Date: 13th July 2020 at 9:00am
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There are many points of view on what happens next. No doubt you will have your own on how this season has gone and why? You can read my own views elsewhere on this site but it’s worth acknowledging as many opinions as you can to try to get a measured idea of why Norwich City keep getting relegated from the top flight after fighting so hard to get there.

Over at the Vital Norwich Forum there are always plenty of opinions and different views on our beloved football club. As usual after writing an article, I posted one on Sunday morning entitled

Hammered – Where Did It All Go Wrong For Norwich City?

In the forum and it received an excellent, passionate reply from one of the forum regulars, Drayton Green.

DG is a long standing critic of the ownership of the club by Delia and Michael, whilst acknowledging what they did to save the club back in the mid-nineties. He is of the opinion that whilst under their ownership, City will never be able to progress to become an established Premier League club and that their refusal to sell the club in recent years has held us back. Obviously, any sale would have to be to the right sort of owner but that their time in charge needs to end and that they should sell to a more wealthy and progressive owner.

Anyway, here’s his take on things currently:

”I would like to write a long piece but I am too busy with work which is far more important than football all the time but especially now.

Therefore I can sum up with the same old comments I have made for years and even more recently.The Smiffs cannot own an established premier league football club and more worryingly do not want to.

The self funded experiment for the premier league has totally failed.
This is off the back of at least four regular starters coming from youth policy, three or four more from free or low price signings and remainder being journeymen from European countries.

This is the best it is ever going to get. We are very unlikely to have a good championship squad brought together for such a low cost ever again.

The funds for the premier league battle were minute. Tuckster, it may have added up to about £ 10 million but that was still about half what Sheffield United paid for McBurnie. It was way too small, even for an assault on promotion from Championship these days.

We were all happy to see players given new contracts, but of course they were going to sign. More money and playing in the Premier League with a club they already knew well. However the squad needed at least three good experienced players to help the current youngsters out. That may well have secured our survival.

What little money was available was wasted. Apart from Byram ( was only seen as cover for Lewis anyway ), the other loans and signings were a disaster.
Loans – Fahrmann, Roberts, Amadou and Duda : Either misjudged or not used properly by Farke. Either way, left early or stayed without being committed.
They were four expensive loans who appeared to have less quality than already here.

Permanent signings – Drmic and Rupp in January ( for championship ).
Cannot score and played out of position.

Records will show that in the majority of the Premier League matches, the starting XI were nearly always made up of the inexperienced championship
players from the previous season.

Just like last season, it could have worked given a lot of luck as there were a few weak teams in the league but they were still physically stronger than us and changed tactics to suit situations and ultimately got much better.

Starting at the top, the Smiffs need to sell up. You can mention Wigan but there are success stories and we need need richer and more ambitious owners.
The time to sell was a year ago. As players are sold and money used to keep the crazy self funded failure going, it will not be long before a buyer will be required for a lower championship club with no star players of big value and approaching debt again. Will the big chance have gone ?

SW had little to work with but all the signings have been failures.
He has to take a bit of the blame.

Daniel Farke had a small inexperienced squad but refused to change tactics and we were easily sussed out until it got to point when teams at bottom of league were easily able to beat us due to being totally predictable.
That, together with strange team selections and leaving substitutions way too late, leaves him with some of the blame too.

The players – Talented but weak, inexperienced and often played out of position or left out wrongly. Ignoring the games in front of empty stadiums when they really got found out, I absolve them of any blame.

As (Forum member) Yellow Belly says,  the Smiffs are the common factor. SW has openly stated he will leave at end of his contract, DF may or may not stay much longer and players will be sold and money used to buy players with less quality.
They will all come and go but the Smiffs will stick it out and as the common factor have to take the majority of the blame.

We are now a championship club, with the Smiffs hanging the manger, players and fans all out to dry and now taking all the stick from the media and fans of other clubs.

