After a less than underwhelming season, Norwich City find themselves back in the Championship, finishing with a measly 21 points.
There was early season speculation that Norwich would be the ‘surprise package’ team. After all, they were credited for playing an attractive brand of football under German manager Daniel Farke who helped them win the league with 94 points and had an in-form Teemu Pukki up front, scoring 29 league goals.
However, despite some early promise with an opening day masterclass performance against Newcastle and that home victory over Manchester City, Norwich have had very little to cheer about this season. The hype around them being the ‘surprise package’ team soon vanished. That label was soon bestowed upon Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United, whose unique tactics and great endeavour launched the Blades to a top-half finish and knocking on the door of European football.
The Canaries on the other hand, went from one disaster to another. A run of 9 straight defeats followed the resumption of the Premier League, with their fate sealed by an embarrassing 4-0 home defeat to West Ham. A return to the Championship was confirmed with 3 games to spare. Even worse, the campaign ended with a 5-0 thrashing away to Manchester City.
Norwich City’s on-field success has always been a focal point for the area, with top division football serving as a big attraction to supporters from across the globe. Prior to the restart, Carrow Road saw an average attendance of 27,000. There would have been no doubt that the FA Cup quarter-final at home to Man Utd would have seen it packed to the rafters.
Relegation therefore comes with serious financial repercussions, especially with lockdown putting a strain on clubs up and down the football pyramid. However, it is for this reason that Canaries boss Farke insists there are “no regrets” regarding the club’s failure to remain in the top flight, for good management of the club has meant that they now “don’t have any financial pressure at all”.
As for the players, the future remains bright for some. Todd Cantwell, for example, has impressed throughout this season, and there is a high chance that he will remain in the Premier League with another team.
Norwich, meanwhile, will simply have to go again, whether Farke remains or not.