May 18 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Chris Hughton will have the financial muscle to successfully strengthen his Premier League squad, according to Alan Bowkett.
The Norwich City chairman, clearly delighted at Hughton’s arrival, also took the chance to reiterate the club’s new-found health off the pitch as City look to stabilise in English football’s top flight for the first time in nearly 20 years.
While City’s support held remarkably strong through the club’s fall to League One and its subsequently dramatic rise, the financial strain took Norwich to the brink of administration.
This year will see the Canaries enjoy successive Premier League campaigns for the first time since the early 1990s, while astute management in the corridors of power has also helped improve the books at Carrow Road.
That is something Hughton will benefit from, as he is handed the purse strings and the responsibility to build the squad he wants come August – once Paul Lambert’s replacement has his feet securely under the desk following his arrival last week.
“As I have told the previous manager and I have told this manager, we will have the biggest expenditure on football we have ever had,” said Bowkett.
“That is down to the fantastic commercial success of the business. When we were in League One we had a turnover of £18m. This year we will approximately have a turnover of about £75m – and that is only £5m short of Everton, who have been in the top division all their life.”
Those figures make more than interesting reading given the club’s previously parlous financial state – and should ensure Hughton has money to spend this summer, busting the £13m summer pot Lambert had at his disposal this time last year.
“We want to invest in the squad,” said a smiling Bowkett. “We’ve got a very strong squad as it is, but we want to improve and therefore we will be looking again in the transfer market.
“Our skill is in terms of implementing our strategy. To do that we have to have the financial resources and the human resources.
“Paul did an amazing job for us…but with Paul you get a package. You get an outstanding football manager, but he is ruthlessly ambitious and possibly the most impatient man I have ever met!”
Hughton’s ability to work with a budget was partly why City wanted to lure him away from Birmingham, but his successful spell dealing with the demands at Newcastle and taking the Blues into the Europa League group stages also stick with Bowkett.
He added: “Clearly Chris has experiences we hope will be useful to us in the future.”