Daniel Farke's imminent arrival marks a first for Norwich City
PUBLISHED: 07:48 25 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:01 25 May 2017
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It's been a bastion of home rule for years, a place where no Johnny Foreigner has set foot.
But now, the manager’s office at Colney is set to have a new sign on the door and a new incumbent.
Off comes the sign that says “Manager” on goes one that says “Coach”. And through the door comes Daniel Farke.
City have never had a foreign manager and, technically, may never have one again, given the restructure at Carrow Road has done away with the role.
But even the players can’t stop themselves from referring to “the new manager” so let’s stick with that, eh (and for these purposes, assume that foreign means non-English speaking - politically incorrect as that may appear)?
Norwich City are something of a rarity: there are not many clubs who have never had foreign management or ownership.
The latter is something that has raised its ugly head in recent years as supporters have watched enviously at the spending power that comes with foreign owners. Of course, it doesn’t always work out well.
In the Premier League last season, only Burnley have never had foreign ownership or management, and of the rest, only Bournemouth have never had a foreign boss.
Leicester’s Thai owners helped bankroll a stunning Premier League success – but Leeds’ now former owner simply had his hands on the railings as he rocked a once mighty ship to the point of capsize. In the Championship, there are plenty of teams who have been down the overseas route, with varying degrees of success. But sticking to home rule doesn’t always work – as City and neighbours Ipswich know only too well. It’s that school of thought that has made Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones reluctant sellers, but there is no proof either way – just some horror stories.
How deliberate the home policy on managers has been is another thing: is foreign management as risky as foreign ownership? We may never know.
Farke’s imminent arrival is a sea change, in historical terms, and will lead to other ‘firsts’.
Expect, for example, to see Norwich City’s first German player: we have Timm Klose, who was born in Germany, but is Swiss.
The times are certainly a’ changing at Carrow Road.