it through his investment.
Yet are Brighton not a community-oriented club? Are Watford? Are Crystal Palace? Have any of them ''sold their soul'' - or just got real amid the most competitive football club structure in the world? But getting real is what our old, patrician owners steadfastly refuse to do.
In a world in which little Barnsley can be bought by foreign owners, it is not even in the realms of plausibility that nobody with the means required is interested in Norwich. 25,000 gates each home game; an incredibly loyal support built up since the Centenary Season; passionate, yet understanding, remarkably so at times; just two hours from London in a city which has come up in the world over the last 20 years; spent four years out of five in the Premier League this decade... and no-one''s interested? Do me a favour.
The problem is the owners have no interest in selling us. They''re hamstringing us; more than that, they''re overseeing close to inevitable decline. English football isn''t going to suddenly become less competitive: it''s uniquely popular globally, and more and more plutocrats and consortia want a piece of that action. The bubble isn''t going to burst - but the way things are going, NCFC will.
Personally, I don''t think we''ll go down this season. I think we have a better squad than at least eight other clubs. But we''re heading inexorably downwards. On the pitch, we may be in crisis in a matter of weeks: there''s major shades of Peter Grant''s final month or so here in how things are looking. But off the pitch is where the real problems lie. This ''model'' isn''t working and was never likely to work; and in many ways, all it amounts to is an arse-covering exercise. For a pair of joint majority shareholders who cannot compete in a footballing world which has changed out of all recognition since they first became involved.
They have to sell the club. And they have to go. If they don''t, we''ll be back in League 1 in no time... and highly unlikely to get as lucky again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It does seem to be looking more & more like this club is being ''left on the shelf'' financially in comparison to top-half Championship & lower-half Prem clubs.

I believe Webber & Stone are doing a good job (from a business perspective) of sorting out the club''s finances, while I also believe that Farke is a good coach (possibly moreso with younger players).

As regards being competitive on the pitch, this squad has mid-table all over it. Regarding sustainability, it probably is manageable, i.e. hover around mid to top-half Championship level, selling the best 1/2 players every summer. However I don''t believe that Norwich supporters are ready to settle for that. For the best part of a half-century, this has been a "top 25/30" club so this would signal underachievement for the vast majority of the fanbase.

While I''m ever hopeful that the current model can turn things around, become more consistent and get some good results, I think I''m gradually sliding into the cohort who believe that, while we genuinely thank & appreciate the majority owners for their support & efforts over the last number of years, perhaps it''s time to cease losing ground on our rivals and (tentatively!) put the feelers out for owners with deeper pockets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NFC is a club being sacrificed on the altar of Delia''s socialist ideals and her mistaken belief that you can run a successful football club in this division in this say and age with no outside investment. It will all end in tears, but not before we end up in League One and bankrupt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FWIW, I agree that farke under-performed with the squad he had last year but like many on this site, thik that it''s resonable to give him a dozen or so games before making firm judgements this year.
Re ownership, I''d love to have an owner like the Brighton one, (Bloom?) - a genuine fan with megabucks. However, according to the recent Sunday Times rich list, there is nobody with comparable wealth in Norfolk. So then you are left with "investors" whose log term aim is to tkemoney out of  the club rather than put it in.
With regards to the people that you asset wish to buy the club, as a PLC, they have to report offers to shareholders. There have been none. Most investors wantto buy at low prices - for example, Barnesley and, almost certainly recently recently, Villa. We are not likely to be picked up on the cheap until we are relegated or in financial difficulty. I think this unlikely: I know that you disagree.
I would also question some of the assertios that you have made about financial investment bringing results - it is pretty clear that this is often not the case and that clubs with smaller budgets and "tighter" playing squads are as competitive. The ones that really struggle are those that have "gone for it" and failed.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote user="JF"]Don’t forget number 4. The Numbskull fans[/quote]
Ahem. The ''numbskull fans''. [:O]
The fans, of course, keep the club in existence. The fans'' loyalty has been extraordinary. We have some of the best fans anywhere. However:
1. Most of the time, we as a fanbase are nowhere near demanding enough, and a huge number have been effectively brainwashed into believing NCFC is some little club which can''t ever hope to seriously compete. We''re a fanbase in Delia''s image in that sense. But making matters worse...
2. The one time in recent years when we (myself included) were too demanding was under Hughton. When clubs go up to the Prem, many of them survive via hugely unappetising football for years and years. For some reason, our fans seem to think we''re different. That we can get by on one of the lowest wage bills AND play great football. And that''s just nonsense.
At Brighton, Hughton''s still failing away from home all the time. Yet he''s their best manager in living memory, and their fans love him. He''s a hero to them, deservedly so.
It going so wrong for him at Norwich was precisely what convinced our board that we needed to play ''the Norwich City way''. But the Norwich City way has achieved more or less the square root of eff all throughout our existence. It''s the hardest style of football to succeed with in the game; and it invariably leaves us an utter joke at the back, with no steel in the middle, and no dig, no spine, no balls throughout the side. Even the greatest season of our history featured a whole bunch of absolute drubbings.
Paul Lambert and Ron Saunders were rare exceptions among our many managers. Playing the way so many other clubs do, under horses for courses managers like Pulis or Warnock, is to very many Norwich fans, "just not us". Many fear new owners for precisely that reason too. But that means we get the football club we deserve. It''s next to impossible in today''s world for us to succeed with such poor owners AND play passing, innovative football - in fact, the latter can realistically only ever result from new, rich owners.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brilliant post BF. I too look forward to one of your Canary Call contributions soon.

