Having gone up or down a division for eight of the last 13 seasons, Norwich City could easily fall into the category of a Yo-Yo club. But chairman Ed Balls wants to put that argument to rest with permanent Premier League football at Carrow Road.
The former Labour MP became Chairman of the Norfolk outfit last December and the side are currently vying for promotion in the Championship.
Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes News at the Ladbrokes USA Presidential Election debate this week, the Strictly Come Dancing contestant gave us an insight into life at the Canaries.
“It’s my lifetime club. All of my family support Norwich and I was born in Norwich so it’s a great honour to be the chairman – it’s a very special club.”
“We are a club of local owners, debt free, we’re very much of the community and we’re very committed to doing things in what we think is the best way,” Balls added.
The Canaries have had to couple promotion joy with relegation heartache on a regular basis in the past few years.
“The stability and values of Norwich City are very important, but one of the consequences of that is it’s very tumultuous, because we’ll go up and down the divisions.
“I think in the last five years, you’d have to say that we’ve done a lot better than many other similarly sized Championship clubs based on our model, and our model is that we are putting everything we possibly can back into the team and we try and run it to the highest standard.”
“Many Championship clubs don’t fill out their grounds and we fill out ours every week, and we sold out home games and 20,000 season tickets when we were in League One, so the supporters back us because of who we are.”
“That has an impact upon the resources you’ve got and your ability to compete. We’ve got a really strong squad in the Championship, partly because of parachute payments but also because of the way we run the club and we don’t want to change that.”
Similarly-sized Leicester stunned the world – and the bookies at odds of 5000/1 odds – to win the Premier League title last season, but according to Balls, a similar Norwich success really would be unlikely.
“I think what we’re looking to do is become a permanent Premier League club.
“I think in modern football, without a big injection of outside money, and even Leicester had a big injection of outside money, it’s very hard to be competing for the European places, let alone winning the Premier League.
“We came third in the Premier League’s first season, and then went into the UEFA Cup and beat Bayern Munich in Europe, but that really was a different era.”
“It’s not impossible but I think the odds of us winning the league are much harder than what Leicester faced last season.”
“The consequences are that we can’t compete on wages with a Stoke or Leicester, let alone Manchester United or Liverpool, but that doesn’t mean we can’t compete in the Premier League.”
Well, if you’re wondering Ed, we spoke to our traders and they say it’s 250/1 for Norwich to win the Premier League by 2020!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing