Canaries first team will also benefit from academy bond scheme
The proposed work to academy facilities at Colney will have a significant knock-on effect for the Norwich City first team, believes sporting director Stuart Webber.
On Wednesday the innovative Canaries Bond will open for public investment, after almost three weeks of allowing long-term supporters to register, as the Canaries try to attract around £3.5million of investment.
Those funds will be ring-fenced for a new permanent academy base and gym at Colney, to replace the current temporary structure, with work on dressing rooms and pitch improvements already under way to maintain the club’s category one academy status.
“What it will ultimately deliver is a unique environment for our players,” Webber explained. “Okay it’s an academy building but it’s the knock-on effect it will have on the first-team facilities; it makes more available for the first-team players because less of the academy players will use the facilities and pitches and things like that.
“It means we can play under-23 games on the pitch at Colney more than we do now, to save the pitch at Carrow Road, which has a knock-on effect for our first team, with the pitch being as good as it can be.
“And it also creates a proper elite working environment. For a player that has to drive in or a staff member, and work in a temporary building or use a gym in a conservatory, that’s not professional, that’s not elite.”
The bond has a minimum threshold of £2m and a maximum of £5m, with investors able to put in increments of £500 which will pay 5pc gross interest annually, an additional 3pc gross in club credit and a one-off 25pc bonus if City are promoted to the Premier League.
“You can talk about elite environments but then a gym which is about a fifth of the size it needs to be in a conservatory with a mucky roof, it sort of contradicts what you’re trying to say about elite professionalism,” Webber continued.
“So really we hope that this will have a knock-on effect in terms of the first team and certainly in the long term because the one thing we have got within our academy, certainly in our 14s, 15s, 16s, 18s players is we have got some really talented players – and this is making sure we keep them because they believe in what we’re doing.”