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yellow_belly

The ‘Project’..?!?

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22 hours ago, yellow_belly said:

Most people, not just on football, take calculated ‘risks’.

Buying a house with a mortgage (debt) is speculating that you can be employed to repay it, that you like the house, that it will go up in value when you want to sell etc 

All successful businesses have a working capital and borrow to expand. We are hamstrung, in my opinion, from expanding and reaching our true potential due to a sensible amount of working capital. I think the owners have established a sound base and stood up when the club needed help and they should rightly be applauded for their hard work and commitment.

That was slightly undone by the appalling Times interview and the message it sent to potential good new investors. I hope they reconsider their stated aim of handing the club over to a nephew and do everything to attract the right sort of owner.

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2 minutes ago, TeemuVanBasten said:

No, I said the onus is on those who believe in and support the "project" to explain it those who are struggling to ascertain precisely what it is, including me.

I then put forward my perception of what the plan/project is and stated that if I was correct then it isn't anything special or doesn't excite me.

The OP is also questioning exactly what the project is. So many express support for "the project" but when asked to explain it... don't really seem to know what it is. Or, to detract from the fact that they are blindly supporting something they don't understand... they do exactly what you have done by taking a pop at people who dare to question it.

Whoa there! How am I 'taking a pop at people who dare to question it'? I spent about an hour writing that long post to offer my thoughts on what I believed the project to be. That post ended with me specifically saying that it should be questioned, rather than being blindly followed like a personality cult.

I don't understand why you're being so defensive about this, when I've engaged with you very fairly on the subject and we both acknowledge that there are a lot of similarities between our viewpoints.

Let's go on gathering opinions and information about the project, and let's go on discussing it.

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Feedthewolf said:

Whoa there! How am I 'taking a pop at people who dare to question it'? I spent about an hour writing that long post to offer my thoughts on what I believed the project to be. That post ended with me specifically saying that it should be questioned, rather than being blindly followed like a personality cult.

I don't understand why you're being so defensive about this, when I've engaged with you very fairly on the subject and we both acknowledge that there are a lot of similarities between our viewpoints.

Let's go on gathering opinions and information about the project, and let's go on discussing it.

Yes you did engage fairly in that.

But I think it was clear that I did have a perception of what the plan is, so never believed that there wasn't one.

When I say "what project" it is to make the point that a lot of it is perception or speculation and there has never been a clear plan/project outlined by Webber other than the desire to be self-sufficient, make the academy more productive and establish ourselves in the top 20.

When somebody expresses their support for "the project" I ask them what the project is, because I'm not convinced anybody fully knows... like the OP.

Edited by TeemuVanBasten

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Just now, TeemuVanBasten said:

Yes you did engage fairly in that.

But I think it was clear that I did have a perception of what the plan is, so never believed that there wasn't one.

When I say "what project" it is to make the point that a lot of it is perception or speculation and there has never been a clear plan/project outlined by Webber other than the desire to be self-sufficient, make the academy more productive and establish ourselves in the top 20.

Fair enough. You did say "imaginary project", which I think was what riled me up. But within the context of your other posts, it became clear that you weren't just blindly saying "there is no plan".

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Surely the "project" is down to the board spending really really badly and finding themselves in a desperate position, where were it not for Madison, Murphy twins we would have gone bust? Therefore they had no option but to look at bargains from abroad whilst selling our major talent. Webber and co had a season to stop us getting relegated, did a brilliant job last year and have proven it's not possible to do it in the top flight? Last time we got relegated we had to get rid of the expensive / best talent, next year we will see if that is or is not the case again? Is the success just being at the top of the second tier or establishing ourselves in the top flight? Surely best to aim high?

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21 minutes ago, Kenny Foggo said:

Surely the "project" is down to the board spending really really badly and finding themselves in a desperate position, where were it not for Madison, Murphy twins we would have gone bust? Therefore they had no option but to look at bargains from abroad whilst selling our major talent. Webber and co had a season to stop us getting relegated, did a brilliant job last year and have proven it's not possible to do it in the top flight? Last time we got relegated we had to get rid of the expensive / best talent, next year we will see if that is or is not the case again? Is the success just being at the top of the second tier or establishing ourselves in the top flight? Surely best to aim high?

