Norwich City’s annual general meeting passed with plenty of applause and little controversy at Carrow Road on Thursday night.

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The club’s impressive health off and on the pitch was delivered to a packed and receptive Norfolk Lounge audience, as joint majority shareholder Michael Wynn Jones and deputy chairman Michael Foulger were comfortably re-elected to the board during the two and a half hour meeting – with chief executive David McNally joining manager Chris Hughton and fellow directors Delia Smith, Stephan Phillips and director of finance Sam Gordon at the top table.

And it was Bowkett and McNally who led the slideshows as the Premier League effect was spelt out.

The annual accounts to May 31 made plenty of pleasant reading – but with wages and player purchases set to rise by £7m this season and the top-flight’s new television deal upping the stakes by more than £20m for every Premier League club from August, the need to stay at English football’s top table was reiterated once again.

Funds will be available for Hughton to spend when the transfer window reopens in the new year, with some of the money left over from August’s pot – a “reasonable amount” according to McNally.

“We are not going to be silly and I think by the nature of looking at the more continental markets, that will probably be where we focus our attention and if we could get an Alex Tettey equivalent that puts the ball in the net that would be great,” said Bowkett.

“I think some (clubs) will (be sillier than others) but we have a manager who has very firm ideas of what he wants to do, his due diligence is immense. He works so hard – if he’s not watching football on TV he’s out at some obscure Belgian football ground looking at a player I’ve never heard of.”

McNally vowed the Canaries are now “a buying club and not a selling club” having not let a player depart against their wishes in at least three years – a far cry from City’s last prolonged spell in the top flight.

The City chief revealed the club fielded a number of enquiries for their players during the summer from a number of Premier League clubs, with one club apparently wanting to sign four members of Norwich’s squad.

Having revealed at the recent fans’ forum earlier in the season former manager Paul Lambert was suing Norwich for constructive dismissal, Bowkett was at his diplomatic best this time around – speaking well of the Scot and confirming a resolution in “early spring” for the Premier League arbitration panel attempting to settle the legal and compensation claims from both parties.

Bowkett and McNally acknowledged the much criticised ticket prices for the League Cup tie with Tottenham last month were too high, but revealed they expect December’s home quarter-final tie with Aston Villa to be a sell-out.

The duo admitted season ticket prices are likely to rise again next season, while adding they were working on ways to pay fans back for their loyalty.

The club, as has been reported, expects to be free of any external debt by the end of next season – and joint majority shareholder Smith addressed one fan’s concerns at rising ticket prices with her usual passion.

“If you want to be in the Premier League, you have got to pay,” said Smith.

“What would you rather have – Premier League football or cheaper tickets? We’ve had all these years of scrimping and saving and I still think what we’ve done is the right thing.”

And to continue the theme from the start of the night – and not for the first time – the majority of the room applauded.

15 comments

  • We want an Alex Tettey equivalent that puts the ball in the net...it must be Mohammed Abdellaoue...

    Report this comment

    PutneyCanary

    Friday, November 23, 2012

  • I agree with a lot of what Kristan has said although you have to realise that, like everything else in life, players fees and wages are going to rise and the cost has to be met. Think how near we were to the administration abyss only a short time ago and look at where we are now - free from debt by the end of next season - it's an incredible turn around. I'm extremely thankful that we have the sort of Board that we do rather than some Russian or sheikh magnate treating us like a little toy they like to play with. Our Board seems to be one of the best at listening to fans and responding when they can.

    Report this comment

    Flying Canary

    Friday, November 23, 2012

  • Agree with Kristan. Football as we know it will die if it doesn`t re-align with the fiscal realities of "ordinary" fans. Already there are serious signs that clubs further down the food chain cannot survive. How can there be a "Top Tier" when there are no tiers below? What will be the long-term effects of mysterious foreign investors and Oilygarchs? When they either lose interest or take out want they want before quitting, as appropriate. Ask Portsmouth. Leeds next? However, I for one cannot understand how plane-loads of "ordinary" fans from the "Big Clubs" can afford to fund their passion for Euro games. Or get the time off work. Plus all the domestic home & away fixtures. Are they mega rich or are benefits even more abundant than even the Daily Mail at its most reactionary could imagine?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, November 23, 2012

  • Yah, I remember Chase saying the break even figure was 16000 supporters! Should have invited Roeder as a guest speaker!

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    tom the taxi

    Friday, November 23, 2012

  • Kristan Reed Chelsea are nearer to you why not try their ticket prices? Norwich will still be better value.

