City fans will be desperately hoping that words will, indeed, talk louder than money this week and that the immediate future of Canary boss Paul Lambert will be signed, sealed and delivered to everyone’s satisfaction.
Well, bar the owners of West Ham United who – according to many a national newspaper report – still have Lambert’s name amongst their ‘Most Wanted’.
Some have even suggested that Messrs Gold and Sullivan have a £4 million promotion bonus to hand for the man that can return the Hammers to the Premiership at the first time of asking.
Having performed such a feat with Newcastle United, ex-Hammers star Chris Hughton could yet put himself in pole position for the task; likewise, Martin O’Neill’s name has again been mentioned.
Top of the pile for the Upton Park post in January, the former Canary boss – and, of course, Lambert’s own managerial mentor at Celtic – remains without a job post-Villa; that £4 million ‘reward’ could be his for the asking.
Either way, the fervent hope remains that Lambert’s name is taken off anyone else’s short-list. For one thing, whilst such speculation lingers player recruitment is that much more difficult.
All concerned want to see a commitment; a pen-to-paper moment that sees the endless tabloid speculation put to bed and for the Canaries to get down to the real business of cementing their place in the top flight of English football next season.
In fairness to Lambert, the spirit appears always to have been willing; every word and deed from the moment that the final whistle blew one famous night at Fratton Park has pointed to the 41-year-old Scot being at the helm in August.
Now it is ‘simply’ a case of putting pen to paper; of the board offering Lambert due reward for services already rendered and, likewise, offering the Canary manager every personal, financial incentive to keep the Canaries flying high.
The Daily Mirror last week had a new deal worth £1.6 million-a-year sat on a table somewhere.
Lambert, likewise, is no-one’s fool. He knows his own worth; how high his stock has risen over the last two years – and, equally, just how quickly fortunes can turn in football.
This weekend and it was the turn of BBC Radio Norfolk to add to the plot with an interview with long-serving director Michael Foulger who suggested events were all moving in a positive direction.
“Can I just say there’ll be some great news regarding the manager situation that we will hope to announce this week,” Foulger said, speaking to Radio Norfolk at Fakenham Races.
Clearly, all concerned know that once the manager signs his new deal, much else can then follow. One of the beauties of finishing second is that it gives you a three-week head-start recruitment-wise on either Reading or Swansea City – who have yet to slug it out in that Championship Play-Off final.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet that we have managed to do it and go up,” added Foulger.
“I think people are saying to me it’ll perhaps only be the case when the fixtures come out in the summer. Portsmouth was an absolutely fantastic evening, but, no, it hasn’t sunk in yet.”
The other, rumoured fly in the ointment was Aston Villa as doubts over the long-term health of boss Gerard Houllier continue.
Again, this weekend’s news appeared to favour the Norfolk club with stand-in boss Gary McAllister fully expecting the Frenchman to return to the helm this summer.
“Most definitely,” said McAllister, speaking after Villa ended their season on an up-beat note with the 1-0 home win over Liverpool.
“As far as I’m concerned, every indication is that Gerard is going to be back here. He’s the manager.”
What is fascinating is the level of rumour and speculation that now follows Norwich’s every move into the top flight – particularly now they have a clearly highly-coveted young manager at their helm.
It is seven years since the Canaries found themselves under such spotlight.
The sense remains that the intensity and the interest has only magnified yet further since Nigel Worthington last led the Norfolk club into top flight battle.
It may just be a summer thing; that with Lambert’s new deal done and dusted, the Canaries will once again return to the calmer waters of the Premiership shark pool, but it is a timely lesson in just what level of frenzy now exists at the top of the English game.
It won’t be a quiet life for anyone going forward.