If they have any love for NCFC, they will sell up and leave it up to more capable owners who actually want to own an established premier league club.

Whilst Sheffield United play in Europe I will be preparing for yet another visit to the flat pack stadium (That’s Queens Park Rangers), if we are lucky enough to be allowed in.”

Harsh but fair? I’d love to know your thoughts. Do you agree with Drayton Green?


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11 Replies to “Football Is All About Opinions – Should Delia And Michael Sell Up? Here’s One Fan’s Opinion”

  • Could not agree more with this guy, I would only add that when Mr Watling sold Robert Chases shares to the Smiffs he said no one will ever have such a hold on this club again and here we are ,the fans still have no voice as every journalist with in 50 mile raidios Norwich is hanging of Delia cooking apron so very little criticism even the Reeve boys are now firmly in position ,so nothing will change even when nephew Smiff the tea boy from the city of London takes same old same old .

  • very hard to disagree with that. as comment above says about the Watling/Chase buy out. He said No One person can hold over the club. The Stowmarket two where clever they did it all together, so as not being the One person. Every loan they made to the club was repaid in shares (I believe) every time this strengthened their position, no-one challenged this at all. Other board members seem to stand back while this has happened in silence, Archant silence is deafening, they do not want to lose their press rights.
    Further proof it is a family asset is their appointment of nephew Tom, who will inherit their shares. Wonder if Tom will carry this on when and if he has children. Wow. So fellow Supporters (myself 59 years since entered Carra Rud) we face much of the same for the foreseeable seasons ahead. I cannot see the Boy Tom ever going against Aunie’s & Uncle’s plans & wishes. Probably it will be written in stone he cannot.

    I believe they rely on us fans , our loyalty and passion for supporting our our club, she is fortunate not to have a rival club near her. I can not see any thing that could work other than holding off buying season tickets (huge thing to do and one I am not sure I would do, it was suggested to me by friend) until message delivered. Or prolonged campaign to get them out. Otherwise we will remain The Cook’s playing, little ole Narwich

  • Having seem my first city game in 1959 and was a season ticket holder form mid 60’s till 1980 when I moved to Blackpool I am seeing city’s owners looking more like the Oystens every day.

    The Oystens were final got rid of by there partner Belekov for money owed and sold to a Blackpool fan that runs a hedge fund in Hong Kong.

    Can city be that luck I really doubt that and as for Tom Smith taking over there will be a written will telling him was the covenant is for him to control the club and these will possibly be overseen by a trust to keep it in the family.

    Do we want to see a Chase type protests to rid the club of its incumbent owners no as it will overshadow all the good they have done but denying to look for investment to take the club forward just shows their lack of appreciation for both club and supporters.

  • Tuckster. Thanks for posting up my thoughts on main site and also thanks to Roey, Canary lad and AlexB
    for adding their very good points to enforce the argument against the Smiffs.

    The picture you have added to top of the page also helps to show what our owners / board looks like to
    outsiders. Does this portray energy, enthusiasm and ambition ?
    Can anybody recall hearing from Tom the Cabin Boy ? If I was in his position I would be getting involved and doing interviews and being passionate about our club … or is he allowed to actually say anything ?
    It does not bode well for the future.

  • I also, with great sorrow, have to agree with the majority of the comments made. We have all seen ‘big money’ owners come into football, and promise the earth, only to get bored and leave the Club in a bigger mess and then demand their money back. Next season even if we do keep the majority of the Team, we will need to spend bigger money far more wisely than we did this season. Loans were a big failure this season. We have already announced some new signings for 2021, but most are not even tested at Championship levels, so we will hope that they will work.
    DF’s instance in playing zonal marking for set pieces has been our major undoing this season. So may be the answer is to change it ??????
    All the loyal NCFC supporters like the ‘family’ feel to the club, but unfortunately to survive maybe it is time for new blood.

