City boss Bryan Gunn was some ?700,000 better off this lunchtime after a third of City's 19,000 season ticket holders opted not to claim their League One rebate.
And while the Canaries were still faced with a hefty pay-out of ?717,603 as a penalty for leading the club's ever-loyal fan base into the murky depths of League One, it could have been far worse.
The better part of ?1.1 million was on the line as supporters agonised over whether or not to claim a rebate worth in the region of 15% of their season ticket costs; in the end, 6,774 of the club's 18,481 season ticket holders decided to forego their rebate – saving City's hard-pressed coffers ?359,304 in the process.
Which, in turn, then cost long-serving City director Michael Foulger ?359,304 as he held true to his promise of matching – pound for pound – any rebate savings with cash from his own pocket.
Together the two amounted to ?718,608 – all of which will now be put into Bryan Gunn's transfer kitty as the Canary chief looks to plot City's way back into the Championship at the first time of asking.
“This money will all go straight to the manager's player budget – and he'll have it to work with at the end of the month,” Foulger told the club's official website today.
Gunn has already, of course, made three full-time moves into this summer's transfer market in the shape of the two midfielders – Norwich-born Matt Gill and Welsh international Owain Tudur Jones – and centre-half Michael Nelson.
The implication from Foulger was that their arrivals were already costed out within the ?700,000 sum heading Gunn's way. None have yet cost Norwich a transfer fee; Tudur Jones' final fee to Swansea City will depend on the Canaries actually digging themselves out of their current league predicament – that and the six-foot three-inch midfielder playing a set number of games.
“The three players we have already signed are part of the budgeted sum we already had in mind,” Foulger explained.
Gunn's transfer kitty could, of course, be boosted further by the likely exit of Sammy Clingan before the summer is out. Coventry City and Sheffield Wednesday have both been reported among the Northern Ireland international's suitors. He may not be the only one to be hanging around the exit door.
Wes Hoolahan's footballing talents could, likewise, find a fan or two back in the Championship.
In the meantime, however, both Foulger and the club's newly-appointed chief executive David McNally were at pains to thank the club's extraordinary season ticket fan base for their on-going loyalty – whether or not they claimed their rebate.
“To get almost 19,000 season ticket holders following such a disappointing end to the last campaign is just incredible,” said McNally, who officially started in his new role on Monday.
“So all the supporters must be really thanked for their on-going commitment in difficult economic times,” he added.
As he did on his arrival speech at Carrow Road, the former Fulham MD once again confirmed his intention to put each and every last penny into Gunn's promotion push.
“We are absolutely focussed on one thing – trying to give Bryan Gunn the best opportunity to take this club forward,” McNally said.
“And we're doing everything we can to raise every extra penny, every extra pound, to help the first team squad.”
To that same end, Foulger has been doing his best to bring new investors into the club. For now, however, it remains just a three-man board of himself and the club's two, principal shareholders, Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones.
“We're continuing to look for further investment and although we know it's difficult for people to commit, I'm sure there will be something there – I shall continue to seek support wherever I can,” said the Banham Poultry chief, hoping that the worst of the post-relegation blues was now behind the club.
That, as ever, will depend on results. Stumble through the first couple of months in the third tier of English football and patience will continue to wear very thin.
“The fixtures are out, the Royal Norfolk Show is next week and the players are back,” said Foulger. “And in three weeks time we've got the first friendly, so we can finally start to look forward.”
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