The questions Norwich City need to answer
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
The sound of silence echoed around Carrow Road today as Norwich City began to take stock of the fall-out from the BK8 affair.
City’s hierarchy were reportedly in crisis talks during the day in an attempt to find a solution to the botched sponsorship deal with an Asian online betting company that uses adult content on social media accounts to promote itself.
They know they have done wrong – now we await their next move.
Fans who care little for sponsorship by betting companies were doubly outraged by the nature of BK8’s operations, which are at odds with Norwich City’s much vaunted family club policy.
Many called for heads to roll, while scores of fans made their feelings known in messages to the club.
What fans want to know is why they teamed up with BK8, why they didn’t know of the company’s promotional material and how they were going to extricate themselves from a situation which threatens to not only damage their reputation, but could also incur financial damage as fans refuse to purchase shirts bearing the new logo.
We have asked to speak to Ben Kensell, the club’s chief operating office, but that request was turned down.
So we sent the club a list of questions we believe that you, the fans, deserve answers to.
Q: When precisely did Norwich City FC first become aware of the sexualised content on BK8 websites?
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Q: What checks of BK8 social media accounts were carried out before agreeing the deal?
Q: How long does the BK8 sponsorship deal last?
Q: What is the financial value of the deal?
Q: How does the value compare with Dafabet? And why did the club take the decision to end that deal a year early?
Q: How does NCFC respond to the criticism of the Canaries Trust and other supporters groups following this announcement?
Q: Does NCFC have any clause that allows the deal to be scrapped and will it take up this option?
Q: What are the implications for the NCFC women's team? Will they be given another sponsor to wear on their shirts? Will they be consulted on this?
Q: Will BK8 make a commitment to be visible and accountable to a UK audience?
Q: Are the club aware of the way Asian betting companies use Premier League football clubs to advertise to an Asian audience they are unable to reach due to gambling laws? What is the club's position on this?
Q: Does the club have a message for the female supporters, a large portion of whom feel let down and disappointed by the decision to enter a sponsorship with a company which has sexualised women to advertise their product?
None of these questions has been answered as the club untangle their way out of a massive and complicated web which most fans will hope ends with the unravelling of this unholy alliance.
The fans deserve better from a club which has given them so much, but has, in the space of a day or two, fallen well below the standards it purports to set.
Fans young and old, male and female, have a love for their club that few can match. Now the club needs to show some respect for those feelings.