City need to get it right off the pitch

PUBLISHED: 14:06 07 August 2009 | UPDATED: 16:24 10 September 2010

Tim Allman, Capital Canaries

For those that have been hiding in a darkened room since the debacle at Charlton, and that did include me for a few days, we start the new season in the third flight of English football for the first time in fifty years, with a manager who has but half a season's experience in the hot seat, and a squad of players, half of which may be playing in a league game for City at Carrow Road for the first time.

For those that have been hiding in a darkened room since the debacle at Charlton, and that did include me for a few days, we start the new season in the third flight of English football for the first time in fifty years, with a manager who has but half a season's experience in the hot seat, and a squad of players, half of which may be playing in a league game for City at Carrow Road for the first time.

Last season we had the crazy situation where members of the board were not aware of the problems that were being created by Glenn Roeder's management style, but it was obvious to this exiled supporter living over a hundred miles away that all was not well. After the appalling way in which Huckerby was shoved out of Carrow Road, which the board admitted should have been handled much better, a firmer hand and a keener eye should have been focused on goings on at Colney. We know that Roeder may have been a difficult character to manage, but to shirk away from this responsibility was one of the many reasons for our relegation.

Tackling the huge debt, which was “manageable” last season, will become one of the top priorities for our new chief executive, but exactly how this will be done is anyone's guess apart from massive new investment or a disposal of some of our assets.

And as regards the assets, we can't sell the land we have according to one of our majority shareholders and attracting investment is proving difficult, nigh on impossible, but who knows exactly on what terms investment is being sought? If I came into a few million and decided to put some it the way of NCFC would I be happy that my cash was used to repay the banks or splashed out on that twenty five goal a season striker?

According to David McNally, our impressive new chief executive, we have a great turnover to wages ratio, but of course if we are hamstrung with huge debt, a large proportion of our income must be used to service this debt before we can start to budget for the squad.

McNally said a number of positive things at the Supporters Forum this week, which I was lucky enough to been asked to attend. He clearly is in charge of his brief, involved with all aspects of the football club and appears to be the sort of character that will not shy away from making a tough decision that will be for the longer term good of Norwich City FC.

After four years of having Mohammed Al-Fayed as boss, will dealing with Delia and Michael be any easier? If in the best interests of the club, a decision needs to be made on something close to Delia's heart, say the catering operation, or new money coming in that may dilute our owners' majority shareholding, how will McNally move this along and get it done?

We appear to have made a decent start in appointing McNally. The quiet efficiency in which our pre-season acquisitions have been made is encouraging, but there is still more tough negotiating to do if releasing Stefanovic is not to cost us too much money. I suspect that the potential sale of Daryl Russell will, in some way cover this, which may in turn leave some budget for maybe another player or two to join before the end of August.

The old phrase that “getting it right on the pitch first” is still the reason we all travel to Carrow Road every other Saturday, but this season, more than ever, we need to start getting it right off the pitch.

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