Michael Bailey: Debate over Farke's future is unlikely to stop rumbling any time soon
It promises to be the subplot bubbling along under the surface of Norwich City's new Championship season - until it is resolved, one way or another.
As Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke readily admitted on Monday, his contract situation is a long way from the top of his list of most pressing concerns – the 41-year-old’s initial two-year deal is set to expire next summer.
In a profession where a contract’s length is often its least redeeming feature, a degree of scepticism is only natural.
Farke will actually head into the new Championship season with just a few days more than a year’s service at Carrow Road – remarkably, that already makes him the Championship’s ninth longest serving boss, and 41st out of all 92 English league clubs.
And yet there will be a tricky balance for City once the second-tier action hits its stride – one wrapped in short-term gains and form, while focusing on long-term stability and philosophy.
Of course, Farke likened his own situation to that of City’s out of contract players – of which there are several coming up next summer, including the likes of Timm Klose, Ivo Pinto, Russell Martin and Steven Naismith.
But with respect to every one of those professionals, there is far more at stake when it comes to the man steering the ship, gelling the group and setting the tone – to the point where it would be a real surprise if Farke’s contract situation had not been discussed by Farke, sporting director Stuart Webber and the City board long before where we all now sit.
Which does throw an extra element into the mix – the reception. Had an agreement previously been reached towards the end of last season, how many fans would have reacted positively to what would have been an extension driven by stability?
It’s fair to say plenty of Canaries supporters are already hoping to see real progress come the new season – despite significant talent sold – as the word ‘transition’ is scrubbed from the City lexicon.
Farke’s own public calmness is customary and speaks of a coach who won’t be limiting his own career progression to Norfolk, if things work out – the crucial bit that would make it all a nice problem to have.
Without it however, and the road ahead for next season has the potential to be a little more bumpy.
• For the latest Norwich City news and opinion follow Michael Bailey on the following channels…