Unnecessary transfer activity

A new blog offering commentary on all things Norwich City FC from a proud "citizen journalist". I will criticise or praise our team without fear or favour. And abuse nurses if I'm in the mood because I am that sort of person.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Norwich City's support

"It's loyal and steadfast. It's not always noisy, but it's always there." Unless it's too busy working for a pro-war anti-muslim pornographer, of course. Can we expect to hear in the coming weeks how Worthington's ventures into the transfer market were sabotaged by the Duke of Edinburgh and some shadowy figures from the British secret services?

Friday, December 01, 2006

I don't want to say "I told you so" but...

According to Clancy

"the board believed that it should back the judgement of former manager Nigel Worthington and did so, sanctioning player wages during 2005/6 which were only marginally lower than during our year in the Premier League".

As I may have said more than once - what more evidence do the board need that this policy

"We allocate the amount to be spent by the manager as he sees fit. Whether he chooses to spend it on one or six players, on free transfers or wages or loans is really down to his judgment. It is not the board's place to tell the manager who to buy and we would never dream of doing that."

is fatally flawed?

Granty is streets ahead of his predecessor as a manager but never again should the club jeopardise its future by failing to at least question the judgement of an ex-footballer.

Good old-fashioned common sense (part 5)

According to Shaun O'Hara: "Failure to win promotion at the end of 2006/7 will reduce our income by a minimum of £7m. While the club remains in the Championship it will be necessary to generate surplus funds for future players by selling assets."

So was it really that wise to structure the Green and MacKenzie transfer deals so that the vast bulk of the money was only payable AFTER the end of 2006/7? Apparently it was :“I wouldn't accept that there's any weakness in any of the deals that have been done" says Neil Doncaster. I wonder who negotiated the deals then?

More comment on the accounts to come next week.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Taking the piss

In the EDP of 14th November we were told:

"Dickson Etuhu has promised City fans there will be no repeat of his last East Anglian derby performance when the biannual clash of the cross-border rivals takes place this weekend "


"Ipswich is the big one," said Etuhu. "On a personal level I can't wait to win that game because the last game I played against them I was absolutely awful."


"But that game is gone now. It's Ipswich we're concentrating on now - and you can put money on me to score."

On the 15th November Gary Doherty explained:

“It was unfortunate that the Stoke game came in between but I think there were a few factors why we didn't perform that day that have been ironed out.”


"With City up to ninth in the Championship table, Doherty feels they can do more than grind out 1-0 wins.

He said: “Results breed confidence and sooner or later, someone's going to get a good pasting.”"


“It may be a good time to play them,” he said. “They've lost their last two games so if we can go there, put them under a bit of pressure and maybe get an early goal, that would quieten the crowd.”

Of course I could quote hundreds of examples from the last couple of seasons of our players talking big in the press and then taking the piss out of the paying supporters once they get on the pitch. So is it really that surprising that the fans are no longer prepared to give unqualified support to players who are not willing to walk the walk.

Granty is working with the squad that Worthington built and (with one or two honourable exceptions) it is characterised by gutlessness, indolence and arrogance. Time to get rid.

What's another £400,000 between friends?

Way back in January 2005 we were informed on http://www.canaries.premiumtv.co.uk - when discussing the subject of record transfer fees:

"That particular honour is now held firmly by new striker Dean Ashton, who cost the Canaries £3m when he completed his move from Crewe on Monday. "

Then back in August of this year Neil Doncaster when discussing the Ashton transfer said that regarding the £3m figure "the reality is, as is so often the case, far removed from the perception" and that "we actually paid £4.5m in total for Dean". Which is very odd. Why on earth did a club that "suffers at times from a desire to be as transparent as possible for the benefit of supporters" publish a transfer figure that was so "far removed" from the reality in the first place?

And, of course, it gets odder still, as Doncaster has now revealed that yet another £400,000 is to be paid to Crewe. Will it never end?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The ever-expanding transfer fee

So how much did will we end up paying for Dean Ashton? Back in the heady days of summer Clancy informed us that "we actually paid £4.5m in total for Dean" not, you will note, "will have paid". So presumably the £400,000 that will be paying to Crewe in January is on top of that?

For years the reason that the club is not "awash with cash" was blamed on Chase. I wonder if the "Ashton cost us more than you thought" excuse will last as long?

