Farke admits it was ‘men against boys’ after Norwich relegation confirmed

Daniel Farke is optimistic that Norwich will become a more regular fixture in the Premier League in the future after their relegation.

Norwich have been in the relegation zone for most of their first season back in the top flight, and their demotion straight back to the Championship was confirmed with a 4-0 loss to West Ham.

Having won just five games all season, it’s an outcome the Canaries have been expecting for some time. However, manager Farke admits that it is still painful – even though they only had a “5%” chance of staying up from the outset.

“We are unbelievably disappointed,” Farke told BBC Sport.

“When I came here we needed to develop young players and sell them to keep the club going. We were able to do this.

“Then the second season no-one expected anything but we were able to stage a miracle that no-one expected. We won the Championship title with a special brand of football. We were not able to add a third miracle in a row against all odds.

“I’m really disappointed for this and for all our supporters. We wanted to beat the odds again but when the dust settles the outcome is more or less what was expected.

“Our teamsheet had more or less the same players as last season, with some key players out. It doesn’t take anything away from the fact that we are disappointed.

“From the first day after promotion our chances to survive were perhaps 5% so in 19 out of 20 cases you will go down. If you have luck and no injuries then you have a chance.

“When we are 100% we are competitive but when it’s 96 or 97% then it sometimes looks like men against boys. That’s what I expected.

“I also expected it would be a tough season for many players, with criticism when we don’t perform. That’s quite normal and we were prepared.”


Norwich now face not just the disappointment of dropping down a league, but also the financial implications that come with it. Farke, however, is confident they have the long-term infrastructure to keep hold of their best talent.

“The club is able to pay for all the sins of the past,” he said. “We are able to invest in our infrastructure, for the long term. I was fully aware and committed for doing things this way.

“Of course we’re disappointed but it was the right decision for this club and I always was happy to stick to this plan.

“Our situation as a club is quite comfortable because we don’t have any financial pressure at all and our young players are under long-term contracts. We can invest a bit more into the squad.

“Hopefully in the medium or long-term future we are an established Premier League club and we will need all our key players to do that.”