AGM had better not be yet another damp squib

The Man In The Stands AND so the annual anti-climax that is the club's AGM is upon us again. Fireworks are predicted every year, yet we often fail to even get a Poundland sparkler.

The Man In The Stands

AND so the annual anti-climax that is the club's AGM is upon us again.

Fireworks are predicted every year, yet we often fail to even get a Poundland sparkler.

It will be interesting to see if our fanbase's answer to the Three Wise Monkeys - see no evil, speak no evil, and hear no evil - make the opening submissions this year.


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The airing of their adoration of all things Delia at the start of the meeting in previous years has led some cynics to suggest they are hand-picked to set the tone…

But let's face it, if we don't ask some searching questions this year - and at least try to get some straight answers from the organ grinders - we never will.

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Just to recap: the £6m land deal has fallen through, the Turners have left, marketing genius Andy Cullen has gone, Carl Moore is having to fund our latest loan signing from a fellow Championship club, and we have EIGHT loan players in total.

All this against a backdrop of grinding recession and general apathy which is sure to eat into our season ticket base. In short, we are running on fumes. The game is up. Despite this, The Man does not expect Michael and Delia to face too much stick.

However disenchanted some fans may be, once you get face to face with our majority shareholders it is very difficult to remain angry, and rightly so.

Any frustration just gives way to an uneasy feeling of sympathy and guilt.

Of course, they want success as much as we do, and they are great people.

But times have changed. The Man noted that Delia recently reissued her 1970s cooking bible Frugal Food. It is not without irony.

The fact is that Delia and Michael now own a football club they can't afford to keep.

That is a sad fact of life. If the pair were billionaires we'd be a top 10 Premiership side, I am sure of that. But they are not. We can't even compete with the Burnleys of this world at the moment, and that is a desperate, desperate situation.

Like Obama in Iraq, they need an exit strategy. Or this will eventually end in tears (League One). We don't need new money to get to the Premiership, we need it to stay in this division. OTBC.

t HOME FORM IS KEY TO SURVIVAL

AS The Man sat through the predictably dreadful performance at Burnley (did we really win 5-3 there once?), a familiar question returned to my mind.

Do opposition teams ever play as badly at Carrow Road as we do on our travels?

In our current incarnation as Championship relegation-battlers, we seem to put in three or four away performances a season that are so poor it's embarrassing to be there.

Wolves away last season perhaps being the World Heavyweight Champion of insipid displays.

I am sure if you'd taken a vox pop of Burnley fans outside Turf Moor - providing you could find some - they would tell you we were the worst team they have played this season. By a country mile.

Colchester aside, I can't remember the last time I left Carrow Road and thought: “Wow - those other guys suck.”

It's probably the fact The Man is so pre-occupied with Norwich that I don't really notice the opposition. I can tell when they are good, but I guess I just overlook their weaknesses in favour of our own glory when we win. Whatever the reason, it is clear that it's our home form that is going to have to keep us in this division. Lumping balls to Darel Russell ain't going to get us much joy on the road, that's for sure.

t SAVE ME FROM THIS

TO SAY The Man's love affair with football is suffering a crisis of confidence would be an understatement.

At the moment everywhere I look seems to provide another reason why the beautiful game is uglier than ever.

From our reliance on a menagerie of loan signings, to Liverpool getting their mandatory injury-time penalty, it's an increasingly rotten old business.

Although I haven't really got a problem with Stoke as a football club, the fact they got promoted - and seem set to stay up - on the basis they've got a guy with a long throw is depressing.

I know there is a certain skill in quarterback Rory Delap's back breaking efforts, but it's not really the sort of tactic you want to be too successful for too long.

Winning is what's important, but football should not be about just spearing the ball into the box and hoping some 6ft 5in monster can get on the end of it.

Although I'm fundamentally opposed to all big clubs, I secretly hoped the likes of Arsenal would tear Stoke's cavemen apart. Because if Delap's long throw works for too long every Tom, Dick and Harry will be trying it.

t WELCOME BACK DARREN HUCKERBY

I am not going to say we missed you, because that would just be stating the bleeding obvious.

The Man can't be the only red-blooded Norwich male who comes over a bit peculiar at the thought of Hucks.

I've tried to give my heart to Matty Pattison instead, but the sight of the South African bounding down the wing just doesn't do it for me. No offence MP.

Luckily for the club Huckerby hasn't “gone rogue” yet and has said all the right things. Mr Roeder better hope he chooses to keep it that way. Legend.

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