Norwich City clinched promotion to the Premier League with five games to spare on Saturday after rivals Brentford and Swansea City failed to win their Championship matches, guaranteeing Daniel Farke’s leaders one of the automatic promotion places.
The Canaries sealed an immediate return to the top flight -- which has been worth at least £160m in previous seasons -- having finished bottom of the Premier League in the 2019-20 campaign.
Not even a 3-1 defeat later on Saturday by playoff-chasing Bournemouth took the gloss of the achievement, sealed thanks to Brentford playing out a 0-0 stalemate with Millwall and Swansea City drawing 2-2 against bottom club Wycombe Wanderers.
Norwich boss Daniel Farke revealed that his players were following the earlier matches from their hotel rooms before the Bournemouth game but they had not expected to secure promotion without having to kick a ball themselves.
“It’s a bit surreal when you’re promoted a few hours before kick off,” the delighted German coach told Sky Sports before the evening kickoff. “You want to concentrate on the game but nevertheless it’s a great feeling.
“It’s a proud moment for the club and for us as a group. The lads have done a fantastic job. It’s such an important target and a difficult one to achieve. Then you also think of the hard work you put in.
Norwich have enjoyed an outstanding season and sit at the top of the second-tier standings with 90 points from 42 matches.
Second-placed Watford have 82 points but a 1-0 defeat at Luton Town means they still have some work to do to clinch the second automatic promotion spot.
Bournemouth moved level on 74 points with fourth-placed Brentford, who have a game in hand, while Swansea have 76.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies