According to the Football Rivalries Report 2008 the Norwich City/Ipswich Town rivalry is the second biggest and second most bitter in English league football.
99% of Canary fans and Tractor Boys name each other as their biggest rivals, which makes the Old Farm derby the most reciprocated rivalry in the game.
The top 10 rivalries in English football are:
- Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion.
- Norwich City and Ipswich Town.
- Liverpool and Manchester United.
- Portsmouth and Southampton.
- Cardiff City and Swansea City.
- Aston Villa and Birmingham City.
- Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday.
- Bristol City and Bristol Rovers.
- Newcastle United and Sunderland.
- Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace.
The quote that made me smile from the report the most was this one:
The rivalry, however, goes much deeper than football. The fact Norwich has city status and Ipswich doesn’t is a long-standing issue that generates fierce debate in Suffolk. Also, many in Ipswich would prefer the town to be more closely associated with the metropolitan feel of London than the quiet, rural traditions of East Anglia.
I’m not an expert on this sort of thing but you’d think that if Ipswich really want to become the next West Ham or Spurs calling themselves the “Tractor Boys” maybe isn’t the best move? May I suggest a change to something more appropriate like the “Cortina Boys”, or the “Shell-suit Boys”? Have a think.