Norwich City must do everything they can to avoid Premier League relegation – just ask fans of Nottingham Forest or Sheffield Wednesday

Norwich City players Russell Martin and Robert Snodgrass celebrate the 4-0 win against West Brom in their last home game of last season, which sealed Premier League survival. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Norwich City players Russell Martin and Robert Snodgrass celebrate the 4-0 win against West Brom in their last home game of last season, which sealed Premier League survival. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Friday, March 21, 2014
6:30 AM

With the threat of relegation again looming large for Norwich City, sports reporter David Freezer looks at what dropping down a division could mean for the future of the club.

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Seasons outside the top flight

Coventry City – 13

Derby County – 6

Ipswich Town – 12

Leeds United – 10

Leicester City – 10

Middlesbrough – 5

Nottingham Forest – 15

Sheffield Wednesday – 14

Sheffield United – 7

Watford – 7

Norwich City supporters look set to experience a collective sense of déjà vu in the coming weeks.

History is repeating itself from one year ago, when all connected with the club were readying themselves for matches which would dramatically effect the future of the club.

Home matches against Reading, Aston Villa and West Brom all came with desperate pleas for unity from all connected to Norwich City, as the club’s Premier League future began to look more and more precarious.

Chris Hughton’s side rallied to end the season in 11th place but unfortunately now find themselves in another relegation battle 12 months on and are faced with a string of high-pressured matches.

Norwich City fans celebrate City's 4-0 win against West Brom in their last home game of last season, which sealed Premier League survival. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdNorwich City fans celebrate City's 4-0 win against West Brom in their last home game of last season, which sealed Premier League survival. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

But would relegation be so bad?

With £60million of parachute payments spread across four years for clubs relegated from the Premier League, a financially-stable club like Norwich City should have no problems in gaining promotion again, right?

Well, maybe not. Just look at last season’s three relegated teams, QPR, Reading and Wigan, all of whom are looking at a play-off place at best in the Championship this season – which would mean just one of them could be promoted.

And the Football League is littered with casualties of top-flight relegation, as City supporters know all too well.

After the Canaries were relegated from the top tier under Nigel Worthington’s stewardship in 2005, fans had to wait six seasons before a return to the spotlight of the Premier League.

Before that one season back in the top flight, it had been nine years of mixed fortunes in the second tier for the Canaries.

A quick glance at the current Championship table is also an ample reminder to all at Carrow Road that bigger and more successful clubs have endured even longer spells of yearning for a top-tier return.

Three-time First Division champions Leeds United are now in their 10th season outside of the top flight and two-time European Cup winners Nottingham Forest have not returned since relegation from the Premiership in the 1998/99 season.

Current runaway Championship leaders Leicester City are likely to return to the top flight after 10 seasons of trying but Sheffield Wednesday look set for a 15th season outside the top tier.

City also need look no further than their fiercest rivals Ipswich Town, who are now into their 12th season without the glamour and glitz of the Premier League.

All that potential frustration would be on top of missing out on the huge finances generated by the Premier League’s various television rights deals – which mean even the team finishing bottom of the table will receive over £60m.

It is an unbearable prospect after three years of rapid success under Paul Lambert saved the club from financial and sporting disaster.

But that is what lies in wait for the Canaries if the club’s current crop of players cannot haul themselves away from the relegation zone.

Do you think City would bounce back from relegation straight away? Share your thoughts at www.pinkun.com, email norfolksport@archant.co.uk or write to Sports Desk, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE

Follow David Freezer on Twitter @davefreezer

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18 comments

  • Good point Johnny H. Smaller clubs who are not immune from relegation should seize every opportunity. Unfortunately we haven't done this and will go down with a whimper. We haven't done enough to become a club capable of remaining strong and bouncing back up again. Hughton's 'we are lucky to be here' mentality hasn't helped.

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    Colin

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • For me the most pertinent point is contained in the article's penultimate para with the words "..three years of rapid success under Paul Lambert saved the club from financial and sporting disaster." I not only concur but would develop the theme further. He also saved the owners and board from reaping the rewards of their own ineptitude. With PL gone we are soon back to the poor decisions and lack of ruthlessness that took us close to extinction. Regardless of this season's outcome I therefore hope the major shareholders actively seek new owners who can take us forward. The alternative is to accept that frugality will rule and mediocrity, or worse, become our future.

