Over the past few years, Leeds fans have had to grin and bear it as little Norwich – an unfashionable club from the back of beyond – have used the fact of their temporarily higher league status to pluck such gems as Snodgrass, Howson, Becchio and, erm, Bradley Johnson from the Elland Road payroll. In truth, only the first two of those four departures were all that painful – the odd twinge caused by Luciano’s departure has been relieved by his zero contribution to Naaaarritch since he joined them – but that hasn’t stopped those loveable Ciddy fans from gloating and grinning and taking the mick. Every time another transfer “coup” has been completed, there they’ve been, savouring the novelty of lording it over Mighty Leeds, crowing about us being their “feeder club” (no marks for originality there, lads) and generally cavorting all over the internet like the small-time wurzels they are.
Now, these cheeky, chirpy, safely-anonymous internet trolls are at it again, all agog with excitement that their little irritant of a football club are tipped by the gutter press to make yet another raid on a club that has looked down on them for the bulk of their undistinguished history. It’s the classic small man syndrome; you suffer for years at the hands of bigger boys like Leeds, Ipswich – even Colchester and so on – and when the chance crops up to puff your chest out and do a little crowing after all those decades of feeble cheeps, well, you fill your boots (as it’s only too easy for those six-toed feet to do).
And where, after all, is the harm you might ask? If this internet bravado helps the currently happy (despite demotion) Ciddy fans forget their inglorious past, then good luck to them, right? After all, prior to their recent double promotion success, their club was mainly famous for the tired and emotional display of Delia Smith when she unwisely seized the match-day mike after lavishly sampling the vino cabinet, and treated the stunned home crowd to a slurred and cringeworthy motivational speech: “Wheeeere aaaare yoooouu? Let’s be ‘aaaavviiiin’ yooooouuu!!!” It was entertaining for everyone outside Carrow Road, but let’s face it – it’s hardly a siren call to tempt a Scotland star who already has a first team berth in a far bigger club – or so you’d have thought.
However, money talks and – as one easily-pleased Canary reminded me just today (via a tweet, appropriately) – Norwich have recently copped for around £70m simply for achieving relegation. Against that, we have Mr McCormack’s recent assertion that winning promotion as captain of Leeds United would mean a lot more than playing for “just any Premier League club”. We must presume, then, that the attraction is that much greater again – when the option in front of him is just any ex-Premier League club. Norwich is the arse end of nowhere, after all – you’d have thought that last season’s Championship top-scorer could do a hell of a lot better. But, it’ll likely come down to just how many zeroes there are on the end of that bottom line. Rossco is tied to a contract at Leeds, and there seems to be little suggestion that the club are minded to improve it.
Yesterday, the talk was that a firm bid of £5 million had been made by a Championship club – later tentatively identified as Fulham, another of the parachute payment brigade, lavishly rewarded for last season’s calamitous failure.
To be quite frank, I could cope if he went there. It’s not ideal – and I’m not saying a few more millions than that measly five would sugar the pill rather better – but at least Fulham’s not bleedin’ Norwich and those cocky bloody internet Canaries. I swear if I ever caught one of those I’d pretend I thought it was a lemon and squeeze it into my drink.
Roll on the end of the transfer window. Rumour has it that what’s left of our squad might start playing a few games of football then…