Club is muddling the issues

I'm deliberately avoiding the aftermath of Thursday's meeting. Instead I'm going to concentrate on why holding a meeting had become just as important as the outcome.

I'm deliberately avoiding the aftermath of Thursday's meeting. Instead I'm going to concentrate on why holding a meeting had become just as important as the outcome.

One of the main contributing factors has to be the board's reaction to recent events.

That was perfectly illustrated by Barry Skipper last week. Clearly he was angry, and his words showed just how entrenched the board has become.

"I just don't know how we've got to the stage of people calling public meetings," he said, before comparing Thursday's meeting with the one 10 years ago.

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That was a strange comparison to make because no one had suggested that the club was in the same kind of mess it was in 10 years ago.

However, what I found most revealing was that Mr Skipper said he was "puzzled, disappointed and a bit hurt" by the atmosphere at Carrow Road. This only highlighted a failure to appreciate just how disillusioned the fans have become.

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Ever since they began to question what was happening on the pitch there has been a reluctance of the board to engage with those opinions. Instead, we have ended up with a situation where you're "either for us or against us".

It's both a shame and absurd that all the goodwill built up over the past 10 years should begin to be eroded in such a manner.

What Mr Skipper needs to understand is that the majority of fans I speak to believe we have an excellent board who have done a good job. However, it would be a very patient and strangely subdued group of supporters who didn't start to question repeated abject performances on the pitch - particularly when the board have given unprecedented financial backing to the manager.

In his Evening News column on Wednesday, Rick Waghorn suggested there was nothing fundamentally wrong with the club - and in terms of the way the club is run, I'd agree.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the team, I struggle to see many positives. I'm clearly not alone, either, and the concerns that fans express are ominously consistent.

Why were Damien Francis and Dean Ashton so desperate to leave? Why did we allow a decent right-back to leave on a free transfer and then struggle to replace him with a series of inferior alternatives?

Why have Paul McVeigh and Darren Huckerby been publicly slated by the manager and, in the case of Huckerby, humiliated on the field? Why do we continue to offer such pathetic resistance away from home? Why do we sign players before finding out if they're good enough?

Given the appalling standard of football we've had to endure from a squad of players widely lauded as the best in the league, is it unreasonable to ask these questions?

And is it really so wrong that an independent supporters' organisation offers a public meeting so that these views can be collated and put to the board?

Thursday proved, without doubt, that there is dissatisfaction. However, just as importantly, it proved the need for a meeting and how essential it is to allow supporters to have their say and feel they're being listened to.

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