Much more openness is needed

PUBLISHED: 14:47 13 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:46 10 September 2010

Robert ONeill, NCISA

In this column last year, I wrote “if silence is golden then the corridors at Carrow Road must be paved with gold”. Every year, it seems, we hear that we want to get back to the good old days of fortress Carrow Road.

In this column last year, I wrote “if silence is golden then the corridors at Carrow Road must be paved with gold”.

Every year, it seems, we hear that we want to get back to the good old days of fortress Carrow Road...

For some reason, whenever I hear this I assume they are talking about the defence keeping clean sheets and us picking up three points in every game.

Well, it seems of late that when they talk about a fortress at Carrow Road, they are talking about keeping both shareholders and fans alike at arms length from the club, by not letting them know what is going on behind closed doors, rather than referring to the games.

Norwich used to be one of the best clubs at being open for all to come and see, and at treating its fans as part of the family. Even with the total lack of success on the pitch, the fans have stuck by the team with what at times seems to be just blind faith.

We continue to see sell-out games most weeks, while clubs like Birmingham, who were top of the league, had a crowd of only 17,413 at their last home game against Barnsley.

Why are Norwich fans now being frozen out?

t We have seen the gates at the training ground being locked and guarded even for pre-season.

t News about Peter Cullum hit the street months later, and then only after he himself spoke to the press rather than the club breaking the news of any possible approaches.

t News about the Turners came to light two weeks after the event, and then only after it hit the Pink 'Un message boards. (Had it not done so, would we still be in the dark?)

t Players have come and gone in the close season with no news on fees, just the old line 'undisclosed fee'.

We all know the corridors are not paved with gold (albeit that would explain where the cash had gone), so again I ask, why the silence?

Has the club lost its 'We care about our fans' attitude? Has someone lost the keys to the press room? Or is it being rebuilt into a new restaurant?

To everyone involved in the running of the club, let us all move forward together, learning from the good and the bad in the past, and be open again with the fans who are, after all, the heart and soul of the club.

t NCISA will be holding it annual meeting in The Business (Jarrold Stand) on Monday, September 22. The formal proceedings start at 7.30pm, and at 8pm there will be a forum with a panel of players/management/ board members.

As soon as the panel is confirmed, we will post it at www.ncisa.co.uk and on the Pinkun message board.

t Due to technical problems, the first Canary Challenge table of the season will be in next week's Pink 'Un.

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