City keeper David Marshall offered one, brutally honest question after yesterday's non-event saw the Canaries kissing good-bye to the Championship in wholly spineless style: 'Who on Earth is going to buy any of us after watching that…?'
Club owner Michael Wynn Jones revealed that the board will launch their own, in-depth inquest on Wednesday after Deon Burton's hat-trick helped send the proud Norfolk side into the third tier of English football for the first time in 48 years.
Among some serious soul-searching will be several $64 million questions – not least, how can we raise some funds for next season and slash that ?8.5 million player budget into something that befits our new and belittling League One surroundings?
The answer will be to hit the sales and listen to each and every offer that comes the club's way – reports of Fulham's interest in Northern Ireland international Sammy Clingan will be one avenue that needs exploring; a straight swap deal involving on-loan Palace striker Alan Lee for the injured Wes Hoolahan might be another as the Canaries seek to start their new life down below with a far better balanced squad than the one which bid farewell to the Championship is such miserable fashion yesterday.
But as Marshall spoke in the immediate aftermath of that dark, drark day in the club's 107-year history, so he made a very valid point – people won't be queueing up to buy the so-called 'stars' of a team that has just been relegated 'the Norwich way'. With barely a hint of resistance in SE7.
“We've took the club down,” the 24-year-old admitted.
“It's not as if there's any superstars in there that are going to get good moves out of being relegated so we're just going to have to plug on. Sometimes it's out of the boys' hands and its up to the board over the summer,” he added, confirming that he'd still be around for the trips to Yeovil, Hartlepool and beyond.
“I've no problems staying here and, as I say, there'll not be a queue of clubs hanging out for the boys because we've just had 46 games to stay in the Championship.”
“It just wasn't good enough – we were 3-0 down in the first half-an-hour and we're supposed to be fighting to stay in the league,” said Marshall.
Not to anyone who travelled to the north bank of the Thames four years ago to see another City surrender roll out the white flag on a day when the survival hopes of thousands depended on a dozen blokes deigning to turn up at Craven Cottage. Craven, being the operative word.
Yesterday and there was a very real danger of history repeating itself as Charlton strolled into a 3-0 lead with a mere half-an-hour on the clock; Lee's far post header in first-half stoppage time and Clingan's late free-kick gave the scoreline a hint of respectability, but the lack of any discernible spirit in those first 45 minutes stank of that 6-0 defeat at Fulham as Norwich disappeared out of the Premiership in similarly God-awful fashion.
“Two minutes before we heard that Plymouth had scored,” he said, as Fate opted to twist the knife even deeper into the hearts of those 3,300 travelling Canary fans.
“And I just don't know why… I honestly don't know…”
Picking up opposition players at the far post, tracking back, stopping soft crosses from wide areas… the charge sheet had a pretty familiar ring to it.
“It didn't distract us; we could hear the fans cheering and stuff. But it's a bread-and-butter cross to the back post and the boy's scored. I don't know. Maybe we thought we had to go and get goals and opened up a bit.”
Game all but over by the break, Bryan Gunn's fury awaited in the dressing room.
“He's had a go,” revealed Marshall. “Sometimes it's not about how good you are, it's about the spirit. And we never showed any fighting spirit. And he had a go at us because we were not showing enough bottle or pride.
“And he was spot on. He had a go.
“And we got the goal before half-time; it's still difficult, but it gives you a chance….”
Six minutes after the restart, Lloyd Sam skins Simon Lappin, rolls the ball through an empty six-yard box and Burton completes his hat-trick by sliding in ahead of Jon Otsemobor. Good-night, God bless…
“At 3-0 down, it's over anyway,” said Marshall, fully understanding the fans' fury and frustration as 'You're not fit to wear the shirt…' echoed out across The Valley.
“Of course; it's horrible – playing in front of 3,000 supporters when you're 3-0 down after 30 minutes. And you can hear everything that's going on. And it's disappointing.
“But the supporters are entitled to their opinion; we've just been relegated and it's just not good enough.”
For the City No1, it didn't come down to the last six games – the home reverse by Sheffield Wednesday; the three, back-to-back defeats by Ipswich, Reading and Charlton. The rot had long-since set in.
“We've had 46 games and we never played well enough under Glenn [Roeder] and when he got sacked the team were not playing for him – and that's not right. Just not right.”
It was, he said, the lowest moment of his professional career.
“It shouldn't have come to this,” he said. “You've got to show pride. And even if you're not a good footballer, you've got to give 100 per cent. And I don't think we did that today in the first half an hour.
“Even if we hadn't won today, but had shown a bit of pride the fans would have been obviously disappointed, but they couldn't have faulted our effort in the last game. And that's what is so disappointing.”