I can’t get him out of my head
PUBLISHED: 12:21 18 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:42 10 September 2010
CALL ME a naïve fool, but The Man has not been able to let go of the fact the Richest Norwich Fan In The World Ever wanted to buy the club. I know we've all been urged to unite as one prudent yet ambitious mass, but our flirtation with Peter Cullum raised lingering questions.
CALL ME a naïve fool, but The Man has not been able to let go of the fact the Richest Norwich Fan In The World Ever wanted to buy the club.
I know we've all been urged to unite as one prudent yet ambitious mass, but our flirtation with Peter Cullum raised lingering questions.
In this context, The Man was able to have a chat with Michael Wynn-Jones recently, not in my guise as a columnist, but as a fan.
It was the first time I have ever met MWJ; and as has become obvious over the years, it is clear he has the grand passion for this club which many of us share. He is a gentleman too.
Amid Delia's high profile, MWJ's influence can often be over-looked, but I suspect when push comes to shove, he does most of the talking in key negotiations.
The Man took the opportunity of a chance encounter with MWJ to quiz him on the Cullum affair (or lack of it).
He was honest enough to admit that, despite spin to the contrary from at least one other board member, neither he nor Delia actually met (or even spoke to) Cullum during the takeover 'talks' last month. Some phone calls took place between a board member and Cullum, but that's as far as it got.
The last and only time Michael met PC was in October…
While refusing to go into details, due to legal restrictions, he also kept repeating the fact that Cullum's offer was not “fair and reasonable,” on this he was adamant.
When The Man suggested that perhaps MWJ should go back to Cullum to see if any deal could be set up away from the public eye, he looked vexed. It is clear he does not see it as his job to chase Cullum, if PC wants to buy the club he will have to make the running.
It is one of the great aspects of our club that the owner will take five minutes out of his time to talk to a supporter in the street, but the fact Michael has spoken to me more than Peter Cullum this year worries The Man.
The Turners get two seats on the board for an initial £2m loan, yet Cullum's promises of a £20m transfer budget don't even buy him an invite to the Top of the Terrace restaurant in 2008.
We can only assume that Delia and Michael were so horrified by the nature (and consequences) of Cullum's offer in October that they did not consider it worthwhile getting around a table with him again.
Delia and Michael are a wonderful couple who have put their heart and soul into this club, sacrificing far more than the vast majority of other owners.
But sadly, unless Roeder launches a revival on his shoestring budget, their lack of dialogue with Cullum will come under severe scrutiny.
Is it about money or is it about control? The former would be understandable if explained, the latter certainly wouldn't.
t CANARIES HAVE TO SAY IT WITH GOALS
AS THE Man stood urinating at one of the troughs in the anonymous abyss that is Coventry's Ricoh Arena, the Abba classic Mamma Mia pumped through the stereo.
“Mamma mia, here I go again.
“My my, how can I resist you?”
For weeks prior to the game The Man told pals he would be giving our inevitable opening day defeat in a dump of England a miss, I had better things to do…
Yet despite my pre-season gloom, I still found myself paying £26 on the day to watch us. Irresistible.
As Norwich away defeats go, it was far from the worst I have seen. We even completed a few passes.
The trouble is that whenever I have seen “encouraging” passing performances like that in the past - Bolton away and Forest at home under Hamilton, or Leeds away under Worthy - it was followed in the long-term by serious problems.
Call me old-fashioned, but I judge a good performance on the number of goals we score, and how many the opposition don't score.
Pretty little passing triangles are not really my thing if they don't go anywhere. Having a cutting edge is absolutely critical.
Of the new arrivals, Sammy Clingan is probably The Man's favourite so far. He offers a nice simplicity and ballast in midfield; and there is something of a young Gary Holt about him, which I like.
As for the MK Dons result, a lower ranking Championship club getting turned over by the league two champions in a new manager's first proper home game is hardly a shock.
You need quality to be able to sweep those sorts of teams aside, and while we are obviously a work in progress, it is clear that any team that has to resort to playing Darel Russell up front is not particularly well-endowed.
t I AM NOT ANNOYED WITH OTT LEON
I CAN'T have been the only Norwich fan who thought it was fitting, given the background to his departure from the Carra, that Leon went “completely mental” after scoring against us last week.
The Man fully expected Leon to milk any goal against us for all it was worth, whether it was his 100th career goal or not.
And so it passed, we were treated to a 90-second long badge-kissing, shirt-waving and t-shirt-parading extravaganza; which was completely at odds with the significance and quality of the goal he'd just scored. Some City fans expressed their anger at Leon's antics, but I really can't find it within myself to get annoyed at a Championship squad player. Good luck to him, but he really isn't worth getting upset about. He scored against the s**m, it's all he's ever done. OTBC
t OUR NEST INSPIRED ALL THIS
THE Man is pleased to note the Chinese have taken inspiration from Norwich in calling their main Olympic stadium The Nest.
I understand that a team of Chinese architects were dispatched to the Fine City as early as June 2004 to study designs and pictures of the Canaries' iconic former home, with its state-of-the-art 'chicken run' technology.
The Chinese were drawn to us because of our strong links with the so-called Middle Kingdom, which dates back to half-Chinese wing back Cyril “Sammy” Chung, who played for us in the late 50s.
And unless The Man imagined it - it seems rather far-fetched now - we also played the Chinese national team in Beijing in the 70s or 80s in front of about 80,000 people.
It's great to see The Nest brought back to life, albeit thousands of miles away from its original location.