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Parma Ham's gone mouldy

Parma’s State of the Nation

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3 minutes ago, PurpleCanary said:

That had to be done for the post-ITV  Digital share issue. And because we are still a PLC shareholders such as yourself have had much more information about and to a limited extent a say in this takeover process. If we had not become a PLC it all would have happened privately, with no info and no say.

The essential point is given the Club has other shareholders besides S&J why should they ever be entitled to keep things private as implied by Delia's response in the year 2000 as quoted here? 

Some of us may have been led to believe that a reference to a 'family" Club means all families rather than 1 family as implied here. If I had been aware of her millennium response to @nutty nigel, I may have decided not to have been one of the more significant contributors to the ITV Digital bailout.

 

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14 hours ago, Big Vince said:

Chase was a really cheap executive chairman then? Only £184,710 before tax and considering he did the jobs of all the people on the current executive board who are getting £3 million per annum to put the club £94 million in debt. I know which executive I would rather have.

That was 27 years ago - official inflation figures from the BoE suggest prices have doubled since then so that £185K equates to £370K today - not so far from what Mrs Webber gets at the moment. On the other hand (and I'll take my projection of true debt, not debt covered by recent profits and future parachute payments) of £48m would have been only £24m in 1996. But given that all bar £5m of that debt is owed to shareholders, actually the equivalent net debt position is only £2-3m. I think in reality Vinnie, the club isn't doing anything really different from the Chase days in terms of ED pay and debt. Therein tells a bigger tale! 

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32 minutes ago, shefcanary said:

That was 27 years ago - official inflation figures from the BoE suggest prices have doubled since then so that £185K equates to £370K today - not so far from what Mrs Webber gets at the moment. On the other hand (and I'll take my projection of true debt, not debt covered by recent profits and future parachute payments) of £48m would have been only £24m in 1996. But given that all bar £5m of that debt is owed to shareholders, actually the equivalent net debt position is only £2-3m. I think in reality Vinnie, the club isn't doing anything really different from the Chase days in terms of ED pay and debt. Therein tells a bigger tale! 

Struggling to believe that Zoe works all those hours that Vince claims Bob did.

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53 minutes ago, essex canary said:

The essential point is given the Club has other shareholders besides S&J why should they ever be entitled to keep things private as implied by Delia's response in the year 2000 as quoted here? 

Some of us may have been led to believe that a reference to a 'family" Club means all families rather than 1 family as implied here. If I had been aware of her millennium response to @nutty nigel, I may have decided not to have been one of the more significant contributors to the ITV Digital bailout.

 

Well, you've got me there. I'd say if it's in the accounts they can't keep it quiet but if they pay for it they can. I'm just a bingo calling bog cleaner but an FPA of your quality and reputation should be able to solve that little conundrum in a blink of an eye.

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15 minutes ago, nutty nigel said:

Well, you've got me there. I'd say if it's in the accounts they can't keep it quiet but if they pay for it they can. I'm just a bingo calling bog cleaner but an FPA of your quality and reputation should be able to solve that little conundrum in a blink of an eye.

From an FPA perspective anyone and everyone should always put it through the accounts. Why not show it as a donation?

Any other way and the question becomes what are you trying to hide?

Besides when Barry Lockwood talks about 5 year plans in the 1998 Annual Report that implies it would be shared with fans. Probably another example of lack of singing from the same hymn sheet which seems to be a consistent theme.

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13 minutes ago, essex canary said:

From an FPA perspective anyone and everyone should always put it through the accounts. Why not show it as a donation?

Any other way and the question becomes what are you trying to hide?

Besides when Barry Lockwood talks about 5 year plans in the 1998 Annual Report that implies it would be shared with fans. Probably another example of lack of singing from the same hymn sheet which seems to be a consistent theme.

I don't know why. I don't know if it's in the accounts or not. I'm not a FPA. I thought this might be a good thread to find out. I had confidence in your abilities to do it.

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3 hours ago, nutty nigel said:

I don't know why. I don't know if it's in the accounts or not. I'm not a FPA. I thought this might be a good thread to find out. I had confidence in your abilities to do it.

No specific project spend is in the Accounts. If a shareholder asks a question concerning how much and where it is included, an answer should be provided. Then again I would expect the same about a shareholder vote. That is why we should differ from many other Clubs who have 1 or just a handful of shareholders.

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1 hour ago, essex canary said:

No specific project spend is in the Accounts. If a shareholder asks a question concerning how much and where it is included, an answer should be provided. Then again I would expect the same about a shareholder vote. That is why we should differ from many other Clubs who have 1 or just a handful of shareholders.

@sheffcanary says I should stop giving you FPAs a hard time. But honestly, this took me 2 minutes and another minute to edit the screenshot...

263442774_Screenshot(154).png.cd9207fa2de438b8454a5438067fe5c4.png

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4 hours ago, nutty nigel said:

@sheffcanary says I should stop giving you FPAs a hard time. 

I never said that Nutty, stop putting words in my mouth. You are our conscience, you keep our feet on the ground and our noses to our spreadsheets! 😅

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On 11/11/2023 at 22:43, PurpleCanary said:

The point is not how much S&J have put in but what percentage of their wealth. Since the highest figure for their wealth I have ever seen is £24m then the likelihood is that they have put in a higher percentage than most if not all of other owners of English clubs. Certainly close to 50 per cent.

but they have it all back and it was not put in in a singular point of time

 

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22 minutes ago, shefcanary said:

I never said that Nutty, stop putting words in my mouth. You are our conscience, you keep our feet on the ground and our noses to our spreadsheets! 😅

Sheff you are breath of fresh air compared to your FPA predecessors. Tangie would make a case for 3 to 4m! But I think it's important sometimes that realism is included. There's already a post since yours saying "they've had it all back". It's clearly untrue and I question the motive behind it. As Purple said the percentage of their wealth given to the club is staggering. I think that should be acknowledged more really as we move on to a richer man who it seems intends to stay rich.