Good to see Duncan Edwards offering a positive response. The rest of the gang will be along soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote user=" Badger"]The ones that really struggle are those that have "gone for it" and failed.
[/quote]
And yet despite this - despite all the horror stories we''re always told, the "be careful what you wish for" view which lies behind that - how many ''big clubs'' are currently operating well below where they naturally should be? One. Sunderland, two levels below their natural level, and extremely likely to bounce back into the Championship at the first time of asking.
The only other club below the Championship who naturally belong at this level are Portsmouth: who are also turning it around and likely to return either this season or next. And these are both extreme cases. Even Leeds have finally got it together.
Meaning that even the scare stories so often trotted out really don''t hold much water. It''s rather like someone staying in an increasingly bland, unsatisfying relationship for fear of meeting an axe murderer if they move on. Fear of worst case scenarios is not a sensible way of living life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote user="Bury Yellow"]Brilliant post BF. I too look forward to one of your Canary Call contributions soon.

Good to see Duncan Edwards offering a positive response. The rest of the gang will be along soon.[/quote]

🤣 Bellend.

Tbf to the op, much of it makes sense, it’s well argued and I share his concerns on the pitch. However, it is this section:

In a world in which little Barnsley can be bought by foreign owners, it is not even in the realms of plausibility that nobody with the means required is interested in Norwich. 25,000 gates each home game; an incredibly loyal support built up since the Centenary Season; passionate, yet understanding, remarkably so at times; just two hours from London in a city which has come up in the world over the last 20 years; spent four years out of five in the Premier League this decade... and no-one''s interested? Do me a favour.

The problem is the owners have no interest in selling us. They''re hamstringing us; more than that, they''re overseeing close to inevitable decline. English football isn''t going to suddenly become less competitive: it''s uniquely popular globally, and more and more plutocrats and consortia want a piece of that action. The bubble isn''t going to burst - but the way things are going, NCFC will.

It’s full of assumptions. Someone bought Barnsley so somebody must want to buy Norwich? Right. Implausible to think otherwise? Right.

The bubble won’t burst but Norwich City will. Given that we live within our means, surely we’re the least likely club to “burst”? But in truth that’s probably me being thick.

It seems like the post is advocating spending beyond our means as the other clubs mentioned have in order to try and succeed. Yet the post also points out that English football is going to become more competitive, if that’s the case then surely spending beyond your means carries increased risk because you’re less likely to be one of “the twenty” at any given time? While we’re putting such emphasis on money, spending money we don’t generate and well, looking for somebody else’s money to spend on our club for our benefit...

