Norwich City relegated from the Premier League after Sunderland complete their great escape
©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222
Norwich City have been relegated from the Premier League after closest rivals Sunderland beat West Brom 2-0 on Wednesday at the Stadium of Light.
The Canaries’ slender hopes of avoiding a return to the Championship for the first time since 2011 were effectively ended after the Wearsiders swept aside Albion in the north-east to confirm their own survival.
Neil Adams’ squad will go into Sunday’s league finale against FA Cup favourites Arsenal at Carrow Road three points behind West Brom, but with a vastly inferior goal difference. Norwich are joined by Fulham and Cardiff City in the Championship next season after the duo were relegated last weekend.
Former Ipswich loanee Jack Colback and Fabio Borini struck in the first half for the Black Cats to complete a great escape for Gus Poyet’s side who become only the second club in Premier League history to survive after being bottom at Christmas - the Baggies previously staying up at Norwich’s expense in 2005.
City will now face their bitter East Anglian rivals for the first time in four seasons in the second tier in their attempt to try and bounce back.
Norwich’s top brass must first decide whether Adams remains in charge ahead of a summer of inevitable upheaval on the playing staff. The likes of England international John Ruddy and Scottish international Robert Snodgrass are likely to be coveted by Premier League rivals, with Snodgrass already linked to Newcastle and his boyhood club Celtic.
Leroy Fer and Gary Hooper have also been touted with moves away from the Canaries in recent days and there must be major questions marks over the future of club record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel, who has scored one goal in 25 top flight appearances since moving from Sporting Lisbon.
City will suffer a major drop in revenue from falling out of the Premier League, with the bottom club this season poised to earn more than £63m following the first year of a reported £5.5bn broadcast deal for domestic and overseas rights. The Canaries, however, will be entitled to £60m in parachute payments spread over the next four seasons.
Norwich are also playing for £1.2m in merit payments this weekend against the Gunners if they can manage to remain 18th in the final Premier League table, with each place in the division worth that amount to the clubs. City can only be overhauled by Cardiff if the Bluebirds win and Norwich lose along with a nine goal swing, whilst Adams’ side need a point to stay above Fulham.
• The Championship season is scheduled to begin on Saturday, August 9 2014.