I always believed that 12m would have been a minimum. Delia never claimed it to be more. She just said 12m. She didn't say anything about lost interest or rounders. It's best sometimes to take honest people at their word.

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10 hours ago, nutty nigel said:

I always believed that 12m would have been a minimum. Delia never claimed it to be more. She just said 12m. She didn't say anything about lost interest or rounders. It's best sometimes to take honest people at their word.

Delia is used to the world of maximising PR and would include all aspects of cost to her when discussing her support of the club. Hear me out here, she could argue that what she leant and invested in the club, she could have invested elsewhere and enjoyed a healthy return, the difference forming part of the "cost" to her, an opportunity cost which in the world of FPA's is a perfectly valid argument. At the time in the late 90's / early 00's we were living through the dot.com boom and there were large returns being made on fairly mundane investments. I strongly believe this is how she got to her £12m, apologies for not making that clearer. Given the dot.com returns you are right therefore that the "cost" is probably a relatively prudent figure, she could well have pushed that figure much higher. Of course we all know that by the end of 00's much of those gains were lost. It would be interesting to hear what figure she would have put on the "cost" now.

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10 hours ago, nutty nigel said:

Sheff you are breath of fresh air compared to your FPA predecessors. Tangie would make a case for 3 to 4m! But I think it's important sometimes that realism is included. There's already a post since yours saying "they've had it all back". It's clearly untrue and I question the motive behind it. As Purple said the percentage of their wealth given to the club is staggering. I think that should be acknowledged more really as we move on to a richer man who it seems intends to stay rich.

I always believed that 12m would have been a minimum. Delia never claimed it to be more. She just said 12m. She didn't say anything about lost interest or rounders. It's best sometimes to take honest people at their word.

The quote from Bob Cooper in 2000 is interesting. It proves that perhaps 5 year plans in football maybe of limited value and that the financial numbers then were far more modest then.

Perhaps the most interesting thing is that there seemed to be quite a few Bob Coopers or their equivalent around then but that they disappeared and didn't get replaced with similar. I wonder why? My theory is that our majority owners, perhaps predominantly Delia, found the open and robust nature of elder statesmen professionals difficult and prefers the younger employee that can be moulded around the comfort zone. It has cost us dear in 2009 and has done so again with the hyperbole surrounding Webber and the £96 million debt.

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12 hours ago, nutty nigel said:

Sheff you are breath of fresh air compared to your FPA predecessors. Tangie would make a case for 3 to 4m! But I think it's important sometimes that realism is included. There's already a post since yours saying "they've had it all back". It's clearly untrue and I question the motive behind it. As Purple said the percentage of their wealth given to the club is staggering. I think that should be acknowledged more really as we move on to a richer man who it seems intends to stay rich.

I always believed that 12m would have been a minimum. Delia never claimed it to be more. She just said 12m. She didn't say anything about lost interest or rounders. It's best sometimes to take honest people at their word.

But Delia said she was going to make Norwich City the best club in the world. And so you believed her? So where are all the Champions League trophies? Honest? Now pull the other one.

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1 hour ago, essex canary said:

The quote from Bob Cooper in 2000 is interesting. It proves that perhaps 5 year plans in football maybe of limited value and that the financial numbers then were far more modest then.

Perhaps the most interesting thing is that there seemed to be quite a few Bob Coopers or their equivalent around then but that they disappeared and didn't get replaced with similar. I wonder why? My theory is that our majority owners, perhaps predominantly Delia, found the open and robust nature of elder statesmen professionals difficult and prefers the younger employee that can be moulded around the comfort zone. It has cost us dear in 2009 and has done so again with the hyperbole surrounding Webber and the £96 million debt.

There is no doubt she likes to work with people she can easily control. We now have a 36 year old as sporting director who is easily being brainwashed by Delia as this is written. There is a reason she has never employed the likes of Allardyce, Pulis, Warnock, Bruce, Hodgson.

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22 minutes ago, Big Vince said:

There is no doubt she likes to work with people she can easily control. We now have a 36 year old as sporting director who is easily being brainwashed by Delia as this is written. There is a reason she has never employed the likes of Allardyce, Pulis, Warnock, Bruce, Hodgson.

Thank fcuk.

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1 hour ago, Big Vince said:

But Delia said she was going to make Norwich City the best club in the world. And so you believed her? So where are all the Champions League trophies? Honest? Now pull the other one.

To be fair maybe that was Wynnie (see attached).

20231114_132929.jpg

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It feels like time for a little predictive foresight.

What are we seeing and what does it mean for the future?

Joy upon joy we contrived a win at Cardiff and bought everybody breathing space and time to allow for an appropriate time to pass before ‘making a considered judgment’.

That Wagner is a holding pattern is a sine qua non to why Knapper was shipped in early. Contrarily Wagner temporarily doing well helps everyone clean house with propriety and allows Knapper to thumb his contacts book for candidates - and no doubt who they can bring with them.

