Saturday, 15 November 2008

AGM Stuff

Lots has been written in the Eastern Daily Press this week about the Norwich City AGM, with much criticism being aimed at the board about finance and at the manager about Darren Huckerby. my view is that most of this criticism is unjustified.

Lots of fans like to moan about Delia and Michael Wynn Jones, somehow under the impression that they are coveting Norwich City and preventing a takeover of the club. Media reports in the summer about the billionaire Peter Cullum's interest in the club came to nothing, but fans still seem to believe that Delia is raking it somehow at the expense of the club.

A few fans need a reality check.

Since taking over the club Delia and her husband ahve stuck about £1.5 million a year in to the club for no return at all. She allows the club to use her name for the "Delia's" restaurant, a name and a brand which would be worth a small fortune to her if she chose to launch restaurants by herself. Instead she has gifted this to the club, the restaurant makes several hundred thousand pounds a year for Norwich City football club, and still some fans moan.

As for Mr Cullum's interest, as Delia made clear, not one written offer has been received from Mr Cullum. The phrase "put up or shut up" would be the one I would use in relation to Mr Cullum. I am sure he has the best of intentions, but his unwillingness to deliver a deal has actually caused the club problems, which would be best avoided.

Then there is the criticism of Glenn Roeder's decision to release Darren Huckerby at the end of last season. This is a difficult one for many Norwich fans. We all remember Huckerby at his best, and even last year he seemed to be able to turn on the style and deliver a moment of magic, but these moments became fewer and far between, with the best of Hucks only being seen towards the end of the season and not during the worst winter months. Did he deserve a new contract ? Possible yes, I think so, but what did he want in terms of wages ? Norwich have made it clear that they are running at a £2 million defecit each year (this only being found by loans and investors like Delia and other Norwich supporting business people), and with Hucks on a reported £10k a week, this would represent 25% of the club deficit.

It was interesting too that his preferred choice of club in the USA (San Jose) was made in great part because of their pitch and the effect that Toronto's astro turf pitch (where he appeared to be heading when he first left Norwich) was likely to have on his dodgy hip. It is clear his hip was affecting his ability to produce in every game.

Emotionally, I'd have loved to have given him a proper send off, but financially and perhaps in terms of his performance over a whole season, I think Roeder made the right call.

So with another home game today, I go in hope rather than expectation, but I will not start criticising the board and despite misgivings about the performances of late, we must all get behind Glenn Roeder as there is no more money for players and so the team we have has to start performing.

1 comment:

Alexfromnorfolk said...

It is a modern fact that football is in decline. Sky have made it a 4 horse race. So all clubs have to work and function within a tight structure. Most clubs that have experienced the premiership are in trouble because of the amount of money needed to compete.

Norwich City are one of these. Until such point the powers that be stop the stupid wages and spending will any club have a chance of operating on an even par.

The premier league has given great viewing but a lot of debt. Very rich investors are far and few between. Though I feel Delia has not done the club much good recently. Doncaster and a string of poor managers have not helped.

Loans and free signings will not create a winning team. Long term vision is the only way, with youth.
Patience is required aswell as reality.

Huckerby was a brilliant player. Huckerby alone would not have taken Norwich up. So save the cash and move on. Glen made that choice and time will tell if he made the correct one.

The supporters have given 100% always a full ground. However supporters often have the rose tinted glasses on and often think they are the best around. Sadly that is so far from the truth.

You will do well to get out of the bottom six. Not because of a poor side. Because survival is more important than moving forward.