    Report this comment

    Sherbert

    Friday, November 23, 2012

  • The club has done a fantastic job, there's no doubt about that, and we're all grateful to be sticking it to the big boys while our rivals squirm around in obscurity. That said, I don't see the logic in continually hiking ticket prices. It's unsustainable. To admit that they're about to raise them AGAIN after bagging the most lucrative TV deal in football history is just naked greed. I wouldn't mind if the club were capable of structuring match day tickets properly, but we've ended up in a situation where matches like Stoke are considered Tier A, and cost 'casual' fans £46.50 including booking fee. To get up from Brighton, pay for fuel, food and drink, you're looking at £100 for 90 minutes. I don't think so. I've been a season ticket for many years, so I'd hardly consider myself a casual fan, but I won't be held to ransom by the club. It could quite easily reduce matchday prices and still make vast profits. It's not smart to test the loyalty and patience of your fans - maybe they won't be able to bring along their kids, and bang goes your next generation of fans.

    Report this comment

    Kristan Reed

    Friday, November 23, 2012

  • Sure, it would be 'easier' to go to the wonderful new Amex stadium and support Brighton, but any Canary fan across the world knows that where you live and work has no bearing on what team you support. I grew up in Norwich, and had my first game (vs Ipswich) in 1980 aged just 7. I know how easily this gets under your skin, and I've now got a boy who's nearly 7. But to get him to a game now is just beyond my means, so getting him into the mighty Yellows is going to be difficult. I fully appreciate that the ground is full every game, and the laws of supply and demand are kicking in here. I just think that the club could - with all the extra TV and sponsorship money - quite easily repay the fans by keeping matches affordable. If only for the long term future of the club. I remember supporting the club through thick and thin when gates were averaging around 14,000, and the only games that came close to selling out were the big six. Anyone remember when Blackburn came to Carrow Road in early 1993, when we were top of the league and the gate was 15,800? It was freezing, it ended 0-0. This was normal back then - our support was solid, but pretty unspectacular. To find that 20 years on, we're fleecing loyal fans to the point of not being able to even turn up, it's heart breaking to be honest.

    Report this comment

    Kristan Reed

    Friday, November 23, 2012

  • Sorry "WHAT they want". ;-)

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, November 23, 2012

  • What a different world from when I caught the bus from King's Lynn to Norwich, watched the game standing in the Barclay and had a bag of chips, all for under a fiver! For me nowadays, getting a ticket for the odd game is a real treat and one I can only afford occasionally.

    Report this comment

    jharding

    Friday, November 23, 2012

  • Your message is getting thro`, Putney! I agree with Kristan, you are clearly a real fan. These days I can rarely afford to go even to home games! All those years of walking miles to the Carra to stand on the uncovered concrete terraces of the River End to see my heroes. Mind you, you`d see those same heroes in the local chip shop or doing a Summer job. Not packing down dolmades in the Greek Islands or cretinising Crete.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, November 23, 2012

  • I wonder which club wanted to sign four of City`s squad? Surely not....... Hoots had clear instructions from Don Magnarli prior to setting off on that unbeaten run "We want a peaceful Family AGM, Christopher. Capisci?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, November 23, 2012

  • Sure, it would be 'easier' to go to the wonderful new Amex stadium and support Brighton, but any Canary fan across the world knows that where you live and work has no bearing on what team you support. I grew up in Norwich, and had my first game (vs Ipswich) in 1980 aged just 7. I know how easily this gets under your skin, and I've now got a boy who's nearly 7. But to get him to a game now is just beyond my means, so getting him into the mighty Yellows is going to be difficult. I fully appreciate that the ground is full every game, and the laws of supply and demand are kicking in here. I just think that the club could - with all the extra TV and sponsorship money - quite easily repay the fans by keeping matches affordable. If only for the long term future of the club. I remember supporting the club through thick and thin when gates were averaging around 14,000, and the only games that came close to selling out were the big six. Anyone remember when Blackburn came to Carrow Road in early 1993, when we were top of the league and the gate was 15,800? It was freezing, it ended 0-0. This was normal back then - our support was solid, but pretty unspectacular. To find that 20 years on, we're fleecing loyal fans to the point of not being able to even turn up, it's heart breaking to be honest.

    Report this comment

    Kristan Reed

    Friday, November 23, 2012

  • Like that fan on the board scheme, Swiss. Does Mr. S. Fry count?? I think the "have & have not" theme also applies to fans. A night at the theatre is better value than a football match. Will football attendance be the "New Opera", just for the well-to-do or well benefitted? Sherbert, A) Kristan is a NCFC fan, it seems. B) Chelsea are the best example of all that`s worst in the modern game. Top Oilygarch, revolving door marked "Manager". A bit of an obsession with RAC ism, pistols on the training ground, etc, etc.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, November 23, 2012

  • I have not seen the figures so I don't understand the need for another rise in the ticket prices. At least the club is committed to being a cooperative and does not have people picking its pocket in the way that the Glazer family do to ManU. As they are selling out Carra Rud regularly, they are probably encouraged to raise the price though there was a clear message to the board concerning the Spurs League Cup game, of which they took note. In Germany, the supporters have to have a seat on the board by law and so fans interests are always considered. This German idea is unpopular in the UK, but it would make a difference.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Friday, November 23, 2012

  • Does anyone at club benefit financially as part of their employment from direct crowd takings?

    Report this comment

    No to tory boy

    Friday, November 23, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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