As one who frequents Twitter far more than is healthy, it’s become clear over the last few weeks that there is little appetite right now for anything Norwich City-related. MyFootballWriter’s Google Analytics page confirms as much. Numbers are at quiet-period-of-close-season levels.
All of which is fine but not ideal if you’re the editor of MFW, although thanks to the team we’ve bobbed along okay with a mix of thoughts on the wider picture at NCFC and some World Cup musings. And with many of our regular commenters not taking a World Cup break, we’ve kept the conversation going.
(Thanks, as ever, to you all, by the way).
But, to be honest, I completely get that many have embraced the World Cup and used it as a pleasant diversion from all things Norwich City. Totally. In a different set of circumstances, I’d have been more than happy to do the same.
The big question, I guess, is will, upon resumption of hostilities (probably literally), the masses re-engage?
Normally that would be a given. Now I’m not so sure.
It’s not the club’s fault, of course, that we’re approaching the unprecedented territory of a World Cup/Championship crossover, and it is possible to watch and be invested in domestic and international football at the same time, but who, to coin a pre-match phrase that regularly appears on #NCFC Twitter, is “buzzing” ahead of next Saturday’s game in Swansea?
But. given said crossover, I’d imagine we’re not alone. It does seem too soon but when you have a 24-team division, an even longer break would concertina an already overly-concertinaed season to breaking point.
Needs must. And there will be some who’ll welcome a return to ‘normaility’
From the Club’s perspective, I’m not sure they give a stuff either way. And they certainly don’t care what a few miserabilists on a small, independent website have to say on the matter (and fair enough).
They’ve made it quite clear that, in their view, everything is still tickety-boo and that the fans are still aboard the good ship Norwich City. I suspect they believe the break came at a good time for the Club itself and also for Dean Smith and that those few noisy, restless natives who drown out the applause and clapping of the majority will have calmed down by December 17.
I suspect they’re wrong… unless the miraculous reset that Dean Smith promised in his post-Middlesbrough interviews comes to fruition.
But, whether the Club chooses to accept it or not, there is a bigger problem on the horizon. The one known as season ticket renewal time.
It’s usually around February time that we start receiving our renewal notices amid a glossy brochure, a thank you letter and loads of other bumf that invariably finds its way into the recycling bin.
Then Anthony Richens’ theory will be seriously stress-tested – namely that because the fans keep buying tickets and keep turning up for games then they must be content.
Well, Anthony, we’ll see,
The Club appears content to trundle along its current path, and has done for a while, on the premise that there is a season-ticket waiting list and for anyone who chooses to opt-out, there will always be someone there, on the list, who’s waiting to opt-in.
Again, not so sure.
Now, before I’m reminded, I do understand that in today’s footballing climate, gate receipts generally play second fiddle to TV income – dramatically so in the Premier League – but in the second tier and beyond they still count,
And, plus, the optics of swathes of empty seats in Carrow Road won’t reflect well on the current regime, and they do care how they are perceived on the outside.
So I’m not sure we should be taken for granted in the way we are right now. And I’m not sure viewing those same fans as the enemy is a sustainable position either.
I suppose all of the above could yet be rendered irrelevant if Dean Smith keeps that promise and his team comes flying out of the traps on December 10 to regain its foothold in the promotion race.
That would probably work.
But if it doesn’t, the current calm may be one that precedes a storm.
Either way, enjoy the next six, angst-free days.
And c’mon England.