Shouldn’t we take a moment to praise the current board and majority shareholders for our current league position as we are clearly punching above our financial capabilities and as such we should be delighted with the existing state of play. 👍

Nah, didn’t think so. Me being thick again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We’re not punching above our weight we’re at our level, 17th in the championship and falling further down each season!

As for the spending, as discussed on other threads, deep pockets can use a 13 million a season debt without any penalty, as a lot of clubs are doing, running ant some level of debt.

So we are at a disadvantage with other clubs wealth.

That’s just how it is, why praise the owners of a failing club?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with all you’ve wrote big fella. My number 4 was a tongue in cheek comment about another thread on here

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote user="thebigfeller"]
It probably needs re-emphasising just what a miraculous job Messrs Lambert, McNally and Bowkett did in getting us out of this league and, however briefly, establishing us in the Prem on such a low wage bill. In 2010/11, along with Derby, we were one of only two clubs in the whole division who maintained a wages/turnover ratio of below 60%. Most others were at a minimum 90%; many were well into three figures.

[/quote]
I don''t argue with the basic point, that we  got promotion that season on a tight wage budget. However the generally accepted measure, the one used by the national press et al, is that of overall staff costs, since it is very hard to work out what went specifically on player wages.for all clubs. On that basis our overall staff cost bill of £18.445m was 80 per cent of our turnover of £23m. The club''s own more specific figure for player wages was 47 per cent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote user="Duncan Edwards"]it is this section:

In a world in which little Barnsley can be bought by foreign owners, it is not even in the realms of plausibility that nobody with the means required is interested in Norwich. 25,000 gates each home game; an incredibly loyal support built up since the Centenary Season; passionate, yet understanding, remarkably so at times; just two hours from London in a city which has come up in the world over the last 20 years; spent four years out of five in the Premier League this decade... and no-one''s interested? Do me a favour.

The problem is the owners have no interest in selling us. They''re hamstringing us; more than that, they''re overseeing close to inevitable decline. English football isn''t going to suddenly become less competitive: it''s uniquely popular globally, and more and more plutocrats and consortia want a piece of that action. The bubble isn''t going to burst - but the way things are going, NCFC will.

It’s full of assumptions. Someone bought Barnsley so somebody must want to buy Norwich? Right. Implausible to think otherwise? Right.

The bubble won’t burst but Norwich City will. Given that we live within our means, surely we’re the least likely club to “burst”? But in truth that’s probably me being thick.

It seems like the post is advocating spending beyond our means as the other clubs mentioned have in order to try and succeed. Yet the post also points out that English football is going to become more competitive, if that’s the case then surely spending beyond your means carries increased risk because you’re less likely to be one of “the twenty” at any given time? While we’re putting such emphasis on money, spending money we don’t generate and well, looking for somebody else’s money to spend on our club for our benefit...

Shouldn’t we take a moment to praise the current board and majority shareholders for our current league position as we are clearly punching above our financial capabilities and as such we should be delighted with the existing state of play. 👍

Nah, didn’t think so. Me being thick again.[/quote]
A few things:
1. In natural club size, Norwich are somewhere between 21st and 25th in England. Being bottom half in the Championship (and getting not better, but worse) means we''re punching well below our natural weight - if only we had owners with the resources matching that weight, that is.
2. Why would Norwich City ''burst''? We''ll burst if we end up in League 1 for any sustained period of time - because it''s at that point that the gates will fall and TV revenues shrivel up to almost nothing. We''re more dependent than most on attendances as it is. If you think Norwich fans will put up with a sustained period in the third tier, you''re fooling yourself.
3. Are you seriously telling me that club after club after club after club - dozens upon dozens upon dozens of them - have changed ownership in the past 10-20 years, but by some miracle of circumstance, Norwich City are the only club in English football''s top two flights with no-one interested in us? Are you also telling me that this miracle of circumstance has occurred at the same time as our owner has gone on record stating she will "never sell to a foreign owner"? This is quite the coincidence, to put it mildly.
The majority shareholders have not sold the club because they don''t want to sell the club. It is and has always been that simple. Other than when on the cusp of administration in 2009, we''ve never been desperate, so we''ve never had owners who''ve looked or publicised properly for alternatives. Their mentality is precisely why Brighton''s owner recently lampooned them to another poster on here. No change doesn''t just equal no chance; it guarantees continued decline.
4. And no, the OP doesn''t advocate ''spending beyond our means''. It advocates the necessity of new owners. Whether they choose to spend beyond their means or not is a matter for them - and constrained by Financial Fair Play rules in any case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote user="PurpleCanary"][quote user="thebigfeller"]
It probably needs re-emphasising just what a miraculous job Messrs Lambert, McNally and Bowkett did in getting us out of this league and, however briefly, establishing us in the Prem on such a low wage bill. In 2010/11, along with Derby, we were one of only two clubs in the whole division who maintained a wages/turnover ratio of below 60%. Most others were at a minimum 90%; many were well into three figures.