The plan is to establish ourselves in the top tier. It's a bold plan, but it's not impossible.

In one sense, being a yo-yo club is the most difficult of all things: every time you go up or down, you have to cut your cloth accordingly. Go up, you have to spend; go down, you have to sell. That's the accepted wisdom. Factor in a manager change every couple of years (or even more regularly, if you have a flighty owner), and there's very little opportunity for continuity of vision. You'll even have to upscale and downscale your backroom staff, your marketing/media team... everything flows around the TV income.

By investing in a long-term plan with an established structure and NOT putting ourselves on this financial merry-go-round, we're trying to do it differently. Yes, the primary reason we are doing it is because we are poor, and we can't afford to splash the cash whenever we go up. Because we spent a ridiculously small amount in trying to stay up, we will not have to do anywhere near as much restructuring when we come back down again.

Yep, we'll sell some of our young stars, but we don't need to sell any of them to balance the books. If the players want to leave, they will leave, but we will not be held to ransom as everyone knows we have not built up tens of millions of liabilities that we have to offset. We'll get a good price, and we'll invest it in new signings and bring through new players from the Academy.

This is undoubtedly the most painful point in the process; we've had the euphoria of going up, the optimism of seeing our players pit their wits against the big boys, and now the dejection of being buried amid a sea of poor performances. But we're in it for the long haul; to throw in the towel on this strategy now would be suicidal. Webber and Farke know the club, the transfer landscape and the financial constraints. They've already gamed and beaten the Championship on a smaller budget than we'll have next year.

Whether we are successful or not next season will only be unveiled in the fullness of time; but the way we try to be successful is already decided. We'll question and analyse every tiny decision along the way, because we care. But ultimately, for better or for worse, this is the path the club has chosen.

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The 'Project' is mirage and designed to keep the Status Quo in place. Part of the problem is that the club has some fans that have absolutely no ambition and prefer being in The Championship. That in turn means there is no pressure placed on the majority shareholders, so nothing changes. It will be difficult to attract players to a club that if they get promoted, the club is so starved of investment and purpose, that the club will always get relegated. 

I'm sure Delia and Michael are nice people, but professionally speaking they've been pulling the wool over our eyes for far too long and the club simply deserves better than this parochial 'effort' which is bordering on contempt. 

Go and take over Stowmarket Town and sell Norwich City to somebody who takes the club seriously and is prepared - or will attract - serious investment, instead of treating it like an old Grandfather Clock. 

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2 minutes ago, komakino said:

The 'Project' is mirage and designed to keep the Status Quo in place. Part of the problem is that the club has some fans that have absolutely no ambition and prefer being in The Championship. That in turn means there is no pressure placed on the majority shareholders, so nothing changes. It will be difficult to attract players to a club that if they get promoted, the club is so starved of investment and purpose, that the club will always get relegated. 

I'm sure Delia and Michael are nice people, but professionally speaking they've been pulling the wool over our eyes for far too long and the club simply deserves better than this parochial 'effort' which is bordering on contempt. 

Go and take over Stowmarket Town and sell Norwich City to somebody who takes the club seriously and is prepared - or will attract - serious investment, instead of treating it like an old Grandfather Clock. 

Oh look, another one crawls out of the woodwork! Last time you posted on this forum was October 2018, just about the time we started picking up results and playing really good football.

You, like all other fans, are free to place any pressure you like on our majority shareholders. Do something about it if you feel that strongly, rather than sitting behind a keyboard and accusing people who have given 24 years of their life to running this football club of 'not taking the club seriously'.

I for one am quite proud that this dusty old grandfather clock has been in the Premier League on a shoestring budget, outperforming many similarly sized clubs with hugely wealthy owners.

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47 minutes ago, Feedthewolf said:

Oh look, another one crawls out of the woodwork! Last time you posted on this forum was October 2018, just about the time we started picking up results and playing really good football.

You, like all other fans, are free to place any pressure you like on our majority shareholders. Do something about it if you feel that strongly, rather than sitting behind a keyboard and accusing people who have given 24 years of their life to running this football club of 'not taking the club seriously'.

