When your first reaction to the end of a season is, “thank heavens that’s over” you know it’s been a bad one.

It all started reasonably well with City, without ever looking totally convincing on the pitch, managing to grind out wins before the late Autumn slump from which they never really recovered, despite the odd glimmer of something other than mediocrity in the first few games under David Wagner.

Wagner will have a huge amount to prove next season, but deserves to be judged on a squad of his own choice, not someone else’s.

Off the pitch the season headed steadily downhill too, with the complete breakdown of what little relationship had ever existed between Dean Smith and the fans before his dismissal in January, and an increasing level of introspection from those in power as the ongoing stand-off with the local media saw news from within the club limited to self-produced and unchallenging videos which become the standard way of 'communicating' with supporters.

Five years ago, the stated long-term plan was for City to consistently be one of the top 26 clubs in the country, and the intervening period saw two seasons in the Premier League, but on Monday City ended their season in the bottom half of one of the weakest Championships for years, and inevitably many questions are being asked.

For some, the decline stems from the sacking of Daniel Farke, for others the abandonment of a stated policy of installing a club-wide system of play which could survive changes of manager, while there are many more who point to poor recruitment over several transfer windows.

Of course, there are many targets for justified criticism, but for me the problem goes much deeper than individuals, because on the journey of the last few years the club has lost much more than its standing on the pitch; it has lost its identity.

The world of football gets scarier for smaller clubs every year as the rich get richer and the financial gap between the Premier League and the Championship gets wider, and that makes it hard for a club with such limited resources as City to compete.

However, Luton Town and Coventry City are both in the play-offs, despite being smaller clubs, so that can’t be used as a justification for what has, in all honesty, been an abject failure this season.

The club may have become more modern off the field, but the ongoing loss of key staff, some of whom had been at the club for many years and really understood what makes it tick, is a worry and has coincided with the increasing air of insularity enveloping its upper echelons.

It's one thing to listen, but another to hear, and whereas fans felt themselves to be an integral part of the journey during the Farke era they have become increasingly disconnected and disenchanted.

Eastern Daily Press: Norwich City fans - a loyal bunch who want something more to cheerNorwich City fans - a loyal bunch who want something more to cheer (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

Those in control can, of course, point to the sale of 20,000 season tickets and convince themselves that the silent majority are happy with the situation, but that would be dangerously complacent and unlikely to result in a reversal of the current trend.

Obviously, the level of involvement of Mark Attanasio has been shrouded in secrecy so far, but one would hope that he would be encouraging a no holds barred reassessment of how the club is operating.

Any business worth its salt has to be prepared to be brutally honest about its mistakes and to make changes in order to move forward, and consequently the upcoming interview with the local media will undoubtedly be one of the most important of Stuart Webber’s City career.

At the moment the club seems to be drifting both on and off the field. I’m sure there must be a strategy, but unless it’s made clear it will be impossible to get fans to buy into it. We need an identity again.