This point is now more about players than back room staff. Smith and Shakespeare were well-connected, though just couldn’t attract enough to Norwich. The question is who realistically can? I’m afraid good players don’t need to come here. 

So Knapper’s appointment is very logical. He was loans manager at one of the best schooled clubs in the country, with access to London’s finest and a worldwide reach. He might not only bring a Mertesacker, he can certainly pad the weak squad with thrusting wannabes for whom any stage is a step forward. 

I cannot help - rather unfairly - thinking of Glenn Roeder. He actually kept us up quite well in his first season, attracting some quite reasonable loans (no need to list the grim). He too was without fixed asset budget and few permanent signings as per the club blueprint at that time. Tied hands you see. Lowering of wages. Self-sustaining.

Knapper is a deep data analyst, which will fit well with America. Attanasio has facilitated, commissioned and leant £40m odd (not all the same), which may form part of a shares-for-debt-or-further-investment type deal going forwards. I don’t suppose he’ll throw any soft money on the table until that kind of point nears (it could happen at any moment of course). The holding pattern extends to sporting and financial then.  

What is means for big picture thinkers is that ambition or true sporting success is not really on the menu. Welcome if somehow achieved, though a fair way from the realpolitik parameters of the status quo. As predicted in the summer and before. 

If player sales are required to balance - what decision would you make then Mark and Delia? How far can you let sporting levels drop? - then one only really has Sara and Rowe. A few bob for Gunn, some for Sargent, a little for Giannoulis maybe, but we’re scraping the pitch piggy bank aren’t we?

That Sara is flawed and that Rowe was a promising Academy player a few short months ago says much I’m afraid. The money we would want-need for Sara must come from the Premier and their data analysts are more than capable enough to see he won’t withstand middle-to-lower Prem defensive requirements. Is he a special teams sub? Not really…

Rowe you absolutely wouldn’t begrudge a good move. He has 18 months on his current lowball-wages deal. If you were his agent - not a Norwich fan - what would you tell him to do? If you signed a new deal you could really squeeze for big money couldn’t you? And just as everyone is reducing wages as hard as they can….why would you accept less than Ben Gibson (say)?…   Agents can be categorized as street rats, though they are paid to recognise value and strategic weak points in clubs…..

Knapper is going to have to sell jam tomorrow and a vision of Farke-esque building a positional play type integrated philosophy throughout the club. 

I have said before that robotic ultra-pressing without the ball, then Litmanen-cool penetrating passing in possession is a bit of a politician’s promise that forever gets repeated, whilst never actually materializing in the real light of day…it is football’s equivalent of ‘cutting red tape’. Everyone loves it. Everyone repeats it. Populist, though mostly rather meaningless. 

We need assists, goals and clean sheets. Not the nice bit in the middle. Both boxes. Like everyone. 

We’ll get some bright young players on loan. Some will be good and erratic, some will be erratic, others not that good. A Mertesacker will come with a vision of youth progression and tomorrow, though the gnarly old championship (and it’s better than that now), will still be dominated by teams scoring goals (not defending), who struggle upon ascension because dominating at the top level is not easy against someone better than you, with better players.

‘Mistakes’ are not really mistakes either. You just defend more. So more things go wrong. You were better at a lower level and now you’re not. This is true right across football as it improves. English football used to be ‘more exciting’ because it was more chaotic. Now it’s just better. In every way and by every parameter. The km run, the sprints, the closing of space, the speed of play, the analysis, the tactical nous, the negation of the opposition. And then it comes down to assists, goals, set pieces and the ability to shut space and repel good opposition. So not that different then. 

We are a huge distance below what we were and unfortunately a surprising distance below quite a few fairly average Championship sides. I do not see this changing for a while. Webber did brilliantly with Buendia and Pukki, though ISO:9001 gradual and incremental progression is a chimera. Your only chance is to stick with an extreme model - such as Farke or Hughton - or align yourself as a modern Crewe feeder club for Manchester City or similar. Similar like Arsenal (youth) reserves I suppose.

It’s a future. Of sorts.

Parma 

Edited by Parma Ham's gone mouldy
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16 hours ago, Parma Ham's gone mouldy said:

It feels like time for a little predictive foresight.

What are we seeing and what does it mean for the future?

Joy upon joy we contrived a win at Cardiff and bought everybody breathing space and time to allow for an appropriate time to pass before ‘making a considered judgment’.

That Wagner is a holding pattern is a sine qua non to why Knapper was shipped in early. Contrarily Wagner temporarily doing well helps everyone clean house with propriety and allows Knapper to thumb his contacts book for candidates - and no doubt who they can bring with them.

This point is now more about players than back room staff. Smith and Shakespeare were well-connected, though just couldn’t attract enough to Norwich. The question is who realistically can? I’m afraid good players don’t need to come here. 

So Knapper’s appointment is very logical. He was loans manager at one of the best schooled clubs in the country, with access to London’s finest and a worldwide reach. He might not only bring a Mertesacker, he can certainly pad the weak squad with thrusting wannabes for whom any stage is a step forward. 

I cannot help - rather unfairly - thinking of Glenn Roeder. He actually kept us up quite well in his first season, attracting some quite reasonable loans (no need to list the grim). He too was without fixed asset budget and few permanent signings as per the club blueprint at that time. Tied hands you see. Lowering of wages. Self-sustaining.

