A Christmas Carol - Canaries style

PUBLISHED: 15:02 23 December 2006 | UPDATED: 09:55 14 September 2010

It was a cold and snowy Christmas Eve in Norwich. The only sound that could be heard, apart from the scratch scratch of Eberneezer Doomcaster's quill pen on the Norwich City ledgers, were the blasts of wind down Carrow Road.

It was a cold and snowy Christmas Eve in Norwich. The only sound that could be heard, apart from the scratch scratch of Eberneezer Doomcaster's quill pen on the Norwich City ledgers, were the blasts of wind down Carrow Road.

Eberneezer Doomcaster's chief clerk, Pob Gratchit, or “PG” as he liked to be called was working hard, even though it was late in the evening.

Two years ago, it was all so different. Back then, he employed a different chief clerk, a worthy fellow who went by the name of Nigel.

It all seemed to be going so well until Norwich and the Premiership had a big falling out. The torrent of cash soon became a trickle, and at the end of the current season, looked like it would finish forever.

Nigel was investigated and turned out not to be the worthy fellow that Doomcaster thought he was. Nigel was sacked, and PG, the new chief clerk had been working hard to get Norwich back on track.

Eberneezer Doomcaster was in a daze as he wandered home. A ghostly apparition appeared. “I am the ghost of the Premiership,” boomed the spirit. “Tonight you will be visited by three ghosts. You will do well to heed their advice.”

Eberneezer Doomcaster entered his house, slumped into his armchair and fell asleep.

He woke suddenly. Beside the clock stood a ghost. “I am the Ghost of Midfield Past,” he said.

A terrified Doomcaster watched as if by magic a film of the 1988/89 season started playing. “Do you remember Crook, Fox. Gordon and Townsend and how well they passed the ball?” Doomcaster, too terrified to speak, drifted back to sleep.

Minutes, or maybe hours later, he woke again. Another spectre appeared as “The Ghost of Midfield Present.” It too showed a film, but this time it was a recent Norwich match from a packed Carrow Road. “Do the names Robinson, Etuhu, and Hughes mean anything to you?”asked the ghost, “Because they don't mean anything to me.”

Doomcaster then questioned the ghost, “Who is playing on the right and where's Little Ern?”

The ghost looked back at Doomcaster and replied: “Nobody is ever on the right and Little Ern, is still not at all well and you are in danger of losing him.” The second ghost faded away.

Some time later in the night Doomcaster woke again. Another ghost appeared. “I am the Ghost of Midfield Yet to Come,” wailed the spirit. He clicked his fingers and another film started. It showed a half empty Carrow Road. Doomcaster gulped as he realised he was looking into the future.

Suddenly he realised someone was missing from the team. “Where's Little Ern?” he asked the Ghost. The spectre shook his head sadly. “A player of the quality of Little Ern could not be fed from scraps forever. However, you could change things as we are looking at the future. The choice is yours.

On Boxing Day, Eberneezer Doomcaster rushed into the office at Carrow Road and found PG.

“The midfield, we must strengthen the midfield,” he said. “You can have some money. We don't want to lose Little Ern.”

PG looked back at Doomcaster with a knowing smile. It was going to be a Happy New Year.

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