Currently there no local teams that play in the English Premier League. In the 2017/2018 season both Ipswich Town and Norwich City play in the Championship, Peterborough United play in division 1 and Cambridge United are in division 2. It is rare for the region not to provide a side to the top flight of English football as in recent years the local teams have won both domestic and European trophies. The championship game fought out twice a season between Ipswich and Norwich is a fiercely contested local derby, with both sets of players determined to earn the bragging rights until the next encounter.
Ipswich Town play their home games at Portman Road and haven’t played in the Premier League since the 2001-2002 season. This is rather a full from grace for the Suffolk side as during the 1970’s and 1980’s the club experienced great success. The side actually won the title in the 1961-1962 season and during the early 1980’s they finished runners up twice and the UEFA cup in the 1980-1981 season.
It was during this period that club was at its most successful under manager Bobby Robson, who later went on to take control of the England side. The team was full of international players and always appeared to be in the top half of the table. Their close rivals Norwich City have also known more successful days and were last in the Premier League in the 2015-2016 season. They have twice won the League cup in 1962 and 1985 and their Carrow Road Ground is often sold out, as local supporters hope for a return to more successful days.
From 1986 the club had one of its most successful periods remaining in the Premier league for nine consecutive seasons. For two of these seasons they would have qualified for Europe had all English clubs not been banned due to the Heysel Stadium tragedy. They also reached the FA cup semi-finals on two occasions and in 1992-1993 finally got to play in Europe in the UEFA cup. Sadly they lost in the third round to Inter Milan, but only after knocking out the German giants Bayern Munich in the previous round.
Today one of the clubs shareholders is the TV cook Delia Smith, and the comedian Stephen Fry also served on the club’s board for a period of five years. Currently the club is managed by German Daniel Farke who is the first overseas manager the club has had in its 114 year history. Peterborough United are commonly known as “the Posh” and they play in their home games at the ABAX stadium. The club has never appeared in the top tier of English football and had its most successful season in the 1991-1992 season under manager Chris Turner.
The side reached the quarter finals of the League cup knocking out Liverpool along the way. It also reached the semi-finals of the Football League Trophy losing to Stoke City in a two legged affair. Finally at the end of that season a trip to Wembley saw them beating Stockport County to earn promotion into the new first division.
One of the most famous names associated with the club is Barry Fry. He currently holds the post of Director of Football but joined the club back in 1996 as the team’s manager. He held that position for nine years but left for a place in the board room. Cambridge United are areas newest entrants into the football league having won promotion from the conference at the end of the 2013-2014 season. Playing their home games at the Abbey stadium the club first entered the football league in 1970 and have now played 38 seasons in the competition.
The club’s most successful period was during the 1990s when they reached the FA cup quarter finals twice and reached their highest league position of fifth in the second tier. The club was then managed by John Beck who had a regimented side that were so disciplined that they were taking ice cold showers after training sessions. The region may not have a premier league club at the moment, but football is followed in East Anglia as passionately as any other area in the country.