Finances of Canaries transformed
Norwich City have faced grave financial problems twice over the last twenty years, but their latest accounts show how their fortunes have been transformed since they have been in the Premier League. They now have every prospect of becoming debt free.
It is clear that the Canaries do not think that going back to the Championship with generous parachute payments would be acceptable. They are determined to stay in the top flight where the increasing television payments can underwrite a smaller club.
Three years ago, following City’s relegation to the third tier of English football, League One, the club was weighed down by debt of £23m. Figures up to May of this year show that the successive promotions that brought the Canaries to the Premier League have now brought that debt down a further £5m, from £16.6m down to £11.3m.
By the end of the current 2012-13 Premier League season they intend to have wiped another £10m from the club’s debt, which would leave the club free of external debt other than for working capital.
Chairman Alan Bowkett said 'We are very pleased with these sets of results [to be released in full later today] because it is just another step for us to take to achieve our objective to become a self-sustaining, established Premier League club. We are planning to be in the Premier League next year because the finances and the management of the club has gone better than we planned'.
The figures made available show that in the 2011-12 financial year the club made its highest ever after-tax profit of £13.5m, compared to a loss of £3.9m the previous year and a loss of £5.8m the year before that. Overall the club’s revenue rocketed by over £50m to £74.3m, up from £23.1m. This is largely due to receiving £48.5m in broadcast money in the Premier League, up from just £5.5m when in the Championship. The club’s football budgetis now four times bigger than when City were in League One.
Norwich have the advantage of being the only league club in a relatively prosperous county. Somewhere to the south there is a frontier zone where Canaries supporters thin out and are replaced by those of their deadly rivals, Ipswich Town.