Real deal on handkerchiefs

PUBLISHED: 07:45 04 March 2006 | UPDATED: 09:15 14 September 2010

CHRIS WISE

Norwich City haven't got too much in common with Real Madrid and Barcelona - but that could all change soon. Whenever the Spanish giants are going through a bad run of form fans register their displeasure by waving white handkerchiefs in the air.

Norwich City haven't got too much in common with Real Madrid and Barcelona - but that could all change soon.

Whenever the Spanish giants are going through a bad run of form fans register their displeasure by waving white handkerchiefs in the air.

The signal of surrender usually gets the supporters' message across to the powers-that-be - and Roy Blower would like to see something similar today as fans disillusioned with Nigel Worthington's management continue their campaign against the City boss.

"I have seen that sort in Spain and I think it does work," said the chairman of the Norwich City Independent Supporters' Association, who organised Thursday's meeting about "the current situation".

"It makes a statement without offending anyone. I'm suggesting that fans wave white handkerchiefs, or maybe white cards, at half-time and at the end of the game, but not during it. We don't want any protests when the game in his progress because that would be counter-productive."

The hankie protest was one of a number of suggestions put forward during the meeting as supporters tackled the emotive issue of how best to get their feelings across without damaging their side's chances of winning games.

Like his chairman, NCISA treasurer John Tilson wants it to be a case of business as usual once today's game against Stoke gets under way, but he has got his own idea for a protest after the final game of the season against Wolves on April 30.

"We are very conscious that we don't want to harm the club financially," he said. "We don't want to boo the team when a game is in progress and we do not want to insult certain individuals who are employed by the football club. So we have all been trying to think of different ways to get our views across.

"Traditionally in the last home game of the season the team comes out 10 minutes after the final whistle with the manager to applaud the fans for their support. I just think it would be wrong if we then applauded them.

"If everyone left immediately after the game they would come out to an empty stadium. I'm sure a few people would get the message then.

"As far as Saturday is concerned my opinion is that fans have got to get behind their team and I think everyone will get behind them come 3pm. I'll be the first to admit that I have expressed my opinions to those around me when games have being going on. But I haven't resorted to booing."

Both men thought Thursday's meeting, which attracted a crowd of over 500, was a success, Blower saying: "I was knocked out by the attendance. I think people respect NCISA for what we are trying to do. We are not a fire and brimstone brigade - we are a responsible organisation who are just doing what we think is best for our football club.

"The other thing I would like to say is that we are not a minority. There are a lot of people out there with a deep feeling for the football club who feel utter resentment when certain people say that. If you go to any factory, shop or dwelling there is a great dissatisfaction with the way the football club is being run as far as the team is concerned."

Tilson added: "I was very impressed with the number of people who turned up on a freezing night. I don't think it will sway the board but I think more and more people will turn out at future events and they will have to listen to what we are saying in the end.I think if all 25,000 who attended Saturday's game were balloted before it then 20,000 would want Nigel Worthington out."

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