Norwich City’s spending gives them every chance of Premier League survival
- Credit: Steve Adams
Norwich City have shown unwavering support to Alex Neil's survival bid by flexing their financial muscle this winter.
The Canaries were one of the quickest Premier League clubs out of the traps by announcing the permanent signing of Matt Jarvis before the January transfer window had even opened. It was a deal that set the tone for an aggressive approach which proves that City not only mean business but have also learned valuable lessons from the past.
Steven Naismith was clearly the club's number one target and, despite a few worrying sub-plots, eventually they got their man. It was something City had failed to do in a summer that was far from unproductive. But David McNally and Co. know that as the relegation battle hots up, every missed opportunity – on and off the pitch – could prove so costly.
The powers that be at Carrow Road realise that going down is simply not an option given the riches of a bumper television deal that await. So they've spent in a way like never before – to the tune of about £24million – to give themselves every chance of remaining among English football's elite.
The bulk of Norwich's business was done early in the areas of the pitch that needed strengthening the most. While a striker may not have been bought, the weekend's arrival of Patrick Bamford on loan avoided a deadline-day scrap for potential suitors.
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While some of City's relegation rivals were desperately searching for reinforcements yesterday, Neil could afford the luxury of adding a young rookie from the non-league scene, Ebou Adams. There was no need at all for any panic buying.
The Canaries' spending has been strong and swift – something that cannot be said of their last top-flight winter window. Two loan arrivals in Joseph Yobo and Jonas Gutierrez did little to ease fans' growing unrest. Many supporters sensed that Chris Hughton's side were in a downward spiral and that unease was proved justified as City eventually sleepwalked their way through the trap door and back to the Championship.
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While other rivals avoided the drop that season without spending money – and we will never know if investment would have made a difference – Hull City, especially, and Sunderland benefitted from splashing the cash.
With clubs in the lower reaches of the table reaching for the chequebook quicker than those at the top this January, Neil and his troops could have been left behind had the purse strings remained shut in the early stages of 2016. While the £8million sale of Lewis Grabban clearly helped boost the coffers, that income was heavily reinvested.
Of course there's a risk that Norwich's purchasing power may not end up paying off come May. But at least they've given themselves every chance of cashing in should a place in the bottom three be avoided.