Date: 2nd September 2017 at 9:20am
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Thank god the transfer window has closed.

It seems a nonsense to me that transfers can still happen right up until the end of August, while the season is already underway. It would seem so much more sensible if it was all done and dusted before the first game of the season.

The transfer “window” was originally brought in to stop the sale of players from clubs mid-season and therefore preventing the wealthier clubs from taking in-form players from clubs that were doing well. Basically, imagine if Spurs or Arsenal had been able to poach Vardy and Mahrez from Leicester mid-season a couple of seasons ago? I dare say that would`ve meant the Foxes would not have won the Premier League.

From that point of view, it`s a good thing but the way that football and transfers have evolved is insane and so far removed from the “real world” that it`s a job for the average fan to relate to their heroes anymore.

As a boy, I remember the mind boggling £1m transfer of Trevor Francis from Birmingham City to Nottingham Forest in 1979 – “The first £1m player.”

Fast forward to 2017 and we have Neymar, “the first £196m player.” The wages these guys get now is almost irrelevant because it`s more than it`s possible to spend. The fact that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain just moved to Liverpool from Arsenal for a meagre £35m and took a reported salary of £120k pw rather than the £180k pw that Arsenal had offered him to stay, shows that sometimes it`s not just about the money.

The Ox is of course an incredibly wealthy young man and he deserves no pity whatsoever over that situation, frankly it`s obscene. He just has more than enough money already, so another £60k pw is irrelevant to him.

When nurses, firemen and police officers earn around a third of the Ox`s weekly salary in a year, it`s embarrassing to society to see what football has turned into. Although getting back to Neymar, it`s worth noting that he hasn`t been bought by a football club as such, more a country as PSG are directly owned by the state of Qatar. There`s more than a hint of projecting the power of the oil and gas rich state in the world order there, than just winning football matches.

What the purchase of Neymar has done though is send the “value” of even the most bang average player through the roof and far up into the stratosphere.

Where that leaves clubs outside the Premier League in England, is in a very difficult situation if they want to compete for the riches of the top flight.

Middlesbrough decided that they needed a new striker and paid £15m for Britt Assombalonga, the precedent being sent by Villa`s purchases of Kodjia and McCormack last summer but pushed even higher by the knock on of Neymar.

What about Norwich City though, can they compete in the transfer market now?

There is a very real worry from the fan base that we can`t, although Steve Stone optimistically assured Vital Norwich`s LeeBoz that City can compete, when he asked this very question at July`s fan forum at Carrow Road.

I dare say that much will depend on a return to the Premier League at the earliest opportunity. After the recent drubbings suffered at the hands of Villa and Millwall though, the club delved into the transfer market once more in a previously unplanned move for an experienced Championship defender in the form of Grant Hanley.

Steve Stone made himself available for the Canaries Trust August Board meeting on Thursday evening and explained that “the position changed after the Millwall game.”

Mr Stone reported that there were some frank discussions after that wretched defeat and it was agreed an experienced defender was needed. The facts of the matter were that there was very little money left for such a deal but it really seems as though the boat has been pushed out to try to give Daniel Farke as much help as possible.

Make no mistake, Norwich City are not in the market for the Assombolongas of this world anymore. Many fans tweets I read on Twitter are unhappy at the perceived lack of funding but I liken it to buying a Range Rover, lots of people could afford to buy one of a certain vintage but it`s the running of the damn thing that would ruin you. Tyres, fuel and insurance. That`s why the average man doesn`t drive a 5 litre Vogue and settles for a Mondeo, maybe a Ghia, if he pushes his own boat out.

The wages afforded to players have also rocketed with the market, meaning even the most average Championship footballer is on more in a month than the average joe earns in a year. See what I mean, it`s the running costs that kill you.

With parachute payments running out at the end of this season, Norwich seem to have spent all they can to try to get a squad capable of a promotion push. If it doesn`t happen this season then players on high wages will have to be sold. That is the economic reality of the situation and the likes of Nelson Oliveira, who I expect to have a very good season, will be sold.

It was always going to take time to get so many new players and a new coach and system to gel. Whether it can all gel quickly enough is the big question now because in terms of big money signings, Norwich are not in the market.



7 Replies to “Can Norwich City Compete?”

  • We all know the difference between a range rover and a hedgehog and that why footballers may chose to buy one : ).

    We cannot compete. That is clear and the Smiffs would rather own a league 1 club than sell to a rich owner who is likely to take us up to premier league.

  • The club can compete,Norwich are one of the top clubs in the Championship,a club like many others in this league who truly believe they belong in the Premiership and that will happen,it’s just a case of when and not if.The Championship currently is as strong as it ever has been,littered with ex Premiership teams,every season only three can get promoted and this season Norwich have a decent chance of challenging come May.No the club can’t compete with Premier teams however they certainly can hold their own in this league.

  • Fans seem to be wearing green and yellow tinted spectacles.
    There are at least 10 clubs richer than us who will be able to buy better players
    and as such likely to finish higher in league.
    If as estimated we are not promoted this season, the next season without parachute money and a sniff of promotion the few remaining good players will be sold to balance the books,
    probably to rivals and it will then be down to the young and German league 2 players to fight it out
    with richer clubs and 3 more coming down from premier each season.

    Someone needs to explain to me how our chances will increase year by year ?

  • I think we’re in the “Last Chance Saloon” this season. I’m still keeping positive and feel that it’s still so early and that we have some decent players for the Championship, so promotion is achievable. However, if it doesn’t happen this season, I fear for the future…

  • Last season I pulled up Drayton on his opinions, confidently predicting Norwich would do well. He felt we wouldn’t. Turned out we were crap, so what do I know about things! This time round I won’t question Drayton- we aren’t going anywhere this year, in fact I think if we get mud table or won’t be a bad shout. Normally I don’t feel this depressed until Christmas about Norwich!

  • Over on the forum I often call our totally avoidable relegation as ‘catastrophic’. I was appalled at our fans who at our last Prem game v Watford who clapped as we went down and chanted the name of one of the worst mangers we have ever had . I was appalled that Alex Neil was further allowed to wreck our club last season . Although I am pleased that Farke and Webber kicked out most of the loser players ! I am appalled that Mr Suicde Pass himself (Martin ) and the striker whos 3 miserable goals total went along way to relegating us from the Prem (Jerome ) are still here doing the same things for rich rewards , and for some reason are held in high esteem among some fans and our management. Our inablity to compete is now there for all to see and as well as the players and ex- players mentioned above , the blame lies with our Board and owners who sat and watched the relegation happen and did nothing about it

  • There will always be exceptions to a rule. Leicester in this case. Them aside look back over the last 17 years of English football. Since 2001 only 14 teams have appeared in the top 6. Of those the title has been shared between just 5 sides. One being Leicester. In the last 10 years just nine names have occupied a top 6 spot. Of the top 3 performers two for the most part have favoured an enduring coach. The fact is none can compete with the top few sides. Over the last 6 years the prem has been two competitions with 6th in effect being best of the rest. Sadly the yoyoing of the remainder between prem and championship is now almost as set in stone. The best we can truly hope for is to be one of the regular yoyo clubs. The only salvation would be a multi billionaire take over. Yet as we’ve seen at a number of clubs that is still no guarantee. What we need to avoid is joining the names in the champ 1st div bungee event which shows a similar pattern to that above.

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