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Norwich City bond scheme raises £5m

The proposed new academy facilities at Colney, which will be funded by a bond scheme. Picture: Norwich City FC

The proposed new academy facilities at Colney, which will be funded by a bond scheme. Picture: Norwich City FC

Norwich City FC

Norwich City have confirmed they have now closed the bond scheme to transform academy facilities at Colney, after hitting the £5m maximum threshold.

A total of 735 investors have indicated they are keen to participate in the innovative five-year, fixed term bond scheme, which had an initial target to raise £3.5m and a maximum of £5m, according to figures publicly available on the sports investment platform Tifosy, who are managing the bond.

Longer term supporters were given an opportunity to register, prior to a proposed public launch on Wednesday, March 28, which will no longer take place.

Investors will receive 8pc interest per annum, made up of 5pc cash interest and 3pc club credit to be spent on regular individual match tickets, hospitality, food and drink, merchandise and events.

A one-off promotion bonus of 25pc is payable if the club is promoted to the Premier League, within the term of the bond.

The Canaries originally wanted to raise £3.5m to allow temporary buildings at Colney to be replaced with a new permanent structure, gym facilities and to complete pitch improvements.

Work on new academy dressing rooms is already under way after funding was arranged, as City strive to maintain their ‘Category One’ academy status, deemed to be crucial to producing homegrown talent for the club’s self-funded model.

Managing director, Steve Stone, made it clear at the launch of the mini-bond earlier this month funds would be put aside each year to ensure the money can be repaid to investors, with interest payments financed by operational savings made by the new training facilities.

“When we were initially looking at the concept of a Canaries bond I was confident we would achieve our target of £3.5m, but I did not anticipate the level of demand that we have experienced to reach our maximum investment of £5m, with more than 700 investors backing the bond,” he told the club’s official site.

“This fantastic level of additional support will allow us to further enhance the fitness, educational and analytical facilities in the academy itself, as well as significantly improving facilities for visitors to Colney, whether that be academy players’ families or spectators watching academy matches.

“This is a vital part of our wider strategy for the club in the seasons ahead.

MORE: Have your say on our Pinkun forum

“We’ve capped the bond at £5m in order to sensibly manage our repayment commitments to investors. We appreciate that some fans will be disappointed the bond has closed before they had a chance to invest and we will be announcing further ways in which our great fans can lend their support to our academy in the near future.

“We’d like to thank Tifosy for their excellent support and professionalism in helping to make this bond such a success – and of course all of the investors for their faith in our club.”

Chief executive of Tifosy - a company co-founded by former Italy and Chelsea striker Gianluca Vialli - Fausto Zanetton added: “We are delighted to have helped Norwich City raise £5m to invest in its academy.

“The club has an exciting, long-term vision to develop more of its own young players and the Canaries bond is an investment in the future.

“Tifosy is a regulated investment platform that gives leading clubs an opportunity to access capital from their supporters and individual investors, alongside institutional finance.

“We have successfully applied this model in both England and Italy, allowing clubs to fund invaluable infrastructure projects that will bring long-term benefits and we look forward to helping many more clubs in the future.”

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