Knapper is a deep data analyst, which will fit well with America. Attanasio has facilitated, commissioned and leant £40m odd (not all the same), which may form part of a shares-for-debt-or-further-investment type deal going forwards. I don’t suppose he’ll throw any soft money on the table until that kind of point nears (it could happen at any moment of course). The holding pattern extends to sporting and financial then.  

What is means for big picture thinkers is that ambition or true sporting success is not really on the menu. Welcome if somehow achieved, though a fair way from the realpolitik parameters of the status quo. As predicted in the summer and before. 

If player sales are required to balance - what decision would you make then Mark and Delia? How far can you let sporting levels drop? - then one only really has Sara and Rowe. A few bob for Gunn, some for Sargent, a little for Giannoulis maybe, but we’re scraping the pitch piggy bank aren’t we?

That Sara is flawed and that Rowe was a promising Academy player a few short months ago says much I’m afraid. The money we would want-need for Sara must come from the Premier and their data analysts are more than capable enough to see he won’t withstand middle-to-lower Prem defensive requirements. Is he a special teams sub? Not really…

Rowe you absolutely wouldn’t begrudge a good move. He has 18 months on his current lowball-wages deal. If you were his agent - not a Norwich fan - what would you tell him to do? If you signed a new deal you could really squeeze for big money couldn’t you? And just as everyone is reducing wages as hard as they can….why would you accept less than Ben Gibson (say)?…   Agents can be categorized as street rats, though they are paid to recognise value and strategic weak points in clubs…..

Knapper is going to have to sell jam tomorrow and a vision of Farke-esque building a positional play type integrated philosophy throughout the club. 

I have said before that robotic ultra-pressing without the ball, then Litmanen-cool penetrating passing in possession is a bit of a politician’s promise that forever gets repeated, whilst never actually materializing in the real light of day…it is football’s equivalent of ‘cutting red tape’. Everyone loves it. Everyone repeats it. Populist, though mostly rather meaningless. 

We need assists, goals and clean sheets. Not the nice bit in the middle. Both boxes. Like everyone. 

We’ll get some bright young players on loan. Some will be good and erratic, some will be erratic, others not that good. A Mertesacker will come with a vision of youth progression and tomorrow, though the gnarly old championship (and it’s better than that now), will still be dominated by teams scoring goals (not defending), who struggle upon ascension because dominating at the top level is not easy against someone better than you, with better players.

‘Mistakes’ are not really mistakes either. You just defend more. So more things go wrong. You were better at a lower level and now you’re not. This is true right across football as it improves. English football used to be ‘more exciting’ because it was more chaotic. Now it’s just better. In every way and by every parameter. The km run, the sprints, the closing of space, the speed of play, the analysis, the tactical nous, the negation of the opposition. And then it comes down to assists, goals, set pieces and the ability to shut space and repel good opposition. So not that different then. 

We are a huge distance below what we were and unfortunately a surprising distance below quite a few fairly average Championship sides. I do not see this changing for a while. Webber did brilliantly with Buendia and Pukki, though ISO:9001 gradual and incremental progression is a chimera. Your only chance is to stick with an extreme model - such as Farke or Hughton - or align yourself as a modern Crewe feeder club for Manchester City or similar. Similar like Arsenal (youth) reserves I suppose.

It’s a future. Of sorts.

Parma 

I'm with you all the way with this Parma. I especially love this bit. Thanks for conveying my feelings so well.

"I have said before that robotic ultra-pressing without the ball, then Litmanen-cool penetrating passing in possession is a bit of a politician’s promise that forever gets repeated, whilst never actually materializing in the real light of day…it is football’s equivalent of ‘cutting red tape’. Everyone loves it. Everyone repeats it. Populist, though mostly rather meaningless."

 

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"or align yourself as a modern Crewe feeder club for Manchester City or similar. Similar like Arsenal (youth) reserves I suppose

It’s a future. Of sorts. "

This has been my big fear ever since we switched this this model that this is what we'd default to without an exceptional manager or a few quality players. We did really well in the first few years to find Farke and a couple of players who were too good for this level which got us a couple of promotions but I think the sad reality is the the base level of this model is milling about in Championship obscurity, playing some nice football but not really threatening promotion while existing mainly to produce players for other teams. 

If you're mentally over chasing success and just enjoy the day out at CR, watching some tidy football being played by a young team and knowing there's a half decent chance we'll win the game because of the level we're playing at then that might sound great, I know a lot of fans who would be quite happy with that existence but it doesn't appeal to me at all. Knowing that every year promotion would be a real long shot and that every player who's half decent will be gone after a season because they either play for Arsenal or will get moves to giant clubs like Bournemouth or Brentford just sounds depressing and pointless, like being every PL club's de facto B team. I feel like as a club we should aspire to be more than that. Crewe and Auxerre have their niche but they're much smaller clubs than us and I think existing as a higher level version of them would get really old, really quickly after a few mid table finishes and transfer windows where we lose key players. There's already an apathetic malaise around the fanbase that would only get worse in that purgatorial existence where there's nothing to hope for or get excited about and no player of any quality sticks around for very long. 

I'd rather we went all in on one of the extreme playing philosophy models and instead of focusing on youth and loans we signed and developed players purely with that playing style in mind, most fans would never accept another Hughton and we know where the glass ceiling of possession football leaves us but it's better than the alternative. Appointing someone with Knapper's CV suggests we're more likely looking at the Crewe approach and becoming a feeder club who's sole purpose is to produce players for other clubs and it's not something I'm remotely enthusiastic about. 

