The First Managerial Casualty Of The Season – Gunn Fired

In their 1983 book “The Encyclopaedia Of British Football”, writers Phil Soar and Martin Tyler use a photograph of a match between Norwich City and Southampton as an example of the changing face of football. They compare the rise of smaller club from affluent cities in the south of England with the decline of traditional clubs from their Northern equivalents. It’s a somewhat disingenuous comparison – although the likes of Watford, Southampton, Oxford United and Ipswich Town were enjoying different yet unprecedented levels of success in the early 1980s, trophy winning was dominated as much by the big cities in the north of England then as it ever has been before or since and nothing much has changed in that respect – but the proposition of there being a new generation of smaller, slimmed down clubs that would be the way of the future is an interesting one, in so far as that it signalled the extent to which even those within the game seemed to believe that scaling down was the only way forward for football. Skip forward twenty-six years, and Norwich vs Southampton will be a fixture in League One rather than Division One. Times have changed, but few would have anticipated in the early 1980s the extent of the modernisation that would take place in English football. There hasn’t been a death of provincial clubs per...

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