“No-one likes us, we don’t care”.
It’s remarkable how the Canaries have become footballing public enemy number one since the beginning of the season.
After our less than distinguished start to the campaign, the armchair critics were out in force saying we didn’t deserve to be in the Premier League because we weren’t ‘… giving it a go’.
My response to that nonsense is that is exactly what we are doing. We’re giving it a go. We’re giving it a go without the pending injection of millions of pounds of funding from a sovereign wealth fund that the country of Saudi Arabia has amassed from the huge profits made from fossil fuel sales; profits that are spent on projects around the world to try and improve the reputation of a country where a woman still needs permission from a man to marry, start certain types of business, to have an abortion or leave a domestic abuse centre.
Mind you, they were finally given permission to drive a car in 2018.
There was the usual flapping of faux outraged hands from all sections of the media when the Newcastle take over went ahead last year. But, inevitably, it has died a swift death and the interest now is all about who they’ll be spending some of that money on in the transfer window and whether they’ll avoid relegation at the end of this season.
You can bet every penny you have that anyone and everyone involved in the game, whether it is the Premier League or the people paid to write about it will be getting down on bended knees every night and praying that they do.
Then there’s Chelsea.
A writer from The Times passed her audition for the Mail Online on Sunday by telling the world how we fans were collectively ‘annoying’ before going on to knock the club’s business model.
The one that isn’t like Newcastle United’s. Work that one out.
This is, incidentally, the same newspaper that, last April waxed lyrical about the Canaries, paying tribute to our “… smart leadership, coaching and rich reward to sticking to their methods”.
Chelsea are, as we all learnt last week are in debt to the tune of around £1.2 billion. This includes a loss of around £140 million last season. That didn’t, of course, stop them spending £97.5 million on Romelu Lukaku last August – who now doesn’t seem to be able to get a game with them and is, as a result, hankering for a move back to Italy.
But at least they’re ‘giving it a go’. So the media treat their numerous off-field indiscretions lightly for fear of upsetting the suits at Stamford Bridge and being banned from the best matchday hospitality in town.
As far as Billy Gilmour – at the moment, being metamorphosed into the Queen Mother of football – is concerned, enough has been said about his presence and contribution already this season, as well as the reaction his presence provoked from a section of the away support at Selhurst Park.
Chelsea fans are, it seems, a delicate bunch, and are all collectively upset to the point of flouncing that one of their own should be subject to criticism from the supporters of the club he is currently on loan to.
He has, they protest, been named as man-of-the-match in several Norwich games this season. They are referring, of course, to the facility on the BBC website that gives anyone the chance to give a player a mark out of ten post-match with a list of the average marks inevitably seeing Mr Gilmour have the highest average – thanks, in the main, to hundreds of Chelsea fans all giving him 10/10 on their phones at around 5pm every Saturday.
We had the same with Oliver Skipp and Tottenham fans last season, so it’s hardly a new thing. Funny haha and all that.
Anyway. In amongst all of their blue angst, no-one has, conveniently mentioned, including the representative of The Times I didn’t name-check at the top of this piece about the way the Chelsea faithful all took a collective dislike to a loanee of their own, Saul Niguez this season, with the Atletico Madrid loanee on the end of an online broadside following a 1-1 draw with Everton after he’d posted on Instagram.
Bad enough for Thomas Tuchel to publicly defend his player and condemn the Chelsea fans responsible – who didn’t, incidentally, find himself named man-of-the-match on the BBC website after that match, with his critics only giving him an average mark of 3.49.
Maybe we should all vote for Niguez as MOTM match after every Chelsea match in future!
On and on it goes.
Plucky Brighton & Hove Albion? £306 million in debt.
Everton? £409 million in debt.
Tottenham? £831 million in debt. Thank God, Daniel Levy is the ‘smart operator’ we’re constantly being told he is, think how much it might be if it wasn’t for his presence at the club.
Even this season’s media darlings, Brentford, are £74 million in debt, with most of that owed to their owner, Matthew Benham.
Now, especially in the case of Brentford, people will inevitably pop up somewhere along the line and explain how it isn’t really a debt as the owner/consortium/wealth fund will never ask for the money back so, in effect, the club isn’t in debt at all.
How handy is that? If only the owners of all of our houses, yes, those financial institutions that many of us will hold mortgages with, could have such a benevolent attitude towards all of us.
I was reading an article on The Athletic last week (its comments section is swiftly heading the way of the BBC Have Your Say section ) where the rights and wrongs of football right now were being discussed at the foot of a not unreasonable article that touched on several areas of concern. It concluded that, perhaps, the Premier League could do a touch more to keep its member clubs, particularly those who, however vehemently they deny it, are desperate to join a European Super League, in some kind of order, not least the way they operate financially.
One of the comments was from someone who stated that the most corrupt thing he found about the Premier League was that “… it allowed clubs like Norwich to be in it”.
He had at least twenty ‘likes’ for the comment and, I am sure, it now has a lot more than that.
I could just see the steam coming out of his ears as he typed that comment. The sheer audacity of it. If it isn’t one of the neighbourhood cats defecating on his front lawn, it’s Norwich City being in the Premier League.
Like I said. No one likes us. We don’t care.