[/quote]
I don''t argue with the basic point, that we  got promotion that season on a tight wage budget. However the generally accepted measure, the one used by the national press et al, is that of overall staff costs, since it is very hard to work out what went specifically on player wages.for all clubs. On that basis our overall staff cost bill of £18.445m was 80 per cent of our turnover of £23m. The club''s own more specific figure for player wages was 47 per cent.
[/quote]
Fully 4m of which was bonuses for promotion. Which only became liable, in other words, after we''d beaten the odds so much to begin with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote user="Indy"]We’re not punching above our weight we’re at our level, 17th in the championship and falling further down each season!

As for the spending, as discussed on other threads, deep pockets can use a 13 million a season debt without any penalty, as a lot of clubs are doing, running ant some level of debt.

So we are at a disadvantage with other clubs wealth.

That’s just how it is, why praise the owners of a failing club?[/quote]

How many 13s do you reckon is acceptable? Serious question. How many would be able to prop up against Carrow or Colney? Oh but you’re saying that we should “get” someone else..👍 Fair enough. What shall we do in the meantime? Nobody has offered me anything for my shares. Maybe we should bang a For Sale board up or something?

And as you say Indy, we’re in our rightful place. As you and Bigfeller and Tilly and everyone else point out, more and more clubs are being financed by these megabucks owners, it’s obvious we’re going to slip further down each season, isn’t it? So why all the gnashing and gnarling and stamping and wailing? You lot all saw this coming, understand the intricacies of why we are where we are and yet you seem to be up in arms? If we are where we deserve to be and where we rightfully belong, we should be moderately satisfied, shouldn’t we? It’s nice to punch above our station as we have many times in recent years (well done the owners and board) but at least we aren’t sinking to depths like Ipswich with their billions and living beyond their means each season as suggested. Phew. Eh?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote user="thebigfeller"][quote user="PurpleCanary"][quote user="thebigfeller"]
It probably needs re-emphasising just what a miraculous job Messrs Lambert, McNally and Bowkett did in getting us out of this league and, however briefly, establishing us in the Prem on such a low wage bill. In 2010/11, along with Derby, we were one of only two clubs in the whole division who maintained a wages/turnover ratio of below 60%. Most others were at a minimum 90%; many were well into three figures.

[/quote]
I don''t argue with the basic point, that we  got promotion that season on a tight wage budget. However the generally accepted measure, the one used by the national press et al, is that of overall staff costs, since it is very hard to work out what went specifically on player wages.for all clubs. On that basis our overall staff cost bill of £18.445m was 80 per cent of our turnover of £23m. The club''s own more specific figure for player wages was 47 per cent.
[/quote]
Fully 4m of which was bonuses for promotion. Which only became liable, in other words, after we''d beaten the odds so much to begin with.
[/quote]
And we did it the first two seasons in the PL, as these wage league tables (the figures being for overall staff costs) show, with the second figure where the club actually finished in the league, compared with where the WLT indicated they should have finished:2011-12:13th. Bolton.   £55m.   18th.   -5

14
th. Stoke.   £53m.   14th.   =

15
th. Blackburn.   £50m.   19th.   -4

16
th. WBA.   £50m.   10th.   +6

17
th. Wigan.    £38m.   15th.   +2

18
th.   Wolves.   £38m.   20th.   -2

19
th.   Norwich.   £37m.   12th.   +7

20
th. Swansea.   £35m.   11th.   +92012-13:13th. Sunderland.   £58m.   17th.   -4

14
th. West Ham.   £56m.   10th.   +4

15
th. WBA.   £54m.   8th.   +7

16
th.   Swansea.   £49m.   9th.   +7

17
th. Norwich.   £47m.   11th.   +6

18
th. Southampton.   £47m.   14th.   +4

19
th. Reading.   £46m.   19th.   =

20
th. Wigan.   £44m.   18th.   +2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Now you’re moving the goalposts; you can’t say how much we need new owners because football has changed and then start claiming that we should be somewhere between 21st and 25th based on historic data. From when?

