Day: August 2, 2011

The Twohundredpercent Pre-Season Previews: Queens Park Rangers

It’s possible that there has never been an atmosphere quite as odd at what was purported to be a promotion party as that at Loftus Road before Queens Park Rangers’ final match in last year’s Championship against Leeds United last season. Rangers were already, theoretically at least, comfortably promoted according to that morning’s league table, but it wasn’t until news came through about an hour before kick-off that the club was not to be deducted points on account of the Alejandro Faurlin affair that the party could really get started. The supporters of the club had been a decade and a half without Premier League football and their team had been, by common assent, the best in the division all season. At times, the team had played some thrilling football and their promotion had taken the feeling of being little more than a coronation from before last Christmas. In short, they deserved it. Over the course of the summer, though, cracks which have been evident since Ecclestone and Briatore first took control of the club have rapidly become more and more apparent from the outside, and this summer has seen the contempt of many of the clubs supporters descend into a state of something approaching a complete breakdown, with many holding the owners of the club for a level of its mismanagement that even the prospect of a first...

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The Twohundredpercent Pre-Season Previews: Norwich City

At the end of last season, it rather felt as if one of the more significant success stories of the previous ten months had been overlooked. As the nation salivated over Barcelona in the Champions League and cheered Wimbledon back into the Football League, Norwich City supporters could have been forgiven for feeling a little bit forgotten for having achieved something a little bit special – back to back promotions which ended with the club back in the Premier League. As the team takes the pitch at Wigan Athletic for their opening match of the new season, their opening match in League One from two years prior – a 7-1 home thrashing at the hands of Colchester United – may well feel like a million years ago. Norwich, they may well sing on that day, are back. The financial benefits of promotion are evident, even if the team can only manage one season in the Premier League. They will earn a minimum of £40m from television money, their commercial revenues will increase and match-day income should also increase. Even considering the dread possibility of next season being a one season only stay in the Premier League, they will continue to benefit from the plumpened parachute payments that now greet clubs relegated from the Premier League, which will be worth a further £48m over the four years following any relegation...

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