 

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On 02/11/2023 at 18:56, Morph said:

Have another question for @Parma Ham's gone mouldy

When Webber joined us there was talk about adopting a method of playing that permeated the playing hierarchy, the Norwich Way if you like. Something that gave us an identity. Something that gave us a migration path for our youth to the first team.

Is this a fanciful idea or is it something that you see put in place on the continent? Something that any head coach that comes in buys into. Players that fit that style of play.

You commented that you adapt your tactics to fit your players base tendencies, so is such a Norwich way pie in the sky?

Rosenborg under Nils Arne Eggen certainly did this. All teams - including youth teams - played the same 4-3-3 formation.

Edited by TheGunnShow
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1 hour ago, Christoph Stiepermann said:

"or align yourself as a modern Crewe feeder club for Manchester City or similar. Similar like Arsenal (youth) reserves I suppose

It’s a future. Of sorts. "

This has been my big fear ever since we switched this this model that this is what we'd default to without an exceptional manager or a few quality players. We did really well in the first few years to find Farke and a couple of players who were too good for this level which got us a couple of promotions but I think the sad reality is the the base level of this model is milling about in Championship obscurity, playing some nice football but not really threatening promotion while existing mainly to produce players for other teams. 

If you're mentally over chasing success and just enjoy the day out at CR, watching some tidy football being played by a young team and knowing there's a half decent chance we'll win the game because of the level we're playing at then that might sound great, I know a lot of fans who would be quite happy with that existence but it doesn't appeal to me at all. Knowing that every year promotion would be a real long shot and that every player who's half decent will be gone after a season because they either play for Arsenal or will get moves to giant clubs like Bournemouth or Brentford just sounds depressing and pointless, like being every PL club's de facto B team. I feel like as a club we should aspire to be more than that. Crewe and Auxerre have their niche but they're much smaller clubs than us and I think existing as a higher level version of them would get really old, really quickly after a few mid table finishes and transfer windows where we lose key players. There's already an apathetic malaise around the fanbase that would only get worse in that purgatorial existence where there's nothing to hope for or get excited about and no player of any quality sticks around for very long. 

I'd rather we went all in on one of the extreme playing philosophy models and instead of focusing on youth and loans we signed and developed players purely with that playing style in mind, most fans would never accept another Hughton and we know where the glass ceiling of possession football leaves us but it's better than the alternative. Appointing someone with Knapper's CV suggests we're more likely looking at the Crewe approach and becoming a feeder club who's sole purpose is to produce players for other clubs and it's not something I'm remotely enthusiastic about. 

 

Excellent Christoph.

Parma 

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1 hour ago, Christoph Stiepermann said:

"or align yourself as a modern Crewe feeder club for Manchester City or similar. Similar like Arsenal (youth) reserves I suppose

It’s a future. Of sorts. "

This has been my big fear ever since we switched this this model that this is what we'd default to without an exceptional manager or a few quality players. We did really well in the first few years to find Farke and a couple of players who were too good for this level which got us a couple of promotions but I think the sad reality is the the base level of this model is milling about in Championship obscurity, playing some nice football but not really threatening promotion while existing mainly to produce players for other teams. 

If you're mentally over chasing success and just enjoy the day out at CR, watching some tidy football being played by a young team and knowing there's a half decent chance we'll win the game because of the level we're playing at then that might sound great, I know a lot of fans who would be quite happy with that existence but it doesn't appeal to me at all. Knowing that every year promotion would be a real long shot and that every player who's half decent will be gone after a season because they either play for Arsenal or will get moves to giant clubs like Bournemouth or Brentford just sounds depressing and pointless, like being every PL club's de facto B team. I feel like as a club we should aspire to be more than that. Crewe and Auxerre have their niche but they're much smaller clubs than us and I think existing as a higher level version of them would get really old, really quickly after a few mid table finishes and transfer windows where we lose key players. There's already an apathetic malaise around the fanbase that would only get worse in that purgatorial existence where there's nothing to hope for or get excited about and no player of any quality sticks around for very long. 

I'd rather we went all in on one of the extreme playing philosophy models and instead of focusing on youth and loans we signed and developed players purely with that playing style in mind, most fans would never accept another Hughton and we know where the glass ceiling of possession football leaves us but it's better than the alternative. Appointing someone with Knapper's CV suggests we're more likely looking at the Crewe approach and becoming a feeder club who's sole purpose is to produce players for other clubs and it's not something I'm remotely enthusiastic about. 

 

This is a well articulated post that sums up my wider concerns.

If we exist solely to exist then it becomes pointless in my view. Developing players just so we can sell them in order to tread water and keep us going for the next player off the conveyor belt so we can have some nicely balanced books isn't something that appeals to me. At that point I'd rather go down the sell our soul to a possibly dodgy sugar daddy route because at least it would be interesting. Surviving just to survive is not for me.

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Here is something that chimes with @Christoph Stiepermann @shefcanary @king canary that I foresaw in 2017 in ‘The Philosophy, the Company and the Future’: 

The Pinkun Forums
 
 
 
 

The Philosophy, the Company and the Future 

By Parma Ham's gone mouldy,  August 30, 2017 in Main Discussion - Norwich City 

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The new philosophy has seen a radical overhaul of what went before. Change was overdue, though questions remain as to whether the new philosophy and structure is fundamentally different from the cyclical culling of managers with differing ideas and differing personalities at CEO (or similar) and the subsequent Phoenix-like rise of a new messiah.