Why will we end up in League One for any sustained period when we’ve (using some historical stats, you’ll like this) we’ve spent one season in over fifty years at that level. Don’t tell me!! It’s different now.

As for Norwich, change of ownership and NOT FOR SALE. That’s pure supposition and no amount of hyperbole or indignant outrage will put any meat on those bones. You have no evidence to suggest that the club has been subject to offers or that the majority shareholders would not sell. As for guaranteed decline, you must be minted, GUARANTEED??? Really? I’ll tell you a story about a bloke that backed a dead-cert if you like...

Finally, so, let me get this straight. What we need is a change of owners but not necessarily someone that is willing to spend the “accepted” 13m extra a season (over 3 years). So just new owners then? Anyone? Me and my Dad? You’d be happy with that and would fully expect our fortunes to turn round, would you? Would you boiledeggs. You are clearly advocating the club living beyond its means and running with what YOU feel is acceptable levels of debt.

To what end though?

Getting into the Prem?

And what when we’re relegated? Because, as you’ve amply demonstrated with your stat of 21st to 25th; that clearly isn’t where we belong, is it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote user="Bury Yellow"]Duncan - calling me a bellend by someone of supposed intelligence disappoints me. You don''t me, my background or my life style buddy[/quote]

You don’t know me either. I’m thicker than school gravy and probably a bit more lumpy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote user="thebigfeller"][quote user=" Badger"]The ones that really struggle are those that have "gone for it" and failed.
[/quote]
And yet despite this - despite all the horror stories we''re always told, the "be careful what you wish for" view which lies behind that - how many ''big clubs'' are currently operating well below where they naturally should be? One. Sunderland, two levels below their natural level, and extremely likely to bounce back into the Championship at the first time of asking.
The only other club below the Championship who naturally belong at this level are Portsmouth: who are also turning it around and likely to return either this season or next. And these are both extreme cases. Even Leeds have finally got it together.
Meaning that even the scare stories so often trotted out really don''t hold much water. It''s rather like someone staying in an increasingly bland, unsatisfying relationship for fear of meeting an axe murderer if they move on. Fear of worst case scenarios is not a sensible way of living life.
[/quote]
Portsmouth, Sunderland and Coventry in League One.
Leeds, only showing signs of recovery MORE THAN 15 YEARS since their financial crisis - and I beleieve, without having spent a huge amount of money for their recent upswing.
Forest have been in th Championship for about 20 years despite years of over-spending leading to transfer embargoes etc.
Ipswich - still paying the price for over spending in their last period in the Premier League. They went into administration once, got bought up be Evans, who also "went for it" under Keene and now they seem to exist as some sort of Zombee club.
Sheffield Wednesday, over spent trying to get back into th premiership. Were relegated to league one, promoted back again, sold for a pound because of financial difficulties. Rumoured to be up agaist FFP atm.
QPR and Birmingham, are worse off as a result of their big spending; Derby have spent loads over the years and seem no better off, desperate to offload players no longer required as a drag on the club goings forwards.
I could go on... I''m a bit surprised that you don''t seem to know about some of these.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote user=" Badger"]
Re our natural position - based on the last 50 years it is 22.5. This is the 17t highest of all Engish clubs.
[/quote]Law of averages Badger.Some have gotten so used to the good times and the Premier seasons that they think its the normal scheme of things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So based on the last 50 years natural position we are currently massively underachieving and have been for the majority of Smiths time? Averaging 17th in the country for the last 50 years, which is a premier league finish just escaping relegation, and we’re currently 38th?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×