First match: Norwich City v. Crystal Palace, Sat., August 8, 10 a.m. ET
Norwich City earned promotion by winning the Championship Playoff Final 2-0 against Middlesbrough, just one year after being relegated from the Premier League. Credit for the Canaries’ late-season success has been given to manager Alex Neil, who was virtually unknown when he was hired in January. The 34-year-old was previously serving as a player-manager of a Scottish Premier League team, but since joining English football he has earned a reputation for his meticulous planning and approach. More than two-thirds of the current team have Premier League experience, many with Norwich just two seasons ago.
One of the Premier League’s 22 founding members in 1992, Norwich City have spent most of the last 23 years between the top two tiers of English football (the exception was one season spent in the third tier in 2009-10). The Canaries are now entering their 25th top-division season overall, which is notable given that the club did not first earn a spot in the top flight until 1972, 70 years after they were founded. The only major trophy ever won by the club is the League Cup, which they have lifted twice (1962, 1985).
In their eye-catching “canary yellow” and green kits, Norwich have played home matches at Carrow Road, by the banks of the River Umber in east England, since 1935. At the time of the club’s founding, the area had been known for canary breeding ever since the bird was brought to the city by Dutch weavers in the 16th century, and the nickname “the Canaries” was adopted.