A tale of two cities - Norwich City and Sheffield Wednesday
PUBLISHED: 20:40 02 March 2017 | UPDATED: 20:41 02 March 2017
A rich owner, hell-bent on getting to the Premier League, Mark Armstrong looks at Sheffield Wednesday's Championship rebirth.
Norwich City have owners that care about their club.
They have their detractors but few would argue that Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones do the best they can with the money they have at their disposal. It’s just that, for some fans, that disposable cash isn’t enough.
The ownership debate was brought into sharper focus upon City’s relegation last season. The argument goes that for the Canaries to break through the glass ceiling and become an established Premier League club there needs to be more investment.
It is perhaps why this weekend’s fixture against Sheffield Wednesday could prove so interesting to Norwich supporters.
Here is a club that was bought by someone with the kind of funds at their disposal that wouldn’t look out of place in the Premier League.
Dejphon Chansiri parted with a reported £30m to buy Sheffield Wednesday from Milan Mandaric at the start of 2015 but by no means has his spending stopped there. Chansiri, whose family controls the Thai Union Group, the world’s largest producer of canned tuna, has invested heavily in order to fulfil his ambitions of taking Wednesday back to the Premier League.
Chansiri wanted top flight football within two years and you only have to take a look at Wednesday’s list of strikers to appreciate the outlay he has been willing to commit to make that happen. After going so close last season when they lost in the play-off final to Hull it is no surprise to see them in the mix again, six points above City and occupying the last play-off place.
Chansiri wants Premier League football and the kudos that goes along with that. Sheffield Wednesday are the benefactors but does it matter if he doesn’t have an emotional attachment to the club?
If Norwich don’t get back into the Premier League at the first attempt, as seems likely now, that ownership debate is likely to be brought up again amongst supporters.
Wednesday’s sharp progress won’t have gone unnoticed by a lot of Norwich fans – there are good prospective owners, foreign or otherwise, out there.
Finding them is an entirely different matter.