Do we want City to fall off their perch?

SAVE the derby or send 'em down? That was the question Ipswich Town fans were pondering today after arch rivals Norwich City plunged deeper into the Championship relegation zone over the weekend.

SAVE the derby or send 'em down?

That was the question Ipswich Town fans were pondering today after arch rivals Norwich City plunged deeper into the Championship relegation zone over the weekend.

The Canaries' collapse has prompted fans from both sides of the border to weigh up the pros and cons of their potential demise.

There will be many Town supporters singing from the terraces if City sink to the third tier of English football.


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And with the East Anglian rivals battling it out three games from the end of the season, there is a chance that Ipswich could hammer the final nail in Norwich's coffin at Portman Road.

But some Blues fans think otherwise, as they reflect on the possibility of a season or more devoid of exciting derby clashes.

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Liz Edwards, chairman of the Ipswich Town Supporters' Club, isn't one of them. She would much rather exact revenge on Norwich for previous encounters.

She said: “One of the great things about football fans is that we hold contrasting views on most subjects.

“I certainly do know some fans who do not want Norwich to go down, on the grounds that they like the rivalry.

“But I think it is fair to say that most people I have spoken to would rather enjoy the prospect of relegating Norwich at Portman Road on April 19 - especially after they celebrated going 'top of the league at Portman Road' not that long ago.

“A unified chant of 'You're out of the league at Portman Road' would not be out of order.

“Besides, it doesn't matter which league Norwich are in next year. If we get promoted, they still wouldn't play us!”

Even Norwich City fans appear to be in two minds over the drop.

Some supporters believe a spell in League One wouldn't be such a bad thing after all.

It would be a chance to shed some of its over-paid and under-enthusiastic players, win some games and even kick-start a change of ownership.

But Dave Powles, news editor and football columnist for The Norwich Evening News, couldn't disagree more.

He said: “My argument is the complete opposite.

“By my reckoning, were we to go down, it's conceivable just 12 of the 31 first-team players would still be here for the opening game of 2008/09.

“There would be such a massive player exodus it would be too much for us to recover from.

“We might be able to save money from losing big players, but we will lose TV revenue.”

You might also think the chance of being relegated at Portman Road would be the kick up the backside they need to climb up the table to safety.

Mr Powles said: “There are still a lot of games to go, but there's a possibility that could happen.

“If we were to go down against the big rivals, it would be horrible.”

Would you like to see Norwich City relegated? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

WE want to hear from you as to whether The Evening Star should get behind the Canaries as they try to avoid the drop or beat the City relegation drum.

Our Norfolk sister paper, The Norwich Evening News, has launched its own campaign designed to support the Carrow Road club.

Now we have to decide whether we want to lend our support to our troubled rivals from up the A140 - or put the boot in.

Let us know your thoughts - e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk, write to Norwich City Relegation Fight, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, vote online at www.eveningstar.co.uk or text us, starting your message with estar and then your opinion, to 84070. (Texts cost 25p plus standard network charges).

AJ Singh, 18, of Norwich Road, Ipswich, said: “Get them relegated - just so we can laugh at them.

“We will be getting promoted anyway. If we go up in the play-offs, then it doesn't matter if they get relegated or not.”

Jan Dadswell, 45, of Grange Farm, who runs the hot potato stall on the Cornhill said: “It would be a shame if they went into the next division.

“Derby day brings more visitors to the town. We have a lot more business and with more customers I get to sell more potatoes.”

Alan Brown, 62, from Somersham, said: “Ideally they should be in the same league. Local derbies are always good whether you're a fan of football or not.”

Stuart Grimwade, 66, of Westerfield Road, Ipswich, said: “I think it will be a negative thing if Norwich go down.

“But it's always good to be positive and if Ipswich are promoted that would be excellent.”

George Miller, 16, a student at Suffolk New College, said: “I've never liked Norwich City. They have to go down.”

Dave Watts, 18, of Chantry, Ipswich, said: “I'd like them to stay up. Keep them in the division, so we can keep the derby game.

“I've been to a Norwich-Ipswich game and they're always good.”

Barry Pennock, 63, Stonechat Road, Ipswich, said: “I would like to see Norwich stay up.

“My son used to play for Norwich and I've never had any problems. But it's always good to beat them and whenever we play it's a big day for the town.”

Aaron Squrrell, 20, of Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, said: “I want Norwich City to do badly because they're the local competition. Given the choice I hope they go down.”

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