A football club money can't buy

Tim MacWilliam, Future Radio Say what you like about those who run Norwich City but they have complete respect for the past, the supporters and the community. The fans and the history are built within the foundations and very fabric of the club, a quality that others in a higher league would pay anything for, but it's something money just can't buy.

Tim MacWilliam, Future Radio

Say what you like about those who run Norwich City but they have complete respect for the past, the supporters and the community. The fans and the history are built within the foundations and very fabric of the club, a quality that others in a higher league would pay anything for, but it's something money just can't buy.

I've lived in Norfolk for around a quarter of a century and followed the Canaries avidly from the moment of my arrival in the fine City. Thirty years ago I stood on crumbling terraces watching a team win the Fourth Division title and witnessed the amazing goalkeeper Steve Death break the record for keeping clean sheets in a crowd of 3,000, a record only surpassed this season by Edwin Van Der Sar.

The club almost went bust before a local businessman called John Madjeski with a soft heart bank rolled a plastic stadium built on an old sewage dump, a decent team, a high profile manager and a new badge, it seemed the old club and its history was being air brushed and neatly filed away ahead of a sanitized bright new dawn.


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I've nothing against clubs who have rich backers but money can't buy history. Wigan have been in the League for just 31 years and as impressive as the rise through the ranks and ability to keep their place in the top tier is, it all seems a bit hollow with attendances as low as 14,000, but does that mean Wigan shouldn't be in the top table and Leeds United should?

The way Norwich City honoured the 59'ers was an inspiration to behold - the half-time lap of honour during the Barnsley match which led to a spontaneous spine tingling chorus of “On the ball City” that could apparently be heard by the directors enjoying their half-time cup of tea is a memory to savour.

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Compare this with next Monday's visitors who recently refused to allow the Fourth Division champions from 1979 onto the pitch for a half-time lap of honour; the players who should have been honoured were apparently asked to pay for match tickets and quoted �1,000 for a pre match meal (wow those prawns are expensive).

Thousands of empty blue seats adorn the Madjeski Stadium at every match as the spoilt, younger fans are frustrated by the teams “under achievement”. When asked to comment on the snub to the remaining heroes from yesteryear a high ranking executive at Reading FC said “This Club looks to the future not the past”.

So, remember this, whatever happens in the next two games, Norwich City have a quality, a history and a passionate fan base that can't be bought, cherish that thought in the coming weeks

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