  • Be careful what you wish for………..having an owner with loads of money doesn’t guarantee you premier leagues status. Though heartbreaking to see your club relegated, I’ve enjoyed some of the results and its been encouraging seeing some of our younger players play some good football. Yes we could have done with a bigger squad and more experience, but that comes at a cost the owners were not willing to take. Some of those younger players will leave and we will start the process again. But that is the fun of football, much prefer the ups and downs than watch Stoke/C.Palace etc play mediocre football for ten years!!

  • For what I can see, we have been taken for a bit of a ride this season.
    There has been a long term plan in place, and getting promoted last year was not part of it. We were promoted a year or two to early, as we were still paying off previous incumbents failures whilst expanding the youth facilities. As such, we were never going to give it a go this year. Much like teams in the NFL playing out a season to tank for the #1 draft pick next year, this year was about taking PL money and running, with the aim (I believe) to get back to the longer plan of consolidating PL status. Reports since relegation was confirmed about spending next year, and DF’s interviews suggesting this was part of a plan, seems to back it up somewhat.
    As far as Delia and the rest go, they did save the club, but it’s time for someone forward thinking to takeover.

  • I can say what I wish for.
    Owners who want to be in the premier league, have energy, enthusiasm and ambition.
    I have enjoyed about 8 results out of 35 and not enjoyed seeing the youngsters left to struggle without help and ending up with extremely low levels of confidence.
    Bigger squads and experienced players are not things that owners can chose to ignore, they are the absolute basic essential items for any club in premier league.
    It is not fun watching youngsters progress, being sold and replaced by players not so talented.
    Ups and downs end up with more downs. Maybe ask fans of Boro, Stoke, Hull and Huddersfield if going down results in bouncing back.
    Palace are a good side playing good football and I would certainly swap places with Sheffield United or Wolves who had ambition to stay up and go up further.

    Smiffs have already taken us to league 1 already and do not rule it out again.

  • I just need one thing clarified, as the term ” established premier league club ” keeps cropping up as to what our ambition should be. What exactly IS an established premier league club ? Is it the usual suspects, Man Utd, City, Arsenal, Liverpool etc, the ones who you know will probably never get relegated and will be challenging for something OR is it your Burnley, Palace, Bournemouth, Watford, ( and I will even include Sheff Utd ) who will spend most seasons flirting with relegation on a regular basis ( waiting for the inevitable trap door to open ) often playing desperate football to SURVIVE in the premier league. If it is my first suggestion, then no, that’s not going to happen whoever is in charge of our club. If however, it is my second suggestion, then it’s a no thanks from me, give me a yoyo Norwich any day. It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride under the Smiffs and whilst I respect others opinion I am a realist, basically, football is no longer run for the many, but only for a few elite clubs. There is no room in the premier league for the likes of clubs of the stature of Norwich City, so I am more than happy to pay it a short visit from time to time to experience the misery of not being an elite premier league club in order that I can appreciate all that is good about the Championship !!!

  • As I am sure you know a firmly established premier league club is one who is very likely to be there as long as money continues to dictate the game. Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and United and Spurs
    and probably Everton fit into that category.
    An established club after that in my opinion is one able to avoid an annual relegation battle.
    Leicester and Wolves are now battling for European places and if you add Sheffield United and Burnley
    there is the current top 10.
    I would expect an under new ownership Newcastle to become more of a force and Southampton, West Ham and Palace have struggled but will move forwards.
    I would expect them to be around for several seasons and that is where I personally would like Norwich to aim at.
    There is no standing still in football and failure to join in with the modern money orientated game ( as much as we all struggle to accept it ) eventually it results in dropping down the championship and looking at the trapdoor to league 1. Maybe ask Boro, Stoke, Huddersfield, and Hull fans if they considered themselves to be yoyo clubs a short time ago and at the moment they may well be that but between championship and league 1. I want the club I have supported for 50 years to aim high and not settle for championship mediocrity as we all knows what happens to clubs that stay there a long time, the way out is eventually not in the direction you would hope for.

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