Town fans are hurting with Norwich City now East Anglia’s aristocrats
ON a scale of one to 10 the pain being felt by Ipswich Town supporters is currently around the nine mark.
Another bout of mid-table mediocrity is bad enough, but what is really causing Blues followers to seek the nearest hole to crawl into is promotion to the Premier League for Norwich City.
Paul Jewell’s side are now the poor relations of East Anglia – just two short years after everything in the garden looked rosy at Portman Road upon Roy Keane’s glittering arrival while Carrow Road appeared to be in a mess with impending relegation to League One.
While Keane – like his predecessor Jim Magilton – had money from club owner Marcus Evans to spend, the Canaries were on the edge of financial melt down.
Keane wasted his millions, while once City came across Paul Lambert after a series of poor managerial appointments they have moved steadily onward and upward bolstered by a string of cut price but highly effective purchases.
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Norwich are now back on the Christmas card list of their bank manager with at least �100million guaranteed to enter their coffers over the next four years even if their stay in the top flight lasts just one season.
Their fans can afford to dance a jig in the street at the impending open top bus excursion around the city, while their opposite numbers wearing blue and white are keeping their fingers crossed that Jewell’s planned summer dip into the transfer market proves much more successful than his two predecessors.
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If not Carrow Road will become the home of the Eastern Counties football aristocracy.
It could easily happen and these are not good times to be a Town supporter.
Some would go as far as to suggest that it has become embarrassing to be supporting a club that has failed its public so badly since the departure of manager Joe Royle in 2006.
Norwich has a vibrant board that actively fronts the club behind the main - if no longer chief benefactor - figurehead Delia Smith.
Ipswich has a reclusive owner and chairman with very little weight emanating from the directors’ box if you take out the often maligned but honest toiling of chief executive Simon Clegg.
For Town followers who would happily forego promotion as long as Norwich were beaten twice in a season it is all very hard to take right now – and the scary thing is that City are in a position where they could become a big player in the footballing world leaving Town to muddle along among the also rans.
There has to be a but, however. Ipswich was in a position to become East Anglian Kings just 24 months ago and blew it. Norwich can do the same.
They have no tradition – no Football League championship under their belts no FA Cup success to help keep them warm on the cold days that follow bad results.
And hey, no UEFA Cup triumph either.
Lambert’s Norwich reign now looks short term.
Either from being head hunted by a big club or suffer the same fate as Newcastle and West Brom managers, who this time last year with God like to their fans.
The Canaries soon came down when previously promoted (although Town fans would have taken three promotions within the last seven years) and this time around they are not ready for the big time.
They have had no time to built foundations in their haste to rise from the foot of League One after the first game of 2009/10 to their current position.
It is far better to prepare the ground and then go up when you are in a position to stay up. As Ipswich are doing!
But being a hurting Ipswich supporter I would be bound to say that wouldn’t I?