City director Michael Foulger rounded off a busy day at Carrow Road by insisting that manager Paul Lambert is going nowhere.
Almost from nowhere, the Scot has been installed as the bookmakers’ favourite to replace the departing Owen Coyle after a flurry of money came in for the City manager.
The biggest swing came with Paddy Power, as Lambert started the day as a 25/1 outsider, only to finish as the red hot odds-on favourite.
But the bookies are not always right – despite what people tell you.
“Once again we have had no approach for Paul,” said the Banham Poultry boss, speaking in a live webchat with supporters today.
“I’m really impressed by his commitment to Norwich City and the way he goes about his business and I want him to be the manager to take this club forward.”
But, luckily for the powers that be, there was plenty else to talk about after the club’s annual accounts were released today.
To be fair, they didn’t make for pretty reading but after being relegated from the Championship, and having to operate in this tough economic climate, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
The key points are as follows:
– Sales revenue was down to £18.2m (£19.2m 2008) largely due to reduced Football League income
– Loss after taxation increased to £5m (loss £2.3m 2008) driven by fall in sales revenue and lower gains on player sales of £0.9m (£3.5m 2008)
– Net indebtedness increased to £22.9m (£18.8m 2008)
– Club received cash injection from Directors of a further £3.1m
– Directors negotiated further securitisation and banking facilities from Axa and Lloyds Banking Group until at least the end of 2009/10 season.
– Board confirmed therefore it is not necessary nor its intention to sell any leading players in the current transfer window, furthermore, the Board is attempting to strengthen the squad with the support of its lenders.
– Board has appointed leading financial sport experts Deloitte as advisors. In addition international property consultants King Sturge have been appointed to advise on property matters.
– Although cash forecasts show the Club can operate within existing banking facilities until the end of the current season, a further £2.9m will be required during the 2010-11 season either through additional funds coming into the Club or further deferment of interest and capital payments to lenders.
And despite the significant piece of information – the increase in debt – causing concern amongst the Canaries faithful, Chairman Alan Bowkett remained positive.
“As we forecasted, trading in 2009 was difficult. I am pleased to say that we are operating within forecast for the current season.
“Naturally, we have had to undertake substantial restructuring decisions. What is particularly pleasing is the support of AXA, Lloyds Banking Group and our significant shareholders.
“However there remain balance sheet matters which need to be addressed. We have full financing facilities until at least the end of the season, time to address our balance sheet issues with top class advisors.
“And we have meritorious business models going forward where we are cash positive both in League One and the Championship, which is of course where we aim to be as soon as possible.”
Elsewhere, as MFW reported earlier, Stockport County striker Oli Johnson looks set to complete his move to Norfolk in the coming days after the Hatters official site reported that City had had a bid accepted.
According to the Edgeley Park outfit, the forward has also agreed personal terms with the Canaries and has travelled to East Anglia for a medical.