Norwich City FC won what is often billed as the most lucrative match in world football, beating Middlesborough 2-0 at Wembley. The victors of the Playoff Final will now enjoy a revenue uplift of at least £130 million from the television and commercial revenue deals, and this could rise to an incredible £230 million should the Canaries survive their first season back in the Premier League. It’s a rich reward for a team who has only spent one season in the lower league, and Norwich will be looking to use the £130 million wisely in order to enjoy another lengthy stay in the Premier League. But how much have Norwich City changed in just one season? What should we expect from them next year?
The Playoff Final gave a good indication as to what the Premier League should expect from this Norwich side. Two quick-fire goals from Cameron Jerome and Nathan Redmond was a prime example of the Canaries’ ruthlessness in front of goal that they have displayed since the arrival of manager Alex Neil. Norwich also showed a great strength in character yesterday, as Middlesborough went into the game having won their two previous meetings earlier in the season, 4-0 and 1-0.
Manager: Alex Neil
This time last year, Alex Neil had just guided Hamilton to promotion to the Scottish Premiership. His promising start to this season at Hamilton caught the eye of a struggling Norwich, who swept in and appointed him as manager in January. He has been a revelation for Norwich so far. Since January, Norwich enjoyed a great run of form which resulted in a strong 3rd place finish and a Playoff Final win. It is clear that Alex Neil is a talented manager, and his mild manner, honesty and positive attitude will undoubtedly help in Norwich’s battle next year to stay up.
Key Player: Bradley Johnson
Like Norwich City, Bradley Johnson is no newcomer to the Premier League. Having played in the Premier League for Norwich from 2011 to 2014, Johnson knows how tough it is to survive, and the Canaries’ vice-captain will be looking to build on his stellar season next year. Johnson’s tally of 15 goals from midfield saw him take the Player of the Season award for Norwich, and he has proven himself as an integral part of the attack along with Cameron Jerome and Nathan Redmond. Last time he was in the Premier League with Norwich, Johnson undertook a bricklaying course, so who knows what he’ll do this time around!
Can Norwich City survive relegation next season?
By all accounts, Norwich City seem like they have as good a chance at survival as any of the two other promoted clubs. The main advantage that Norwich have over both Watford and Bournemouth is their recent Premier League experience. They have bounced straight back up after only one season in the Championship, so the hardships and memories of the Premier League is likely to be fresh in the minds of many of their players. As long as Norwich recruit well in the summer and keep their dangermen fit over the whole season, they should have a good chance to taste Premier League football for another year.
Congratulations to Norwich City FC! Norwich City are Premier League!