Clancy may be in for a shock in January though - Granty is a lot brighter than some of the previous incumbents at Carrow Road and is well capable of subtracting £1.75 million and £400,000 from £3.5 million, and then adding back the MacKenzie and Green fees and coming up with a nice big transfer budget. Will Clancy "be as transparent as possible" with him and admit that the reason there is no money is because the finances are out of control?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The perceptions and the reality

Back in early August Neil "The Chief" (Wiggum?) Doncaster used his EDP column to "set the record straight" on the mistaken perception "that the club should be awash with cash". One of the reasons he gave for this "huge gap between perception and reality" was that we actually paid much more for Dean Ashton than anyone thought. Astonishingly, given the club's commitment to openness Mr Doncaster failed to mention a far more significant reason why the club was unable to "compete on equal terms with the likes of Birmingham City and West Brom" - the reason being that much of the transfer fee receivable from West Ham in respect of the transfer of Dean Ashton had not been paid. And, as we now know, it still hasn't.

In the summer Nigel Worthington was pilloried for his lack of transfer activity. I wonder why the Chief Executive of a club that "suffers at times from a desire to be as transparent as possible" failed to mention that the manager's inactivity was due not to dilatoriness but due to the fact that his transfer budget was in West Ham United FC's bank account? Mysterious omission isn't it?

West Ham United, a club that made an operating profit of £13.4 million in the year ending 31st May, and which is described by their chairman as being in a strong financial position, have signed nine players since the end of last season. We have signed two. But, to be fair, they did have the use of our transfer budget as well as their own.

Back in May our newest board member wrote of the Ashton transfer saga "with the benefit of hindsight, it would perhaps have been better to cash-in and reinvest last summer". Curiously he failed to mention that the deal eventually struck was structured in such a way that we were unable to re-invest the following summer either - unlike "cash-rich" West Ham who really filled their boots.

I wonder if Clancy will use his EDP column to let us know which bright spark negotiated the Ashton transfer deal with West Ham? Somehow I doubt it. Or failing that I wonder if he will tell us if, had Ashton signed for Wigan or Manchester City, much of the transfer fee would still be outstanding more than nine months after the event. I doubt that too.

On an unrelated personal note I am forswearing alcohol and undertaking a strict physical fitness regime. That way I hope to live long enough to see the transfer fee for Rob Green paid in full.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Isn't the answer obvious?

Remember this?

“I will stand up and be counted and take the flak that comes,” he said. “The one thing I want the players to do over the next fortnight is look in the dictionary and see what the word honest means, because they seem to have forgotten what that means, ie for themselves, for me and, most important of all, the football club and the supporters who pay hard-earned money, travel the width and breadth of the country to support them and they throw that performance and the performance against QPR two weeks ago back in their faces."

Sounds a bit like this doesn't it?

"Worthington again pointed the finger at his players, as he had done after the accusing them of lacking desire and passion, but admitted the buck stopped with him.“I don't ask for a lot from the players but I do ask for passion and desire, and we didn't show that in abundance,” said Worthington.“But that comes from me and I have got to deal with it and make sure we sort it out.“There are no excuses. We've got some good players here but today the performance levels were not good enough.”And although three Championship managers lost their jobs last week, Worthington insists he does not feel under any pressure.“I don't feel any pressure, I feel disappointed for the supporters who have travelled a long way, paid good money, given up a lot of time to see that,” he said.“What I am disappointed with is the performance level. I can deal with all the other bits and bobs, that is part of the job nowadays.“If you don't want to be in it get out. I want to be in it, I enjoy it. I have said before I love the job and certainly from my point of view it won't be from the lack of trying."

Two matches, nearly 11 months apart, yet nothing has changed, as even the manager (but apparently not the board) can see. And really is the problem actually the players? Of the team that started on that grim November day at Wolverhampton only three (Doherty, Colin and McVeigh) started on Saturday at Plymouth. And it's interesting to note that the player singled out for especial criticism after Wolves - Adam Drury - was unavailable on Saturday - as was the more normal target of the manager's ire - Darren Huckerby.

A fortune spent, almost an entire new team, a new coach, yet still the same old problems remain. Everyone else has long since worked out what the answer is - how long before the Stowmarket property developers get it?