 

 

 

 

The restructuring of the club was and is a financial necessity, precipitating the chicken and egg question posed by historians discussing key events and figures ''ideology or economics''?. 

 

 

 

 

Economics is nearly always considered the major motivating factor, with figures more often characterised as ''opportunists'' taking advantage of events, regardless whether they flew a philosophical flag in public (proctor or post hoc).

 

 

 

 

The Composition of board does therefore have relevance to direction taken and decisions made. An evangelical belief in any new Messiah is a fan-like approach, with an inherent risk of fervently embracing anything new and then clinging to it with a disciple''s commitment. Belief is unwavering, often - and by extension - beyond the empirical evidence to hand.

 

 

 

 

The current football oversight structure is similar to the multiple European models highlighted in the Masterclasses. The Bayern structure is a good example of how even greater delineation, specialisation and oversight of playing, philosophical, negotiating and recruitment roles are employed elsewhere. 

 

 

 

 

Personalities are inevitably formed via experiences and such experiences influence decision- making and the weight afforded to factors used to influence decisions. Near administration may well make one financially risk-averse, very survival may then be considered a valid operational aim and achievement. Success may be viewed via a prism of sustainability, the cavalier methods of others may be dismissed and looked down upon, morals - politically or religiously influenced - may come to the fore and be used to mitigate or validate strategic approaches that are in reality more definitely influenced by finances or the lack thereof. 

 

 

 

 

The current structure may well be too late in deployment and may well be hamstrung by the limited finances to effect major changes. The question posed in Masterclasses was '' can you really do better with less?'' and ''if it were so easy, why doesn''t everyone do it?''.

 

 

 

 

Greatly reducing wage budgets, player purchase values, squad size, de-facto pedigree and paper-level of players whilst fundamentally changing how the club functions operationally, the approach to training, fitness and tactical play is a huge amount to restructure in a short space of time. It can be built, though buying such players for limited money is a challenge, training existing players to operate differently is likely to be erratic, whilst breeding such players may take years. 

 

 

 

 

This philosophy is not a new manager short-fix panacea, to work it must be programmed to operate five or ten years ahead, to be the route the club is completely committed to take into the future.

 

 

 

 

Arguably it will be more of a challenge to maintain it with success, the tendency will be to quickly parachute high earners in for the top level, which can quickly destabilise years of balanced philosophy and methodology. Alternatively it functions effectively without much top League exposure, maintaining Academic purity though consigning operations to Crewe-like breeding ground for others.

 

 

 

 

Dynamics and personality inevitably influence where we are at and the decisions we make. Webber would only be human to want to prove himself in his own right, to show that Huddersfield''s success was down to him as well as, or as much as, or more than, Wagner. Historically any Sporting Directors have been background figures, kingmakers perhaps, but the Manager or ahead Coach still typically gets the limelight. The footballing autonomy likely to be shown to Webber- in light of the limited football-background of the board outside of NR1- will be intoxicating.

 

 

 

 

Farke and Webber are hard workers, but many are in football. It is often all they know and has been their lives 24 hours a day for ever. Many know nothing else. Doing better is hard, doing (much) better with (much) less is not impossible, though it would as well not to get romantically carried away with lottery-winning possibilities. The odds are (well) against.

 

 

 

 

Long term footballing tactics must always survive short term results. The tactical methodology employed - a good deal of which chimed with many previous Masterclasses - is arguably confronting Europe''s least hospitable testing ground. The Championship remains a loosely-refereed rough-and-tumble League of physical men and spoilers. There are arguably increasing amounts of ball-playing sides, though many have dual personality characteristics that take account of the need ''to earn the right to play''. Mourinho has spent £300m and is still quite happy to throw Fellaini on and hit him from deep let us not forget.

 

 

 

 

The money had gone. In fact we will need to significantly reduce yet further. The change has gone too late, with too little to succeed in the short (to medium) term. The Naismith-Pinto- Klose purchases - and subsequently retaining a large, expensive squad upon relegation (turning down £15m summer money for Brady) - not only failed, it created resentment and a lack of stomach, fight and cohesion. This is where the money went. Paying multiple players £30k+ per week on 3 and 4 year contracts is a frightening Company liability.

 

 

 

 

Masterclass 16 commented that (vid Sunderland to QPR changes in approach) tactically it was ''early for Mummy to take away the spinach and putting the McDonald''s back on the table''. The concern was that what can be dressed as ''flexibility'' quickly transmits to paralysis through analysis to players and a fracturing of the clarity of instruction that players crave.

 

 

 

 

Better management may not be possible in the short term with limited, new, adjusting, inexperienced, homesick, mis-communicating, young, inconsistent players. In such a context Zonal marking (for example) may be an unnecessary complication. Alternatively even poor or flawed tactics are often rescued by weapons, players who simply do things regularly that are awkward for the opposition and cannot be ignored. Being better is a rare luxury in football and typically reserved for only the very best (and very richest) sides. 

 

 

 

 

Possession is a defensive tool as Masterclasses have discussed. Developing a mindset that senses danger a half second later than English defenders typically do, taking a fraction longer on the ball, assessing passing angles in advance and looking to retain possession - particularly in the minds of those who do not have the ball and must act as auxiliary and possibly unused angles repeatedly - requires an education that should start at school. I succeeded in Italy in a way I could not in England because players thought like me, saw the game like me, played fast and slow in a way that was logical to me, pressed together or not at all, shut spaces and spoiled games without needing to be told. I felt at home. I was a different player. 

