‘I felt a real obligation to Norwich City’ - Former City striker on why he stayed after relegation
PUBLISHED: 09:47 07 June 2020 | UPDATED: 09:56 07 June 2020
Former Norwich City striker Dean Ashton has explained why he opted to stay with the Canaries following their relegation from the Premier League in 2005.
Ashton, once a record buy for City, made 16 top-flight appearances for the Canaries, scoring on seven occasions for Nigel Worthington’s side in the 2004/05 season.
Despite Ashton’s contribution to the side after his arrival in January from Crewe Alexandra, City suffered relegation after a 6-0 final day thrashing at the hands of Fulham.
Speculation surrounded Ashton’s next career move, but the striker opted to stay at Carrow Road.
“I’ve got to admit that it was a tough summer. Obviously, I had spent all of my career, up to that previous January, with Crewe in the Championship and League One.
“To get that chance in the Premier League, I loved every single minute of it and achieved the dream of almost every player. So to then have the thought of having to go back to the Championship again was something I really struggled with,” Ashton told West Ham’s official site.
“At the same time though, I felt a real obligation to Norwich City, who had taken that chance on me. They had been the club that stumped up the money, bought me and gave me the chance in the Premier League, so I felt like I owed them.”
Ashton eventually joined West Ham United in the January following City’s relegation, but injury curtailed his career from flourishing in the Premier League.
Following City’s relegation, Ashton explains why that summer was difficult for him personally.
“To be honest, I genuinely don’t think there were many offers in either. You hear the rumours, of course. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want a team to come in and make a proper bid that Norwich would accept, and I would go and play in the Premier League again. But that just wasn’t forthcoming.
“There are always plenty of rumours and, even if a club is genuinely interested, that doesn’t always equate to putting the money down to buy the player. That never materialised and the season was upon us before we really knew it.
“I was happy to get my head down and help Norwich try to get back to the Premier League. Norwich were great with me and I signed a better deal with them, so I made the decision to stay and give it a real go to get the club back in the Premier League.”