Blackpool are lesson in how it can turn sour for Norwich City

Blackpool's Gary Taylor-Fletcher is mobbed by his team-mates after equalising at Old Trafford on the

Blackpool's Gary Taylor-Fletcher is mobbed by his team-mates after equalising at Old Trafford on the last day of the 2011/12 season but Manchester United rallied to win 4-2 and relegate the Seasiders. Picture: PA - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

If there are any Norwich City fans out there still mourning the return to the Championship, a look at the recent fortunes of this weekend's opponents may help restore that pint to its half full status.

It was only four years ago the seaside club were riding on the crest of a wave, beating the likes of Liverpool and Newcastle in the Premier League.

The Canaries, meanwhile, were on the mend after pulling themselves out of League One at the first attempt.

Despite early season promise Blackpool's 2010/11 spell at the top lasted but one season and they were relegated on the very last day, at the same time as Norwich were promoted.

Since then their fortunes have fallen quicker than the town's famous Big Dipper and unsurprisingly they are favourites to go down this season.


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So low is the club's current stock, that a draw at home to Wolves last week was celebrated like an FA Cup Final victory. After eight games in the league they remain without a victory,

None of this is intended to make our fans and players complacent ahead of Saturday – that draw is indication enough that Bloomfield Road will be a hard place to go.

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And all of us will know only too well that city have suffered their fair share of travel sickness in recent years when travelling to the north-west of the country. These three points won't come easy.

I'm highlighting our opponent's recent struggles as they are a perfect example of how easy it is for fortunes to go very wrong, very quickly, following a spell in the top-tier.

Sometimes even the parachute payments can do little to stop the rot. In the years since that relegation, six different people have filled the Blackpool manager's hot-seat and fans have had to witness every single player abandon ship.

Matters got so out of control that pre-season games had to be cancelled, due to having too small a squad to play them.

The majority of supporters, it would seem, put the blame at the door of chairman Karl Oyston – a colourful businessman who has been at the helm of the club for 15 years. So farcical has the situation become, two weeks ago he held talks with Burton Albion boss Gary Rowett about becoming manager – despite Jose Riga (inset) not actually being relived of his duties. Riga remains in charge.

Of course, without having a portal into the future, I cannot guarantee some of these problems won't come Norwich's way. Our spell in the Championship is only a few weeks old after all.

But with debts cleared, the rotten eggs of last season's squad banished – and the good ones convinced to stay – we can surely be confident of happier times?

But an instant return to the promised land is not certain of course and Blackpool's trials and tribulations offer a further warning of how an extended spell in the Championship can lead a club to go stale very quickly – and possibly even rotten to the core.

Birmingham, Blackburn, Bolton, Cardiff, Charlton, Derby, Fulham, Ipswich, Leeds, Middlesborough, Reading, Watford and Wolves – the league is full of teams with a recent spell at the top – and fans who expect another one as soon as possible.

That competitiveness is part of what makes this league so fantastic – but we know ourselves from recent experiences the novelty factor can soon wear off after too many mid-table finishes.

I'm sure manager Neil Adams knows this as well and that is why we've seen such a rush to fill the squad with the quality and quantity of players he feels are needed to make it happen.

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