More than anything else, Norwich represents one of the few local community clubs left in football: for all that it only rarely has a chance to dine at the top table this is reason enough to celebrate its small victories. When Norwich does get elevated, it is managed through close links with its region and the passion and commitment of its players and fans. Our achievement of second place in the Championship last year sparked a grand celebration, bus-top processions, banners, bunting and civic pride everywhere. There was hardly a shop in Norwich that didn’t brandish the green and yellow. I happened to visit BBC TV centre around that time, just a few hundred yards from Loftus Road, the HQ of the Championship Champions. To take nothing away from QPR fans, there was nowhere for them to process, no bursting out of pride, no reason for locals to stop and hug each other as they did in Norwich.
Paul Lambert, our astonishingly gifted manager (one of how many premiership Glaswegians is it now?) has overseen only the second double promotion – from first to championship, from championship to top flight – in history, yet everyone is predicting that it will inevitably be Norwich who do the fateful yoyo and find themselves kicked out at season’s end. Well, we shall see.
There was no prouder moment for me than when I was asked to join Norwich’s board of directors. I can bring neither football nor financial expertise to the table, but I can bring that element of loyalty, devotion and local passion that I hope and believe is a great part of what makes football the most popular game on earth.
Should you, I repeat, have a spare shred of unattached allegiance in you, then why not affix it to the club that has the oldest song in footballing history?
On the ball, City, never mind the danger,
Steady on, now’s your chance,
Hurrah! We’ve scored a goal.