Quick top-flight return is far from certain for Norwich City
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Shaking off the damage and disappointment of relegation can be far more difficult than expected, as Norwich City fans already know all too well.
With the riches of the Premier League softening the blow, Norwich City’s drop into the Championship will be expected to be temporary by many.
The pain of relegation may be all too fresh for City supporters this morning but the Canaries will inevitably be installed as one of the favourites for next season’s Championship title in the coming weeks.
However, research on the impact of Premier League relegation in the past 10 seasons has revealed that City have just a 26pc chance of returning to the top tier at the first attempt.
The survey, calculated by statistics boffins at www.sportingintelligence.com, found the headline figures that:
• 50pc of relegated clubs have not returned
• 30pc have been relegated to League One or further.
• An average fall in annual income of £20million.
• An average of four years to gain promotion back to the top flight.
The survey also provides a positive for those involved with Norwich City.
There has been an average drop in attendances of 4,265 per game – other than at Carrow Road.
City were the only club of the 30 to record a rise in average attendance and are unlikely to see much of a drop in attendance next season.
The income findings are equally indecisive for City, after clearing the club’s external debts during three seasons amongst the riches of the Premier League.
The average fall in annual income, however, is likely to be an even scarier figure for chief executive David McNally (pictured) and the club’s board.
Relegation will see the Canaries miss out on even more Premier League riches, as new £5.5billion broadcast deals kick in.
The club which finishes bottom of the table on Sunday will earn £63m in TV money this season, more than the £60.8m Manchester United made last season as champions.
There is then £1.2m in prize money per position in the table, rising to £24m for the champions, meaning 18th place for the Canaries would result in a total of over £64m.
Of course the Premier League provide parachute payments, of £60m spread over four years, which will soften the blow. And with so many valuable playing assets, City’s financial situation should be stable enough to provide a solid base to build for promotion again.
It is the psychological aspect that is often underestimated though.
When City were relegated in 2005, it took six seasons and a fall into League One before they were able to properly hit the reboot button and push their way back to prominence.
If City can buck the trends and get back at the first time of asking, as the likes of West Ham, Newcastle and West Brom have all proved is possible in recent seasons, then relegation could prove to be little more than a hiccup in City’s history.
But spend too long away from the top table and its ever-increasing piles of cash, and the high points of the last three seasons could soon become distant memories.