It’s that time of year again, isn’t it – where the combinations of a bad run of form, the Club’s annual accounts, together with the forthcoming Annual General Meeting, that’s left many fans questioning the direction in which the Club is going? Many of my fellow writers have already alluded to the need, in their […]
As my train trundled out of London, destined for Charlton, I was afforded a few moments of reflection. A lot has happened since my last visit to the Valley back in February 2015. That particular game was Alex Neil’s sixth in charge and arrived a amidst a sequence of 13 away games that saw […]
June 2017 has been something of a landmark month for the Canaries. Not only has it been the 115th anniversary of the club, it’s also seen the formal arrival of its first overseas head coach plus his chosen backroom staff, four new players (almost unheard of in these parts in June), the end of the […]
The Board have recently said that they’re undertaking their own strategic review – the evidence suggests it’s desperately required. It needs a huge dollop of realism, accompanied with an open and honest debate on the Club’s vision and identity. Whether we get that is another matter.
Being “debt free” is, or should I say, was, a snapshot at a moment in time – in our case, taken from our accounts at the end of June. However, by the time the accounts are actually released several months later, they’re already effectively out of date.
That would now be more than enough right there to rebuild the City Stand – plus a Ross McCormack if you fancied it – and give the purchaser a 60 per cent controlling interest in the club. The markets have, apparently, been trawled before for potential investors – perhaps, now, with City in a much better position financial health than previously, is a time to revisit the options?
Last time we were in this league our wage bill was actually 97 per cent of our total turnover, even having regard to the then relegation clauses and the subsequent promotion bonuses – that’s unsustainable long term without Premier League football.
The club’s DNA is currently entwined with a self-funding model, a seemingly old fashioned model of simply spending what we can afford. Many are questioning, as commendable though that is, whether it is actually now sufficient to survive in the Premier League beyond the odd season or three? Whatever your view, it raises two recurring themes, which seem to be “in vogue” throughout football at the moment: club ownership and additional investment.
Our 18 goals have actually been scored by TEN different players, with Nathan Redmond being top-scorer with FOUR goals. Perhaps more telling, our main three strikers – Cameron Jerome, Dieumerci Mbokani and Lewis Grabban – have just FIVE goals between them.
Alex Neil does have the benefit of a squad with much greater Premier League experience that the two promotion rivals, even if the cynics may suggest, some most part of the relegation team from the season before last.
For the past decade the Hitchin Town Supporters Trust has been raising funds each year to help pay the players’ wages. However, that doesn’t go anywhere near telling the whole storey, as the club’s problems are much bigger.
If there’s one thing we’ve all learnt during Alex Neil’s brief tenure it’s that he has a meticulous eye for preparatio rarely seen before at Carrow Road. And it’s that which is highly likely to set him apart from his counterparts at Bournemouth and Watford.
Football is naturally a competitive game and, when your club is completing at the highest level, whether in the Championship or the Premier League, it’s understandable why very few managers are brave enough to risk an inexperienced, academy player, rather than a seasoned old pro. The odds are stacked so much against the academy player.
Football has changed its image, largely for the better but, in some instances, for the worse. Whether we liked it or not, football suddenly became sanitised. Pre-match entertainment consisted of pre-determined musical play lists.
With the benefit of the present loan system, these clubs can loan out their players to other Premier League, Football League or Conference clubs, supposedly in the name of player development. Chelsea, at one stage earlier this season, actually had twenty six players out on loan!