I for one am quite proud that this dusty old grandfather clock has been in the Premier League on a shoestring budget, outperforming many similarly sized clubs with hugely wealthy owners.

Whack a mole?

To use a phrase being used these days.

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On 06/07/2020 at 15:37, Herman said:

That's what we are doing with players like Madison and Godfrey, for example, and some of the other signings we have made.

Exactly. But doesn't the plan suggest we remain a top 26 side? Hard to do when you sell the prized assets year in, year out. A good coach needs time to gel a side to be competitive, sell the silver before next season begins and we will struggle.

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3 hours ago, Kenny Foggo said:

Surely the "project" is down to the board spending really really badly and finding themselves in a desperate position, where were it not for Madison, Murphy twins we would have gone bust? Therefore they had no option but to look at bargains from abroad whilst selling our major talent. Webber and co had a season to stop us getting relegated, did a brilliant job last year and have proven it's not possible to do it in the top flight? Last time we got relegated we had to get rid of the expensive / best talent, next year we will see if that is or is not the case again? Is the success just being at the top of the second tier or establishing ourselves in the top flight? Surely best to aim high?

Perhaps the Stowmarket 2 didn’t too brilliantly and were fortunate to have Maddison and the twins to stop the club going ‘bust’. 

I think that many fans, myself included, Have helped Out over the years with financial donations, bonds Etc.

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Should rename it 'The Protect'.....'Protect' the Matriarch and her Hubster's control over the club at all costs.....

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3 minutes ago, Mello Yello said:

Should rename it 'The Protect'.....'Protect' the Matriarch and her Hubster's control over the club at all costs.....

True

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On 06/07/2020 at 16:02, Alex Moss said:

It’s not that simple, CW.

We wouldn’t have kept Maddison even if we didn’t have to balance the books. And most certainly not long enough to build this European cup winning team around him.

I’ve said it before, but I honestly believe some of you really do think there’s a list as long as here to the Middle East of rich investors queuing up to buy our club. Well where are they? Growing on trees? Kid yourself it would never get out but trust me, if the big boys seriously came calling it would be very hard to keep it completely hidden from the media etc, not in this day and age. The way you just talk like we have a divine right over 100’s of other clubs around Europe to gain some super rich wealthy owners is just unreal, and to be honest with you, is fantasy talk in the nicest possible way. This may come as a complete shock to you but I too would like to see someone come here with a sh1tload of money (though I would also like to see the clubs best interests at heart though because I actually care about it - it’s not our ‘plaything’, it’s got to be here for future generations too - see Wigan).

Regardless, I really don’t get why everyone has this idea that we’re such an interesting proposition for such people. Why on earth should we be?

@Canary Wundaboy

I’ve responded reasonably a couple of times with these points I’ve made, and I’d like a response. I respect your opinion - but at least give one rather than ignore it as you’ve done every single time thus far 👍

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Posted (edited)

Isn’t the plan/project/model in simple terms just a simple appreciation of a financial limitations? 

As the club accepts that it doesn’t have the money to compete it has decided in effect to:

1. Try and build a football philosophy that both appeals to the fans but perhaps more importantly

  • outlasts a change in manager therefore avoiding mass turnover of players
  • provides an easier pathway for younger talent to come into the team and fit into the pattern/style of play

2. Compete on wages at a championship level - Although this usually means a financial deficit in year, we are happy in effect to try and fund this with player sales as we know we have to compete on wages to be able to compete for the play-offs

3. Be seen as a club that develops youth talent so that young players with talent want to come here. This is obviously crucial in terms of securing assets that we may develop to be a future sale.

4. Supplement our focus on youth development with more experienced players (mainly from abroad) that have talent but may have lost their way or are cheap enough to represent value for money (moneyball). Clearly not all of these will work but still probably cheaper than UK equivalents. 

5. Invest in the infrastructure of the club to make sure facilities attract players and if (big if) we could sustain prem football then we would increase the stadium size. 
 