 

 

 

 

We are hoping to achieve something akin to this now. Mentally the players must feel completely ''at home'' with it. They must operate it instinctively and seamlessly on the field. All of them. Always. The cheap ones, the old ones, the young ones, the awkward ones, the resentful ones, the foreign ones, the British ones. Doing more with less?

 

 

 

 

You can instantly buy players who understand, you can change those you have and you can teach the future. I support all of these into the future. The change we are seeing can be change for change''s sake and I would still support it. There is a level of intrinsic, instinctive, ingrained Football Intelligence that is required here though, not street smarts or jumpers for goalposts keenness, there must be an intellectual cohesive on the pitch whereby all operate on the same wavelength at the same time or the system will fail. Then our on-paper inferior players will look precisely that. Such coaching and instruction requires a clarity of communication, a (ironically) religiosity to language, an ability to create visualisation of the picture to all players , the ability to break down the technical into the simple, the visual, its constituent parts and essentials. Not easy with already formed mindsets.

 

 

 

 

Financially and spiritually it would be understandable if the current board intrinsically had no love for the Premier League. In many ways it represents the gargoyle head of society''s capitalist monster and warps and devours decency and long-term structural good behaviour. It cruelly exposes the limits of our model and operational capabilities. 

 

 

 

 

We all have sympathy with much of that, but business is business and ''this is the life we have chosen'' as Michael Corleone famously reminded us.

 

 

 

 

There is something also of resenting what you don''t understand, what you can''t compete with. It is not unusual to then demonise it and create parallel universes where you are morally or spiritually victorious. ''Premier League bad, Lower Leagues and financial survival good''. Yes and no.

 

 

 

 

Financial fear can be accentuated through history, though also through circumstance. Administration is disastrous, but not competing can it be considered a moral victory merely because that is the only route remaining or finances insist. If educational, structural, intelligent possession-based play is the future, it must be adhered to for the very long term. It must inform Academy-to-first team, it must withstand no money and great riches, it must accept demotion to lower tiers if that is the consequence. Such a long-term vision will require huge education and communication both without and within to withstand such poor results however. Custodians may be considered superior to rich dictators, though custodians focusing on mere survival may not be enough of a religious parable for many.

 

 

 

 

That the ground was full in League 1 may be a blessing and a curse. Once the television money is all gone, the theatre must still be full and all may keep buying ice creams at full time. There are many theatres in many sectors available however.

 

 

 

 

The reasonable Premier Gamble has been had and it didn''t work. Buying better, attracting better and managing better simply doesn''t work well enough with our parameters at the top level. 

 

 

Lambert''s miracle lead to the Neil pinnacle of short termism and not only are no long term benefits seen, there would be an argument that the accelerated, artificial almost, change that occurs to club is simply beyond our model to adapt to.

 

 

 

 

The new philosophy and structure must avoid multiple previous mistakes identified repeatedly across Masterclasses, though in doing there will be the irony that the mistakes you don''t make are invisible and thus not heralded (or even appreciated). Given the dramatic downturn in recent circumstances, and the contemporary recent high expectations that abounded, even performing ''well'' in our straitened context may still look like unattractive backsliding. 

 

 

 

 

There is no guarantee of success with less, though there is the advantage of there being no other meaningful choice. The Philosophy is a consequence of the financial Model and vice versa. The Philosophy needed to be implemented with money and will now be conversely harder, yet possibly more steadfast and designed by necessity. Fans will be forced to accept it.

 

 

 

 

Maybe the modern fan will, maybe they will find something else to do. Maybe new blood will be encouraged. Shorter attention spans, coupled with less success, coupled with the need to educate to a very long-term strategy the fruits of which may take years to come to fruition, does not sound like a recipe for taking social media by storm however.

 

 

 

 

Logic says we will go backwards before (maybe) going forwards. The model - and the nature of other clubs, their strategies and their finances - suggests the (unintentional) possibility of becoming something akin to a breeding ground for top clubs. Such top clubs however will buy ready-made versions of what they need and may in time dismiss the best players in the Championship if it continues to operate tactically in a way increasingly dissimilar to the Premier League. 

 

 

 

 

The odds are now against any meaningful top tier success for some time whilst we restructure. Unless cataclysmic implosion occurs at the top level of English football however, it is hard to see how we will not drift further away from such riches. 

 

 

 

 

Relegated clubs continue to suffer the turmoil that we know so well following relegation, so perhaps regrowth and regeneration can see a leaner, low-cost model achieve a unity of purpose and vision and counter-act the financial odds. I wouldn''t put my money on it however.

 

 

 

 

Should we emerge as an elegant, intelligent, possession-based, technically and tactically educated and attractive passing side then many Norwich fans will consider that a moral victory and will wear the approach as a (religious) badge of honour. 

 

 

 

 

Once shifted expectations have a habit of becoming the norm however and a more secular Norwich society may simply see less Canaries tweeting their love and a little more space in the nest.

 

 

 

 

This is the life we have chosen.

 

 

 

 

Parma
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I think there is good foresight in that, though of course it also allows for Buendia-Pukki, Farke methodology to make remarkable and unexpected success, trotsdem the limitations. 

The real question, is what and how you behave when you do buck the odds. The ‘Shakespearean Fulcrum’ moment as I identified it in real time. 

If you cannot recognise these moments - or you recognise them,  but suffer from lack of realpolitik self-awareness of parameters, limitations and-or personal ego and aggrandizement - then you are destined to repeat your mistakes of yesterday. 

