Norwich City manage Alex Neil needs to adapt quickly as cracks have started to show
PUBLISHED: 15:26 03 November 2016 | UPDATED: 15:26 03 November 2016
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Canaries columnist Matt Howman believes Norwich City’s early season form was merely papering over the cracks for Alex Neil.
Football is a funny old game. Being awarded manager of the month will be nothing more than a distant memory for Alex Neil as October quickly descended into a horror show and questions on his tactics and decision making are swiftly being brought to attention.
My two cents on this is that we’ve been far too predictable from the outset. A rigid 4-2-3-1 formation employed with little fluidity and deviation throughout the match, subs and squad not utilised effectively and our transition from defence to attack has been far too sluggish and inefficient.
A good start merely covered the cracks which were waiting to be exposed and Alex Neil will have to adapt quickly to prevent further questions being asked.
The main point I want to cover, something which has been evident for some time now, is how football as a business has abused the fans, leaving them increasingly shortchanged as players and agents have assumed financial control over the industry.
A note in City’s annual report of accounts stated that a significant salary outlay was saved as a result of performance-related bonuses, a shred of comfort to the fans that watched in dismay as Norwich fell back once again down to the Championship.
The player wage costs as a percentage of turnover fell 12pc year on year but it is hard to see it remain static or drop with the additions of Timm Klose, Steven Naismith and co into the squad.
The argument can always be made that better players mean the club can progress and increase their revenue but that rise is just being filtered through to the players and agents.
Sadly in the modern game success on the pitch is then out-pricing the core fan base who have remained loyal to the club throughout the years.
The way the game is going there’s no sign of this slowing down but should we as fans be taken along for the ride as companies like Sky, BT, Nike and Adidas exploit the interest in the game by signing lucrative deals with clubs and that money not being used to subsidise ticket costs?
A season ticket at Bayern Munich can cost as little as £67 (source: BBC) and their salary cost was roughly 43.4pc of their total revenue. Clubs in the UK need to use their revenue to make the game more accessible to fans and rein in the power players and agents are exerting over our game.
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