Clearly this model will never compete with clubs that ultimately have bigger resources but might enable us to punch above our weight. I like many would not be adverse to new owners who had more financial power but also appreciate that it’s a risk that it might be worse than what we have. 

Edited by Big O
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Interesting to see we have been linked to a Romanian winger for decent money, that would go against the model. 

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5 minutes ago, Big O said:

Interesting to see we have been linked to a Romanian winger for decent money, that would go against the model. 

be more interesting if we were to sign him

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8 minutes ago, Big O said:

Interesting to see we have been linked to a Romanian winger for decent money, that would go against the model. 

Depends what the fee is - anywhere between £5m and £15m depending on what you read. If we were to sell Emi or Todd for, say, £25m, it wouldn't be inconceivable to invest £7m on a replacement. Also, coming from Steaua Bucharest, I can't imagine his wage demands would be as high as if we signed someone from one of the 'big five' leagues.

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18 hours ago, Alex Moss said:

@Canary Wundaboy

I’ve responded reasonably a couple of times with these points I’ve made, and I’d like a response. I respect your opinion - but at least give one rather than ignore it as you’ve done every single time thus far 👍

@Alex Moss (responses in red)

It’s not that simple, CW.

We wouldn’t have kept Maddison even if we didn’t have to balance the books. And most certainly not long enough to build this European cup winning team around him. - European cup winning, maybe not. But if the club wasn't in such a parlous financial state we wouldn't have needed to sell him so desperately, we could have built a team around him and challenged to get back up. I see no reason why that wouldn't have been possible, he's on record as loving it here, still supports us, and had a great habit of making other players around him look better than they were.

I’ve said it before, but I honestly believe some of you really do think there’s a list as long as here to the Middle East of rich investors queuing up to buy our club. Well where are they? Growing on trees? Kid yourself it would never get out but trust me, if the big boys seriously came calling it would be very hard to keep it completely hidden from the media etc, not in this day and age. The way you just talk like we have a divine right over 100’s of other clubs around Europe to gain some super rich wealthy owners is just unreal, and to be honest with you, is fantasy talk in the nicest possible way. This may come as a complete shock to you but I too would like to see someone come here with a sh1tload of money (though I would also like to see the clubs best interests at heart though because I actually care about it - it’s not our ‘plaything’, it’s got to be here for future generations too - see Wigan). - Billionaire oil barons for Norwich? Probably not. But there are plenty of football club owners out there worth hundreds of millions, which may still not be much when compared to Man City etc but our current owners are worth just £23mill, literally anyone interested in buying a football club would result in us being better off in a financial sense! Look at some of the clubs in the Champs that have owners richer than ours, with older grounds, more debt, less desirable locations etc. Why is it so hard to believe that we might attract someone?

Regardless, I really don’t get why everyone has this idea that we’re such an interesting proposition for such people. Why on earth should we be? - When you look at some of the richer owners clubs "at our level" have, why the hell not? There will be owners after Delia and for all we know, in some alternate reality Watling sells the shares to someone other than Delia and we're a top 6 EPL side! We are a great club, plenty of history, we have no direct competition in terms of distance (Ipswich being the next closest club, ha ha), a capacity crowd every game, we own our ground, we have a Cat 1 academy and no debt. Why is it so hard to believe that we are NOT an interesting proposition? 

The Times interview with Delia was crystal clear: "we will not sell". Who would bother even looking at the club if that's the attitude. If I like a house and there's a poster in the window that says "Not interested in selling", you think I'm going to go knock on the door, or start questioning the neighbours? There are a whole host of other clubs to choose. If she came out publicly and said "I want to sell Norwich", and no-one came forward, and she handed it over to Tom, fair enough. But the supporters who do want to see our club at the next level deserve an opportunity to see what the other options are without having our club handed over to her penniless nephew with no say or scrutiny as to whether that action benefits the club.

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I don’t think we were ever going to keep Maddison, perilous financial state or not.

He was clearly a class act, had been looked at by big clubs before we bought him and had now proved himself capable of standing up to some of the physical elements of the game at a young age. It was a bit like when we had Dean Ashton, only a matter of time, the only variable was how much would we get. 

