Norwich City - Becoming a Big Club
So here are a few things to consider ahead of the new season…
For the first time in a generation, Norwich City are about to experience back to back seasons in the top flight of English football. However, unlike the mid-90`s, this time things are different.
This time we have a CEO and board that are extremely financially astute. The lead men in this group are Chairman Alan Bowkett and CEO David McNally. Together with the majority shareholders, they have put the club in an unrivalled position in its history.
From transfers to turnover, to season tickets sales, to capacity, we`re only heading in one direction.
In terms of transfer fees paid last summer, around £8m worth of new talent was added to an already talented squad, with another amount dedicated towards the loans of Ritchie de-Laet and Kyle Naughton. To that, in January the signings of Jonny Howson and Ryan Bennett added two players of enormous promise to the squad, players who have a great chance of representing their countries in the not too-distant future. With Howson and Bennett`s fees added, that`s a whopping £13m spent last season. £13m which will likely be topped this season, when Chris Hughton strengthens.
To put our £13m into context, last season Wolves spent £12m, Swansea £10m, whilst Everton, West Brom and Spurs spent £6m each. The huge monstrosity of a club that is Aston Villa also spent £13m, despite taking nearly £40m in. Ahem, what a big club they are...
Despite all of this, we are on the verge of being externally debt free and in all probability will begin initial development on an extension of Carrow Road to take the capacity to 35,000 at the end of next season. This would make Carrow Road the 10th biggest ground in the Premier League and would also have the potential to make the club self-sufficient.
We do need to extend, we have capped season tickets at 22,000. This could easily be as high as 25,000, which would be as many as they have at Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton. This is pleasing.
In short, we`re starting to behave like a successful Premier League club. Our turnover is expected to hit £75m this season. This is bigger than Stoke, West Brom, Bolton and even bigger than Newcastle United`s from 2010/2011. The turnover is only pence away from that of Everton and Aston Villa. Huge. Would it be wrong to mention that Ipswich Town's turnover is £16m, and their wages are £17m?
Of course turnover does not deliver results on the pitch (see exhibit 1, Arsenal FC), but what turnover does provide is security. Short of finding a wealthy benefactor, it`s the only way of running a sustainable long term business. It`s part of the reason we`ve attracted a top new management team, and why players will want to come and join us. We`re stable, we`re growing and we`re supportive of our players through the good times and the bad.
It`s testament to the work that`s been delivered behind the scenes that the future is secured. We`re in the best shape we`ve ever been. Did Little Old Norwich just get all grown up? Are we now a big club?
We`re not big. We Are Massive.