As the season is about to start, Barclay End Norwich want to get bigger and better for the Premier League campaign. Thomas Markham-Uden asks for your help......
Time plays tricks on the mind.
With the sheer amount of positivity that surrounded the culmination of last season, it’s easy to forget that when I sat down at my computer a little over twelve months ago to pen a piece on behalf of the Barclay End Norwich supporters’ group, things weren’t quite as rosy as they feel now.
It is fair to say that, despite our best intentions, we had reached what felt like a bit of a glass ceiling with the group. Committed as ever to developing a united fan culture at Norwich and improving the atmosphere, as we mulled over ideas to invigorate things off the pitch, I couldn’t help but harbour thoughts of ‘is this all worth it?’ I don’t know whether I can speak for the other couple of individuals who helped get Barclay End Norwich off the ground, but trying to get fellow fans on side felt akin to attempting to walk up a down escalator, while a sea of commuters came the other way. Slow, potentially futile progress was the order of the day.
This seems a world away from where we are now, but the crowdfunder launch last summer really did feel, for me at least, like a massive all-or-nothing push. A Hail Mary pass from one side of the Barclay to the other. As we know, it touched down in pretty spectacular fashion.
What we apparently hadn’t reckoned with was that, somewhat staggeringly if I’m honest, quite a lot of people were actually really, really supportive of our efforts. On reflection, Lord knows why we hadn’t thought of this sooner, but hindsight is a wonderful thing and all we could do was marvel as the donation total very quickly leapt up through the thousands.
Marvel, and then realise that we should probably set about putting some of our ideas into action now that we had the funds required to so. We stuck our heads above the parapet to start it off, and yes, we do work hard in terms of the logistical side of things, but it was the generosity of Norwich fans across the globe that truly made it possible. That turned it into the massive collectivist sensation that it has become.
Monetising our supporter base has been a hot topic over the summer, so I admit that we discussed how to pitch a fresh push of the crowdfunder for quite some time. Ultimately though, the premise as we approach this new season is essentially the same as a year ago: we want to continue to build something. We need your help to make it happen.
Twelve months ago we set our stall out and did our best to convey a vision for what could happen if we invested a little time and a little money in our club’s fan culture. The outcome, we hope you’ll agree, surpassed almost everything that we set out to do. Now is the time therefore to double-down on our plans and push this movement into something truly magical.
For that, we’re asking you to show the same generosity that you did last summer, and over the course of the season, in making a donation to our crowdfunder. We want more flags, bigger banners, larger scale displays.
Oh and for those who chuck a little extra our way, our friends for life at Along Come Norwich will be sending you a limited edition badge for a £10 donation, and/or some Serie A/Bundeslig inspired stickers for £5 (DM them on Twitter @AlongComeNodge or email them at email@example.com with your address afterwards). It’s not a highly flammable silk-style scarf in a fancy box, but you can’t win ‘em all can you?
As the saying goes, ‘It doesn’t matter whose name’s above the door, or which people hold the key, they’ll never take our football club, it belongs to you and me’. Barclay End Norwich isn’t just ours, it’s yours. It belongs to every fan who cares; who wants to create something of which they can be proud. Every fan who shared our vision and wanted to play a part. We sowed the seed last season, now let’s watch it grow. Together. One City Strong.
See you on the 17th. Up the Barclay.