I can also remember a few of the players saying last year that despite Maddison being a superb player the team operates better without him, sometimes every cloud has a silver lining. 

I do agree that the club must be a reasonably attractive proposition, no debt, good supporter base, run in a sensible manner, competitive chance of operating in the premier league but I’m also in the camp that we could get much worse than Delia that impacts the club. I can still remember the poisonous Glenn Roeder era that shows just how bad things can get when the wrong people are involved. 

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In simple terms, I think we are trying to copy what Burnley did with the yoyo before being able to sustain prem level footy. Next season will be the most crucial one you'd think. If we went back up then we would be much better placed to actually make a go at staying there compared to this seasons pathetic attempt.

I just hope that this year being so pathetic hasn't completely killed our momentum and belief. We still have largely the same team that swept the championship aside last year.

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Posted (edited)

What you will find is that if you ask about the plan , and question any part of it, some posters will pile into you . 
 

The plan / project begins life due to the economic position of the incumbent majority shareholders. That alone will trigger howls of anguish from some .
 

The current plan was formulated because  money is only available from self generated funds. We have had other plans before of course. We have borrowed money - to obtain the services of good players (Hucks) and bad players (I’ll just say Roeder at this point )
 

The project is , of course, whatever is happening at the time . Go back to 2003/4 and the project involved taking a punt on players like Huckerby . We gained promotion and were a well run club. We went down the next year and because we didn’t buy Ashton early enough we were a badly run club. We were then a  badly run club for several years  which saw us relegated into the 3 rd division and get very very close to administration . I’d say a very badly run club. 
 

Under Lambert we became a well run club again. We continued to be well run until relegation under Hughton / Adams which was directly as a result of us being a badly run club. 
 

Bad start under Adams (badly run) promotion under Neil (well run) relegation ( Bad) signing Maddison (good) and Naismith (bad) 

We can talk about projects , plans , academy (this is good / bad in itself - currently good but the next crop of players will determine this next year) community and Investments . Oh and Nephew Tom who isn’t anything very much as no one has heard from him for months apart from me bumping into him at the nest and saying hello to him and his baby . 
 

 

Edited by Graham Paddons Beard

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Posted (edited)

So I am to conclude that NCFC don’t have a real project/plan; apart from making it up as we go along, selling the odd player for a profit to keep the non Project/plan going and saying we have a long term project/plan to keep anyone from debating the project/plan. Oh and the Sporting Director is a really important part of the project/ plan but the project / plan enables him to recruit his successor to carry on the project / plan... to allow the project/ plan to be successful. Finally we don’t have a manager to mess up the project / plan (not that we have one, but we do have one) but we have a coach. So a new coach can pick up the project / plan without messing up any project / plan. Thus, Farke is not that important to any project/plan. But is really important. Part of the project/ plan is Delia continues being Delia unless Delia becomes Tom. Phew. Simples. 😂🤷‍♂️🤔

Edited by yellow_belly

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Posted (edited)

Apart from attempts at humour, any policy, plan or project or whatever you want to call it, was started because it was needed and is tied to the future of the game.

As Purple says it is an ongoing policy/project/plan - and Tom, if he does eventually take on the role of leading shareholder, would be the correct appointment for making sure it continues.

Self-sustainability is how football is going to be run in the future and we will be ahead of the game already and in the situation that everyone else is going to have to adhere to, so we will have an advantage in every way. 

We are pioneers at the top of the game - the highest club in the leagues running a self-sustaining club.  People will mock it, people will rubbish it, people will say we will never get anywhere with it - even though we got promoted to the top league because of it.  If we do it again we will likely be in a better position to make a go of it, simply because the policy it will be better established as time goes on.

It is the best way to run a football club and I am so proud it is being done by the club I support. We are the best club in football, not that I am biased at all, but you only have to look down the road to see the worst run football club - and the championship table showed it in stark relief last season with the best run club at the top and the worst run club at the very bottom.

Yes the PL is a tough nut to crack and it will always be a huge challenge, whether you have loads a money or not - but f*** it, that is the beauty of football - there is always a challenge to it. 

Appreciate what you've got. The alternative is much worse.

Edited by lake district canary
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