Fans want to agree 'best way forward'
CHRIS WISE Organisers of next week's public meeting to discuss “the current situation at Carrow Road” are still hoping for a bumper attendance - even though the Canaries have won both their matches since it was announced.
Organisers of next week's public meeting to discuss “the current situation at Carrow Road” are still hoping for a bumper attendance - even though the Canaries have won both their matches since it was announced.
When Norwich City Independent Supporters Association revealed plans for a gathering at St Andrew's Hall on the evening of Thursday, March 2 their club had gone eight matches without a victory and had slipped into the bottom half of the Championship table as a result.
Since then Nigel Worthington's improving side have recorded successive home wins over Brighton and Derby to reignite their outside chances of reaching the end of season play-offs. But NCISA chairman Roy Blower believes many fans are still concerned about the long-term future of their club - and reckons it will take a lot more than two victories against modest opposition to appease them.
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“It's strange how things have turned out,” he said. “When we issued a statement about the future of Nigel Worthington in December the team promptly won five games on the trot - and as soon as we announce plans for a public meeting they go and win their next two games.
“Let me say straight away that we are delighted with the results. We are all supporters and we always want to see our team winning games. But I don't think for one minute that recent results will take the wind out of our sails as far as next week's meeting is concerned.
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“For a start I think those results need to be put into perspective. A win's a win, but we have just played two very poor sides.
“And anyway this meeting is not about recent results - it is about the long-term progress of this football club. As far as I am concerned we have been under-performing for some time now and I am of the opinion that something is fundamentally wrong. I believe there are a lot of people out there who feel the same way.
“What we are trying to find out is what the right course of action is that will make everybody happy, without inflicting any damage on the football club.
“I am hopeful that by talking we can come up with some suggestions about the best way forward. We have got some ideas ourselves, and I'm sure everyone who comes along next week will have an opinion on the subject.
“I suppose recent results might dissuade some of the people who are sitting on the fence from attending. But my message to them would be that it's important to talk about the future of their football club - please come along and make your views known.
“I am sure the meeting will be well supported. If people don't turn up in big numbers then that will send out a message that fans are happy with their football club - and if everyone is happy about the way things are going then NCISA will be happy as well.”
Blower knows that another win against Crystal Palace would further cloud the waters ahead of the week's meeting - but he made it clear that he was still hoping for another three points at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
“If the team maintains it's winning run then we will be delighted,” he said, “It will hopefully ignite the passions of those fans who are still undecided about whether or not to renew their season tickets for next season. If 1000 season ticket holders didn't renew then we would be talking about a loss of revenue of about £400,000. That is big money as far as this football club is concerned - and that is why we are trying to address the situation now.
“Players and managers come and go but fans remain loyal for ever more. What we don't want to see is a decline in those numbers. We want to try and build on the momentum that we have already got.”
Blower is hoping that NCISA will be able to put a series of proposals to the club after next Thursday's meeting.
“We have a good dialogue with chief executive Neil Doncaster anyway and we will certainly be contacting him after the meeting to let him know how it went,” he said. “Hopefully we will be able to address the board as well.”