Every day, it seems, something happens in the world of football that I find objectionable. A player is arrested or sent to prison; a manager becomes involved in some financial duplicity; a club is bought by some oligarch with a questionable record on worker safety or human rights. As I read these stories, or discuss them with friends around the Norwich City matches I attend, I ask myself: what would have to happen at my club before I stopped going?

That bond with a club, and with the sport itself – the obsession with fixtures and standings, player transfers and managerial changes, and the rituals of watching on television or live – is incredibly hard to break, and I’ve never managed to detach myself, no matter how bad the quality of play at Norwich, or in the tournaments I follow, has become, let alone how much the culture is warped by money and the pressure to succeed.

For plenty involved with football, results are the only issue. The contortions with which fans, colleagues or clubs will defend the transgressions of their most important players can often seem tragicomic. The recent Uruguayan attempt to excuse centre-forward Luis Suárez after he bit an opponent for the third time in his career – accusing the English press of conspiring against Suárez despite them having just voted him Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year – was particularly risible, but far from an isolated incident. Suárez’s bite and the sanctimonious circus around it were hilarious. His racial abuse of another opponent, Patrice Evra, was not, and I’d feel unable to support someone who behaved like this.

Lately, several lower league sides have signed players on release from prison – the most common offence is causing death by dangerous driving. Internet debates about whether the team should pass up these opportunities on moral grounds or recruit anyone who will improve it become rather heated, and the advent of Twitter has helped fans who want to pressure their clubs into abstaining. No player is bigger than their team, and there are means of protest: a refusal to cheer his goals, for instance, or a call for his departure. But any loud objections to a successful signing are liable to be shouted down on social media or in the stands. So I’d probably keep going, though if the board appointed an indefensible manager – a Fascist sympathiser like Paolo di Canio at Sunderland, or one with a recent conviction for tax evasion like Steve Evans at Crawley Town – then I’d have to reconsider. I decided that if City ever appointed di Canio, I’d cancel my season ticket until both he and whoever was responsible had left. (Evans seemed less likely, managing further down the pyramid.)

Aware of how irrational my passion is, I worry that whenever the line is crossed, I’ll re-draw it. But I like to think that if my club became owned by someone like Thaksin Shinawatra, the Thai politician who bought Manchester City in 2007 whilst being investigated for human rights abuses, I’d stop going rather than celebrate the wealth he brought. Some Mancunians did stop. The nearest I’ve come to renouncing Norwich was in 2001, when Giovanni di Stefano, an advocate for Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milošević, legal representative of Serbian warlord Arkan and convicted fraudster, planned a takeover, seducing fans with promises of new players from Italy, Yugoslavia and Iraq. He failed, and tried to buy several other clubs, briefly becoming a director at Dundee, years before his imprisonment for deception and money laundering.

After a recent game at Fulham (who rose from the bottom division to the top after Mohammed al-Fayed bankrolled them) practically confirmed Norwich’s relegation from the Premier League, several friends said we’d gone as far as we could without our board, comprised mostly of local businessmen, being replaced by billionaire investors from overseas. Fans on forums call for it, too, but I’d prefer not. “Soul” is a relative concept, and always has been for football clubs under capitalism, but I’d rather we didn’t sell it, and besides, so many oligarchs now own English clubs that such takeovers no longer guarantee success: Indian poultry giants Venky’s relegated Blackburn Rovers, while Russell King’s links to Bahrain’s royal family proved false and he was jailed after his fraudulent acquisition of Notts County. If such a fate befalls Norwich, I’ll support a club so removed from top-level football that no such commercial interests would touch them – I’ve earmarked Clapton FC, with their vocal anti-Fascist support, as my back-up option – but until it becomes absolutely untenable, I’m sticking with City.