Come on down - the price is right!
Feature by John Maiden
Updated Friday, 14th August 2009
John Maiden has more thoughts on the week at Carrow Road.
I never watched the television game show: "The price Is right" but the title, together with the catchphrase: "Come on down" certainly sums up the pricing policy of Norwich City FC when it comes to looking after the Canary faithful. Norwich v Sunderland will be live on television, but once again the home supporters are likely to leave the comfort of their armchairs; choosing instead to fill the stands at Carrow Road; not just because they are probably the best supporters in the world; but also due in no small measure to the club's intelligent price structure for games of this sort.
Obviously, season ticket-holders and members have first shout, but after that, from 18th August, even the casual fans will be able to snap up a bargain with concessionary prices starting at just £1 for under twelves. Who knows, perhaps the two season tickets thrown in the direction of Bryan Gunn during the Colchester game will provide an opportunity for a couple of youngsters to enjoy their first taste of live football action at Carrow Road, where surely, on this occasion, the performance will match the pre-match atmosphere.
It will certainly be a memorable night, whatever the outcome, because the last meeting between the Canaries and the Black Cats in this competition was at Wembley in 1985 when Norwich came out on top with a 1-0 victory to lift the Milk Cup. The current Sunderland manager, Steve Bruce, played in the final after providing several memorable moments on the road to Wembley that season.
I wonder how many other members of the Milk Cup winning team will turn up on the night; either at Carrow Road, or in the Sky TV studio? After the tame exit from the FA Cup earlier this year; coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of the 1959 FA Cup run; perhaps this twenty-fifth anniversary should be given a lower profile, in case it turns out to be too much for the current players to live up to.
Fortunately, the 4-0 win at Yeovil, which set up the home tie with Sunderland, should have restored the confidence that was visibly ebbing away with every Colchester goal that was conceded on the opening day of the season. The loyal army of travelling fans can now look forward with optimism to the games at Exeter and Brentford. At the end of the season, the outcome of these fixtures could be much more important than the re-run of the 1985 Milk Cup final on Monday August 24th.
Not only will the players have to stay focussed on those games, they will also have to forget about the possibility of cup glory when Wycombe Wanderers visit Carrow Road on Saturday August 22nd...