Ex-City chairman Ed Balls confident club will avoid past Premier League mistakes

PUBLISHED: 06:00 29 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:43 29 April 2019

Ed Balls was at Carrow Road to watch Norwich City clinch promotion Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Ed Balls was at Carrow Road to watch Norwich City clinch promotion Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Former Norwich City chairman Ed Balls feels the Canaries have a 'real chance' of Premier League survival.

Balls was at Carrow Road to watch Daniel Farke's squad seal promotion from the Championship with a 2-1 win against Blackburn on Saturday night.

The lifelong City fan stepped down from his role as chairman earlier in the season, but played his part in the new direction that brought Stuart Webber and Farke to the club back in 2017.

The Canaries spent big in a failed attempt to stay up the last time they were in the top flight, and Balls is confident lessons have been learned.

“We went into a January window where we were mid-table but under pressure (and) we spent a lot of money. I think we were the seventh-biggest spenders that January,” he said, in an opinion piece with The Times.

“It didn't work, we went down and for the last three years the club has been dealing with the consequences of the salaries and the expenditure and the length of contracts which you can commit to in the Premier League.

“I think the club has learnt something very important, which is if you just simply throw loads and loads of money hoping it will work right now and it doesn't, then it can really undermine your club for a long time into the future.

“They will definitely be thinking to strengthen, but on the other hand they know they have a core of a Premier League squad here and what they won't be looking to do I think is just throw big money at established, known players.

“They will be looking to be strategic and to strengthen in some areas but whatever happens next season, and of course we want to stay up, we want to stay on a trajectory which is a five-year view, not a five-month view.

“I think they will be judicious but, if the recruitment this summer is as good as last summer, Norwich have got a real chance of staying in the Premier League.”

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