Am amazed that 66% of Gold Card members think the Gold Card is Good or Very Good and that this is up 16% on last season.
This is despite the fact that, having actually had two games that might have justified a Gold Card for once (Norwich x 2), in both cases a Season Ticket had the same status as a Gold Card holder to purchase them.
I struggle to understand why such a high percentage think it is offering any value at all, let alone such good value.....?
Interesting reading both of their independent thoughts on their time at Ipswich. Both endorse what seems apparent from the outside- that the chemistry and environment around the club is very very good and perhaps the thing that has allowed us to match opponents who have an advantage financially.
Mick of course knows what hes doing to nurture and build on that, maintain that atmosphere at the club, rooting out anyone who doesnt buy in to that ethos. But as much as ability on the pitch, I wonder that some characters add hugely to the squad because of their personality off the pitch. Ive always got the impression from Micks comments that Stephen Hunts personality adds hugely to the environment. Recalling Chambers famous "swearing" speech, it was fantastic to hear the captain talk about how well Noel Hunt had bought into the atmosphere and shown great attitude too. The bond the two brothers have, the way they reacted to each others successes, appears to be another ingredient in what is going on and for that I think at least one of them ought to be kept on.
was that the Norwich PA Announcer was still shouting and screaming after the game had kicked off. Poor form at the least, but I think there is actually history for clubs being fined for PA announcements of that sort during the game. Perhaps we can get the result overturned....
The Swiss Ramble blogger has done something on Norwichs finances which he published today.
It makes painful reading, both in terms of Norwichs financial position now and also because its a perfect highlight of just how skewed finances are between the Championship and Premier League.
The same guy wrote a report on Norwichs finances for 2010 and it was effectively that, without selling land to the local housing authority, they were on the brink of administration having broke covenents on debt repayments (sounds familiar). The land sale bought them some time and, in the meantime, Paul Lambert got them back into the Championship.
Fast forward 4 years and a promotion and 3 PL years have seen their turnover increase from £23m to £98m last year and they have written off all their external debt, whilst making a £9m profit.
In any other business, their turnaround in financial fortunes would have been miraculous. But instead, all it really came down to was getting the right manager at the right time when they were about to go under.
Next year, the bottom placed PL team are going to earn a further £30m. When a team gets relegated, the parachute payments are doing nothing more than encourage the club to keep spending, because the PL want promoted teams with strong competitive squads so that their league remains marketable. Norwich apparently have 40% relegation release clauses in their contracts so, along with sales of players like Fer and Snodgrass, they dont even need a parachute payment.
Yesterday, Norwich brought on a £6m striker for the last 5 minutes to kill time. He was third in line to start the game. We brought on Luke Varney a player who cant even get a game at his parent championship club and will be released in the summer.
Yesterday for me was as much about losing a derby as releasing just how ridiculously far behind Norwich we are financially, simply because of 2 excellent seasons on the pitch that changed their fortunes dramatically.
We have to win promotion, its the only way to resolve it. Yet, each year we get closer to the point where its going to become financially impossible. Money isnt everything, but its almost impossible for it not to become the only factor in the next 10 years.
All of which makes this year start to appear even more critical.
For various reasons, was south of norwich before the game. Walked to the stadium with zero aggression, but barely any other itfc fans around. Walked into stadium without issue. Stood practically next to the Norwich fans and hardly any aggression there either- one great moment when an ITFC fan leaned over the barrier and offered his pack of cigs to a norwich fan he had been shouting at all game. Norwich fan took one and put it behind his ear. Walked out of stadium, asked police if we could go the other way, they just said wait until the crowd had passed and we did, then walked back again. Chatted to some old Norwich fan on the way out who confessed finds it all a bit too stressful, hopes we dont meet in play-offs etc.
From all of that, the game was as mild as going to any other ground in the country. No different.
