Canaries will be a threat - Walters
IPSWICH Town captain Jon Walters admits old foes Norwich City will be a threat in the Championship when the two sides renew their rivalry next season.
The Canaries are already a better bet for promotion than Town next season according to several bookmakers and Walters believes that the trio coming up from League One, headed by Paul Lambert’s men, will more than hold their own.
Some commentators have argued that the loss of Newcastle and West Brom to the Premiership will give Championship clubs a better chance of realising their Championship dream but Walters doesn’t believe this is the case.
“I can see the argument that the Championship next season might be weaker than this one but then you have to look at the teams coming up,” said Walters, who is reportedly being courted once again by Stoke City. “Norwich have done well and bounced back at the first attempt and Leeds is a big club. Millwall have players that have been together for a while and if they can progress through the play-offs, they will be a threat.
“The three promoted clubs will not come up expecting to be bottom of the table. They will be looking to really push on.”
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The need for Town to mount a promotion challenge next season became more acute earlier this month upon the news that clubs relegated from the Premier League will receive increased parachute payments.
Teams relegated from the top flight next season can budget for �48million over four seasons instead of the �16million over two years as it currently stands.
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It all adds up to clubs perhaps taking more of a chance in the transfer market this summer in search of the Promised Land, with clubs like Hull City and Burnley taking a calculated risk to get back in the big time at the first time of asking.
Walters believes the financial climate could therefore lead to one of the most open Championships ever.
“The clubs coming down may all have financial concerns but they are big clubs,” added the 26-year-old.
“I was at Hull and I know how important that club is to the local area. Newcastle and West Brom were the favourites to go back up and next season will be a lot more open I think but it’s going to be as hard as always to finish in the top six, let alone the top two.”