‘Your fundamentals will find you out’ might be a good phrase.

Parma 

Edited by Parma Ham's gone mouldy

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2 hours ago, Parma Ham's gone mouldy said:

you are destined to repeat your mistakes of yesterday. 

And it seems you, Parma, are destined to repeat your words of warning from yesteryear ad infinitum too. If only "they" ignored the noise! Maybe Attanasio has his ears tuned elsewhere?

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Love all this but struggle to see an alternative.

So what should we have done in 2017/18? We had Maddison, Gunn, Klose, Hanley, Pinto, Vrancic, Stieprmann, Zimmermann Lewis,Tettey, Trybull Leitner, Murphy, Hoolahan, Oliviera and Srbenny managed by Farke and finishing 14th. A place and 2 points less than last season. The following summer we released Hoolahan and sold Maddison and Murphy. There was huge anger that we were going to hell in a handcart. There was a thread on here stating the only asset we hade left to sell was Lewis.

I guess we then got lucky with Krull and Pukki on frees, a loan for Rhodes and a gamble on Buendia.

A bad injury to Buendia or Pukki in August 2018 would have resulted in a complete different history. So we got lucky again. Or weren't unlucky. Luck is massive when you can only spent the kitty once. 

So it seems to me we have to be lucky to get anywhere near top 17 which many see as our rightful place. And not just lucky because at least another ten clubs have to fail in order for it to happen.

Perhaps Norwich is not the club to support if the bar is set at 17th?

 

 

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3 hours ago, king canary said:

This is a well articulated post that sums up my wider concerns.

If we exist solely to exist then it becomes pointless in my view. Developing players just so we can sell them in order to tread water and keep us going for the next player off the conveyor belt so we can have some nicely balanced books isn't something that appeals to me. At that point I'd rather go down the sell our soul to a possibly dodgy sugar daddy route because at least it would be interesting. Surviving just to survive is not for me.

I agree with the sentiment of this and the original post but it does slightly walk past the fact that virtually every other championship club is in exactly the same boat. We are all effectively feeder clubs for the premier league, it’s not just happened. When historically tiny clubs like Bournemouth can spend £27-£30m on defensive midfielders like Tyler Adam’s from traditionally bigger clubs like Leeds then it should ring alarm bells. 

We are not unique to not having the ability to compete at the highest level either through playing ability or financially and this won’t change until wider changes are made in football such as capping the amount of players that clubs can sign to stop the practice of hoovering up young talents from everywhere with no intention of every plying them or heaven forbid closing the financial gap.

This for me is one area of optimism, we have proven once already that a good philosophy, brave management and some good youth development and sage player purchases can take you to be competitive. We just have to find a way to get back to it and accept that one or two players a year will continue to move. Ipswich have rebuilt from being a mess so it can be done. We are not In a great position I agree but we will have to find a way as we always do and the fans will have to understand the reality of the situation.

secretly I am hoping that @Parma Ham's gone mouldy is a secret billlionaire who wants to take over the club but failing that it’s going to be hard and steady progress again

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5 hours ago, Christoph Stiepermann said:

"or align yourself as a modern Crewe feeder club for Manchester City or similar. Similar like Arsenal (youth) reserves I suppose

It’s a future. Of sorts. "

This has been my big fear ever since we switched this this model that this is what we'd default to without an exceptional manager or a few quality players. We did really well in the first few years to find Farke and a couple of players who were too good for this level which got us a couple of promotions but I think the sad reality is the the base level of this model is milling about in Championship obscurity, playing some nice football but not really threatening promotion while existing mainly to produce players for other teams. 

If you're mentally over chasing success and just enjoy the day out at CR, watching some tidy football being played by a young team and knowing there's a half decent chance we'll win the game because of the level we're playing at then that might sound great, I know a lot of fans who would be quite happy with that existence but it doesn't appeal to me at all. Knowing that every year promotion would be a real long shot and that every player who's half decent will be gone after a season because they either play for Arsenal or will get moves to giant clubs like Bournemouth or Brentford just sounds depressing and pointless, like being every PL club's de facto B team. I feel like as a club we should aspire to be more than that. Crewe and Auxerre have their niche but they're much smaller clubs than us and I think existing as a higher level version of them would get really old, really quickly after a few mid table finishes and transfer windows where we lose key players. There's already an apathetic malaise around the fanbase that would only get worse in that purgatorial existence where there's nothing to hope for or get excited about and no player of any quality sticks around for very long. 

I'd rather we went all in on one of the extreme playing philosophy models and instead of focusing on youth and loans we signed and developed players purely with that playing style in mind, most fans would never accept another Hughton and we know where the glass ceiling of possession football leaves us but it's better than the alternative. Appointing someone with Knapper's CV suggests we're more likely looking at the Crewe approach and becoming a feeder club who's sole purpose is to produce players for other clubs and it's not something I'm remotely enthusiastic about. 

 

 

4 hours ago, king canary said:

This is a well articulated post that sums up my wider concerns.

If we exist solely to exist then it becomes pointless in my view. Developing players just so we can sell them in order to tread water and keep us going for the next player off the conveyor belt so we can have some nicely balanced books isn't something that appeals to me. At that point I'd rather go down the sell our soul to a possibly dodgy sugar daddy route because at least it would be interesting. Surviving just to survive is not for me.

Whilst both of the above are good posts, how does that differ us from literally every similarly sized club?

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