Why I’d rather see Norwich City get relegated: EDP columnist and Canaries fan Steve Downes

Norwich City players in a pre-match huddle at Stoke. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Norwich City players in a pre-match huddle at Stoke. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

As a lifelong Norwich City fan, I can remember the joy of singing such terrace classics as 'We are top of the league' and 'Wem-ber-lee, Wem-ber-lee, we're the famous Norwich City and we're going to Wem-ber-lee.'

We didn't always stay there – or get there. But at least we had hope.

And, 20 years ago this month, I joined thousands of fans in Munich and Milan as City embarked on a remarkable European adventure.

But, apparently, the songs and the Euro trips are no more. For the joyous revelation that the Canaries are out of debt masked a distasteful dose of reality.

Norwich City's ambition is to finish 10th in the top flight. And thoughts of Europe should be dismissed, as the Europa League doesn't make the club any money and is rather a distraction.

So, Norwich fans, get ready to sing a new song – 'We are 10th in the league.'

And prepare your bunting for the open-top bus tour of the city as tens of thousands hail their heroes for finishing in the top half.

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It is not the club's fault. The Premier League has created a pecking order that doesn't allow little Canaries to soar above the vultures.

But it is a future bereft of one of the key elements that keeps football fans filing through the gates game after game and year after year – hope.

It is the hope that one day there will be a cup final, a European run or even a challenge at the top end of the league.

The hope that City will secure year after year of mid-table safety is, well, hopeless.

Which is why I find myself guiltily admitting that I would rather see Norwich get relegated and get to a cup final than secure safety and limp tamely out of the cups in the early rounds.

And sometimes I even dream of relegation, and savour the prospect of winning more matches and challenging for promotion.

At least there would be the frisson of hope, not the mind-numbing march to mediocrity.

? What do you think? Add your comments below or write to EDPLetters@archant.co.uk