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Investing in the Squad Comes First at Norwich City: A Fan’s Reaction

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Norwich City chief executive David McNally has recently revealed that an independent study has concluded that Carrow Road expansion is feasible by, around, 7,000 extra seats, but plans to redevelop the stadium are some way off.

It's clear more people want to go to games than are currently able to. But the club are right to be cautious with their plans, and extending the stadium does not need to be a priority at the moment.

There are so many examples of clubs plying their trade in the lower leagues that are unable to fill excessive stadiums. There are few things worse, than to see a fractionally filled stadium when games are televised.

Long-term Norwich City fans will be aware that prioritizing resources for the playing squad has not always been the case. However, most current supporters would agree that it is the right and proper way to act. I yearn to see 35,000 people packed into Carrow Road, but remaining within the Premier League has to be seen as the most important thing.

The two things are not mutually exclusive, because the Canaries can only realistically fill a 35,000-capacity venue, on a regular basis, in the Premier League. McNally went on to reveal that the estimated cost of the redevelopment would be £20 million.

Norwich does not have the resources of some other top-flight sides, so decisions on where to spend money have to be monitored particularly carefully. If the decision is to spend £20 million on the ground or the squad, I think I know what most people would prefer.

The second season in the Premier League is notoriously difficult, and fans will remain anxious until that first win arrives. But it's important to remember that the squad that did so well last season is still here with some quality additions. Therefore, the signs of another good season look good.

Nevertheless, the summer spending wasn't excessive which suggests to me that, at least, some money has been held back for the January 2013 transfer window. There have been clear improvements from a defensive standpoint.

Fans are, perhaps, a little bit nervous about the goal-scoring ability of the team and if goals might be harder to come by this season. But that theory would quickly go out the window if Norwich started scoring a few more goals.

There is a perception that Chris Hughton is a defensively minded manager, and this is not a theory I completely disagree with, especially in comparison with Paul Lambert. Nevertheless, the truth is the Norwich boss is, probably, somewhere in-between.

Lambert is a very gung-ho manager that is prepared to risk losing a match to try to win it with extreme attacking tactics. Hughton, though, is more likely to preserve a result at certain stages in a game. But the 25 goal-scoring opportunities the Canaries created in the 0-0 draw with West Ham suggest that he is rather interested in scoring goals.

The bottom line is it is good to see that the boss has the backing of the board, and he will get the maximum opportunity to strengthen his squad. But we all hope that the current squad can keep us in the top league for another season. And that lovely cash can be saved to be spent on the team next season for another campaign in the Premier League.

James Kent has been a Norwich City fan for a number of years; he is enjoying the new Premier League season, follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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