Norwich City have to back my Premier League plans - Lambert
PUBLISHED: 09:30 07 May 2011
Focus Images 2011
Manager Paul Lambert has urged the Norwich City board to give him the cash to build a Premier League future for the club.
Promotion to the top flight has guaranteed a £42m windfall for the Canaries – and they are ultimately assured of a minimum of £90m even if they last just one season among the elite.
Back-to-back promotions under Lambert in two seasons have taken the club from the lower reaches of League One and financial peril to the riches of Europe’s top league, manna from heaven for a club with City’s debts of about £20m.
“I’m pretty sure the finances of the Premier League are huge in monetary terms – there is no doubt it’s saved the club,” said Lambert.
“From when we came in when it was just about go into administration, it’s saved it, or the players have, allied with the ones from last year.
“I’ve just got to hope the club backs me in what I want. I’ve had discussions with them and it’s up to them.
“The money they’ll get will wipe out the debt, I’m pretty sure it will. I’m not an expert on finances. I’m no Carol Vorderman on Countdown but I know how to add one and one.”
Asked if he wanted his share of the Premier cash influx to spend on team strengthening, he answered: “Damn right I do.”
Nevertheless, Lambert called for a realistic appraisal of City’s prospects next season as they return to the top flight after a six-year gap.
“All of a sudden we’re going to stay in the Premier League now. Bizarre. This club has got to have a realism about what’s been achieved by the lads,” he said.
“I’m pretty sure the crowd’s got a realism but you can’t make statements in the euphoria of going from the Championship to the Premier League. Everybody is caught up in it and says absolutely ridiculous things. I’ve been guilty of it myself.
“Hang on a minute, pull the reins back, for God’s sake. It’s going to be the hardest thing ever. We’ve earned the right to be up there but don’t make ridiculous statements.”
He said the Premier League was “another planet” compared to the Championship.
“People have to come back to planet earth, I think, with some of the things I’ve been hearing and seeing. It’s an absolute lack of realism about what’s going on.
“You ask the Norwich fans, I’m pretty sure the fans trust myself and Ian (Culverhouse) and Gary (Karsa). We’ve been here for two years. You like to think people trust us in doing the job. It’s been not a bad two years, back-to-back promotion, which has not been done for years.
“There has to be some sort of realism here when Norwich City are in that league and in that company.”
Lambert has made it clear he needs to add to his squad – as he did extensively with seven summer signings after winning the League One title 12 months ago.
“You’ve just got to hope we can get ones in,” he said.
“But people should get out of their brain that we’re going to get people in on 50 grand and 60 grand a week. That will never happen.
“You try to get people who are going to be good players but also good characters. I roughly know what we’ll try to do and I just hope the club back me that way.”