And yet all I read now is about fans who were mistreated by police etc and the way our fans were handled. There are obviously going to be fans who want to go to the derby to "give it the big un", but it does seem to demonstrate that whilst there was carnage trying to herd fans en masse to the station, everyone else got by without issue. I dont think Id ever get the train to Norwich again, because the policing of it seems to be as heavy handed as always. Yet, if you dont go by that route, it was no different to any other game.
with any confidence how the championship will pan out.
On Football Weekly last week, they were previewing Boro at Arsenal and were complimentary about Boro (justified), yet it was summarised with "they will probably be in the premier league next year".
Im not sure I could say "probably" about any of the teams at this stage, not least Boro. Their last 10 league games involve playing 6 of the current top 8. They have a run of games in late March where they play us at home, followed by Bournemouth and Derby away in consecutive fixtures. If they win all 3 of them, they would surely be big favourites, but I would be surprised if they dont drop points in at least two of those games.
Away at Norwich is hardly going to be easy for them either.
For me, Derby look like they have the best squad and the experience of last year chasing promotion. But Bournemouths squad has promotion experience too.
Probably not much else to add to this, although its worth mentioning that the context of this is even more relevant when he quit just two weeks later.....
"Here’s Redknapp before the Man Utd home game:
“I go home Saturday night from Burnley and I can’t talk to my wife. I can’t talk to anybody. I get so low. It’s scary. It’s not right really, but that’s how it gets you. When I stop feeling like that is probably the time I should retire. When I go home and think, 'Oh, it doesn’t matter – what’s for dinner, darling?’ Have some fish and a nice glass of wine. I go home now and just sit up watching television, watching football until about 05.00 on Sunday morning in a room on my own. It’s wrong. It’s a silly way to live your life, but if you care, you care. You can’t change the way you are.''
And here’s Redknapp after the Man Utd home game:
''Do I look like I feel under pressure? When I get home I'll take my wife for a nice meal somewhere, have a nice bottle of wine, then in the morning wake up and take my dogs for a walk. My life's very good.” "
There is always value in games like yesterday. If the game is rubbish, its the time you notice stuff like "oh, that floodlight still hasnt been fixed" or "they really need to clean the roof". Amongst other things, I noticed the drummer and once again, how it doesnt work. Think of almost any Ipswich song thats been sung down the years, the classics, and then try to imagine drumming a beat to them. It doesnt work, the pace is different. So, a drummer ends up dictating the songs based on the ones that actually work with the drum beat he wants to play. And so it changes the atmosphere. Its exactly why the England band doesnt work- "The Great Escape" might work really well for a band to play, but it creates a totally different atmosphere. The drummer played "Ipswich Ole" over and over and over on saturday.
Ive banged this drum enough already, but its pretty annoying as a customer to say "hey, this product doesnt seem to be providing the value I was led to believe it might" and, in response, be told "Well, nobody made you buy it. You have a choice".
Few bizarre choices of DVDs on there (do they own the rights to anything in the 92-2000 period? And why is there nothing since 2006, except one on Roy Keanes first season?), but they have a few things which arent for sale on the ITFC shop, whilst all of them on this page are available to download and own digitally- http://downloads.visionsport.co.uk/Ipswich-Town/c/716/
The most obvious ones to me are the 91/92 promotion season and the 00/01 Premier League season, neither of which are for sale on the ITFC website yet are the two greatest seasons of the last 25 years.
or those of Derby fans either, saying how ironic it was that they won with a long ball goal.
Surely thats not a positive? It doesnt really say much that having argued that we play long ball football, rather than their own more expansive game, the only way they could find to actually win the game was to use that style of play they criticise. Effectively, it suggests that system is more effective.
if we draw on Saturday, thats a decent result and keeps the gap between us and Derby below us. If we lose to Southampton, it will be no disaster to get beaten by the 4th best side in the country, particularly as we probably wont have played our strongest side. If we draw at Millwall, its could be viewed that any draw away from home is decent enough.
That would represent a series of results that are reasonable enough on their own and yet we will be 4 games without a win and suddenly the Brighton game will carry some pressure. So, whilst looking ahead, be cautious.