Ipswich Town’s Premier League foul-ups a lesson for Norwich City
Norwich City will not make the same mistakes with their Premier League cash windfall as their biggest rivals, according to one of their most successful top-flight players.
Dale Gordon, who scored 30 of his 43 goals for the Canaries in the former Division One – making him their eighth highest scorer in the top tier – applauded his old club’s “shrewd” transfer business in the close season in the wake of promotion.
Just one season in the Premier League is worth a guaranteed minimum of �90m to City, nearly half of which is available in the first year.
“Promotion should put the club on a sound financial footing for the next two or three years,” said Gordon.
“They’ve been quite shrewd. They won’t be going over-budget.
“And the club is not going to be held to ransom in the transfer market.”
The first three of manager Paul Lambert’s five summer signings, James Vaughan, Steve Morison and Elliott Bennett, are reported to have cost a total of only about �5m plus add-ons.
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“If you start spending �5m to �6m on one player, when you add on personal terms and you start getting into the �15,000 to �20,000 a week bracket, that’s a lot of money,” said Gordon.
“Ipswich found that out, big time. They won promotion, finished fifth in their first season back in the Premiership and qualified for Europe and I suppose they thought there was no danger of getting relegated the next season.
“They started spending big money and paying big wages – then of course they were relegated.”
Town’s financial problems, back in 2002 – when they went into administration after relegation to the Nationwide League – were due in no small part to spending well over �10m on overseas imports Matteo Sereni, Finidi George, Ulrich Le Pen and Thomas Gaardsoe in 2001. City’s policy was to search for improving talent closer to home, said Gordon.
“Paul Lambert has been consistent with the type and calibre of player he has signed. There have been some clever deals – exactly the same thing as in the Championship,” he said.
“I haven’t seen much of Elliott Bennett but he is somebody they were looking at throughout the season, someone young and very hungry and that’s the way they are trying to develop the side.”
Gordon, busy arranging a series of matches for his Legends XI – the latest at Diss Town last Sunday – is confident City have a squad capable of holding their own next season.
He said: “People talk about Blackpool last season, but Blackpool didn’t really have enough strength in depth when they suffered injuries to players like Charlie Adam and when DJ Campbell was suspended, and that was when their form dropped.
“But I think Norwich have a better squad than Blackpool.”