Matt Howman: How does Norwich City’s plan evolve if we reach the Premier League?
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When you listen to Stuart Webber talk about Norwich City you are left in no doubt that the club is in safe hands.
He’s spoken recently about where Norwich are now at as a club, the culture he’s working to instil and how the entire backroom staff are working harder and smarter since he has come in, to undo legacy issues that had been hindering the progress of the club - a task which is still ongoing to this day.
The process Webber talks passionately through of creating valuable assets from the academy to justify the expense of running it has paid exceptional dividends this season, perhaps more so than either he or Farke would have expected.
The question is, would promotion to the Premier League force their hand in changing their approach to managing the club?
We all know what awaits the three promoted Championship clubs, an enormous windfall of money into the coffers and the headache of contract re-negotiations, agents looking to cash in and pressure to go out into the market and overhaul the squad ready for the challenge of the Premier League.
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If Norwich do earn promotion, throwing money into the transfer market could create two scenarios.
Firstly, we increase competition for places in the first XI and that could push the current crop of players further in their development and drive them to be better players, or the less desirable scenario where the club falls back into the state of having a bloated squad, less balance and players taking home big salaries and not offering any more than the players we currently have.
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Listening to Webber discuss the club’s approach to developing the squad, I think he has it spot on. There seems little risk that Norwich will repeat the same issues that we did when we last won promotion to the Premier League and players will earn their place on merit rather than their price tag or reputation.
MORE: Six things we learned from win over LeedsBehind the scenes it sounds like the club are continually planning the next step and that’s the most reassuring words fans should hope to hear. This seasons star players may get snapped up in the summer, but that shouldn’t matter because for the first time in many years, there’s a plan B in place should that day come.
So how does Farke, and Webber, get it right next season if we obtain promotion, what should success look like?
Success for Norwich in this current moment in time is to bottle up the period of time between both Ipswich fixtures and ingraining it within the team for years to come.
Whether we go up and struggle, flourish or even remain in the Championship, the club are currently delivering on all fronts, so at this current moment in time success isn’t necessarily linked to the end result, it’s the process we’re going through to achieve it.
The fans have bought into what Norwich are looking to build, both as a business and on the pitch, there’s a structure and a setup that should outlive the players and head coach if they ever decide to move on.
Whether it’s the squad we have now, or the academy prospects coming through, or even young exciting players from other clubs that aren’t getting an opportunity, they’re the mould we want to see at our football club, buying into Farke’s style of football.
As a club and a fanbase we have to be open-minded and patient. As Webber frequently alludes to, the deals for Teemu Pukki, Marco Stiepermann, Moritz Leitner could all have fallen flat because as a club Norwich had to gamble on players needing to rebuild their careers.
The club have hit the jackpot this season and promotion could just give Norwich the cushion they need to reduce that risk and build a side capable of becoming established in the Premier League in a sustainable way.