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    Lincs Canary

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • The figures that LincsCan outlines highlight the malaise that has infected football. The Sky money grossly distorts the financial model. Add into the mix the dodgy dosh of the `Oilygarchs` and it gets worse. I suppose the FFP rules should prevent these shady characters from bankrolling their Big Boys` Toys, but I shouldn`t hold your breath. I think the `likes of`` Abramovich will be able to find a way if they want to. After all, he sequestered a large chunk of Russia`s oil wealth easily enough. FFP? Small potatoes.

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • Of course some will move on. I can assure you that written in the contracts is a different wage structure should we get relegated.

    Report this comment

    sharky

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • Oh, I forgot to mention. Coventry 13 years outside the top flight. GOOD!

    Report this comment

    Lincs Canary

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • We all know the answer. Get rid of Hughton and his muppets, which we should have done at the end of last season. Unfortunately, the only person who can't or won't admit to it is McNally

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    oldtimer

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • Fu***** liberty asking the fans to get behind the Club. Who has been giving at their own expense a virtual full house every home game for the past 5 seasons? Look first at the employees who are being paid to get behind the club and kick their as**s.

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    goldie

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • Yes Santa, that's all they have to do,win 3 of the next 4 games. What on earth brings you to think that is likely or possible? Perhaps you also believe in the Tooth Fairy, the Loch Ness Monster, theYeti, or Father Christmas?

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    kenfoggo

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • If we go down we should at least expect to be in contention for a play off spot like the 3 relegated last year. Most of the teams mentioned only got bogged down after a couple of close calls for promotion. We failed badly after the last two relegations. Relegation, eventually is inevitable for Norwich and similar clubs like those mentioned, so it is a case of making as much impact as possible in the good times, I think we missed the boat there.

    Report this comment

    JohnnyH

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • The way things are going our best hope of raising money is a Johnstones P*** Pot Trophy triumph.

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    el dingo

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • It's not that hard to see why clubs don't bounce straight back. The parachute payments sound a lot but £60m is spread over 4 years. We are one of the lower spenders on players wages but at £45m a season it is easy to see that, unless there are clauses to cut pay, that will be a problem that needs to be faced on relegation. You can either keep paying prem wages and gamble on a quick return by running up massive debts or cut your cloth (sell best players). New financial fair play rules will also come in to play soon and that too will have a bearing on any decisions.

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    Lincs Canary

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • You tell 'em, Goldie.

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • Individually we have about 12 players who would move on. But that could mean we do a Wolves and slip through the Championship back to League One. No one at the club now will be scouting for good championship players for next season, and a mass exodus of players and management will mean having to build a new team with no groundwork done. We'd be better off in terms of on-field success after relegation if we were Palace, with players who will mostly stay and play in the Championship. My prediction is a bottom half finish in the Championship next season (if we go down), due to the turmoil and upheaval of wholesale changes. This is why Hughton should have been sacked before January.

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    Colin

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • Kenny, what!!?? I saw Mummy tickle Santa Claus underneath his beard so snowy white! Next you'll be saying the McNally Fairy has run out of magic dust.

    Report this comment

    jigs69

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • If we go down a lot of players will be looking for new clubs because I can't see Norwich City being able to continue to pay Premiership wages even with the parachute payments. And I am not sure many of them will find it an easy market. For whatever reasons the fact is that RvW, for instance, has only one goal to his credit all season. Doesn't look good on the cv! Numerous others haven't exactly put themselves in the shop window either. Hughton's failings are well documented here. But having said, once you cross the line, players should at least look up for the fight. I can't say that has been the case of late. Regardness of what role they are being asked to play and however bizarre, once they are playing they should be working their socks off. Maybe I have it wrong but we look like a beaten team as soon as we get onto the pitch these days. It is as if the players expect to lose. It is a habit that appears to have become deeply ingrained. I would love to see us stage a recovery but as of now nothing points to the liklihood.

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    malaga flier

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • We're doomed Mr Mannering,we're doomed. All we have to do is win three of the next four games! Simples-NO?? Oh alright then.

    Report this comment

    santa

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • .....let me help you out el dingo....155 seems to be missing!.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • We're doomed Mr Mannering,we're doomed. All we have to do is win three of the next four games! Simples-NO?? Oh alright then.

    Report this comment

    santa

    Friday, March 21, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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