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Former shadow chancellor Ed Balls named as new chairman of Norwich City Football Club

15:45 27 December 2015

Ed Balls, the new chairman of Norwich City Football Club

Ed Balls, the new chairman of Norwich City Football Club

Archant

Former shadow chancellor Ed Balls has been appointed as the new chairman of Norwich City Football Club.

Norwich-born Mr Balls, 48, takes up his non-executive role with immediate effect and will join his fellow directors at Carrow Road for tomorrow’s Premier League match against Aston Villa.

Born at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and educated in Bawburgh, Nottingham, and then at Oxford University and the Harvard Kennedy School, Mr Balls left the Financial Times in 1994 to pursue a career in government.

Mr Balls said: “It’s an honour and a privilege to be asked to join the board of directors at Norwich City as chairman.

“From the moment my dad first took me to watch city from the terraces at Carrow Road in 1973, my earliest ambition was to play for the club I loved. But the next best thing is to become chairman of Norwich City, and do what I can off the pitch to help city succeed on the pitch.

“The club’s immediate priority and focus is, of course, the retention of our hard-earned Premier League status, and the hard work of my fellow directors and all of my colleagues at the club means Norwich City is in great shape on and off the pitch going into 2016.

“With that foundation, the challenge for all of us at Norwich is to go from the up-and-down fortunes I have known since I was a boy to an era of sustained success, and I will be proud to play my part in that.”

Mr Balls was the treasury’s chief economic adviser from 1997-2004, during which time he represented the UK at the G20 meeting of global finance ministers and was the chair of the International Monetary Fund Deputies Committee.

A Labour MP for 10 years after 2005 - until his defeat in May, Mr Balls has held a variety of senior positions during his political career, including economic secretary to the Treasury, secretary of state for children, schools and families, shadow home secretary and shadow chancellor of the exchequer.

Mr Balls is currently a senior fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a visiting professor at King’s College, London.

He will be undertaking his role at Norwich City in an unpaid capacity, alongside his ongoing academic, commercial, charitable and media activities.

Welcoming Mr Balls to the Board, city’s joint majority shareholders Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones said his vast economic knowledge and extensive experience with both the public and private sectors would be a huge asset for the club.

They said: “We’re absolutely delighted to confirm that Ed Balls is the new chairman of Norwich City.

“His economic know-how and experience, coupled with his passion for all things Norwich City, will be a major asset for the board and we’re excited about working closely together with Ed, David McNally and the other directors in this new era for the club.

“Ed will work closely with all of us on the short, medium and long-term strategy to shape the future of this great football club.”

Alan Bowkett, the club’s previous chairman, stepped down earlier this month.

Mr Bowkett was appointed chairman of the club in July 2009 and was a key figure in stabilising the Canaries’ financial position following relegation to League One.

The lifelong Norwich fan was a successful businessman who held leading roles at a number of British and European companies before joining the Norwich board.

Mr Bowkett had been re-elected to the board last month at the annual meeting held at Carrow Road and along with chief executive David McNally formally presented the last set of club accounts in October.

54 comments

  • Canterbury Tales - I'm not an academic of any standing, but I do know that the Ivy League colleges work differently to many of the universities in the UK and Europe: there is a lot of smart thinking people with money linked in to the colleges, either through being former students or aspiring to the lifestyle. Yes, a former shadow chancellor as Chairman doesn't set the heart racing (or necessarily the cash tills ringing) but he is connected. I think Michigan Canary understands this. We don't want mega-bucks owners coming in as they always want a return on investment beyond simple growth. Looking at the postings on the different stories on this site, many posters seem to think people will invest big money as some sort of charitable philanthropic project. The mawkish sentimental fuss that was made about BJ being sold by many of the same posters proves that they haven't the stomach for real ambition. I think Delia and Co do a good job and I don't want us to be like Man Utd. We used to aspire to be Charlton (look at them now with new owners and going through managers like Leeds Utd). I want to see us follow the Gooners - by the way the Pinkun posters would have had Wenger sacked innumerable times... OTBC

    Report this comment

    RichardGarratt

    Monday, December 28, 2015

  • Canterbury Tales - I'm not an academic of any standing, but I do know that the Ivy League colleges work differently to many of the universities in the UK and Europe: there is a lot of smart thinking people with money linked in to the colleges, either through being former students or aspiring to the lifestyle. Yes, a former shadow chancellor as Chairman doesn't set the heart racing (or necessarily the cash tills ringing) but he is connected. I think Michigan Canary understands this. We don't want mega-bucks owners coming in as they always want a return on investment beyond simple growth. Looking at the postings on the different stories on this site, many posters seem to think people will invest big money as some sort of charitable philanthropic project. The mawkish sentimental fuss that was made about BJ being sold by many of the same posters proves that they haven't the stomach for real ambition. I think Delia and Co do a good job and I don't want us to be like Man Utd. We used to aspire to be Charlton (look at them now with new owners and going through managers like Leeds Utd). I want to see us follow Arsenal - by the way the Pinkun posters would have had Wenger sacked innumerable times... OTBC

    Report this comment

    RichardGarratt

    Monday, December 28, 2015

  • I'm a little surprised by the level of despair on this thread. Not that I disagree with the consensus view. Mr Ed was an abject failure as a government minister and even worse as a politician. However, for all those moaning about the board's failure to invest in the transfer window, our new chairmen brings one suitable skill. He's brilliant at spending other people's money! :)

    Report this comment

    Reg Breeze

    Monday, December 28, 2015

  • It must be April 1st, how time fly's

    Report this comment

    gasman

    Monday, December 28, 2015

  • i think one of churchill`s many legendary quotes would sum up the appointment of mr balls, "a modest man, who has much to be modest about".

    Report this comment

    blueboy

    Monday, December 28, 2015

  • Like the recruitment of Stephen Fry as a Director , I am totally bemused by this appointment. What particular skill set does Mr Balls bring to the Club which will help secure our position? The last time he was let loose with other peoples' money it resulted in a world of hurt for the British economy. We live in interesting times.

    Report this comment

    kenfoggo

    Monday, December 28, 2015

  • el dingo just emigrate,and vote for anybody you like if you're allowed.

    Report this comment

    rikki nadir

    Monday, December 28, 2015

  • "His economic experience and know how" ??? Such as what exactly? The government he was in sold a great part of GB's gold reserves at one of trhe lowest prices in the last twenty years. Mind you he did write for the Pink 'un. Not the right Pink 'un of course but a pink coloured newspaper. I am not sure what the Chairman is meant to bring to the running of the club so cannot really say what Mr Balls can bring. Where does he live?

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Monday, December 28, 2015

  • Oh what a dark day for NCFC..Thank you Flyde Canary,Richard Garratt,OLE Tommy Buster Custard and DJ FRAMBOISE for providing a little bit of light and reason.As for el dingo and his disdain for elected members of parliament I suggest he migrates to North Korea. In all honesty I am so disappointed at your reaction ,I thought better of you.COYY.

    Report this comment

    rikki nadir

    Monday, December 28, 2015

  • I'm totally lost for words! The job description must read: Financial reporter, failed politician who held senior position in a government that squandered billions and famously left the country with no money, unable to use calculator.......... I seriously hope that this appointment won't leave Delia and Michael regretting having made such an appointment at such a critical time in the club's history. With a bit of luck he'll do a Fry and be AWOL most of the time where he can't do much harm...... The club need dynamic professionals in these roles, not unproven hangers - on such as these 2.

    Report this comment

    Honest Injun

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • Failed MP, inept economist . . is there nothing that man can do?

    Report this comment

    Max

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • I simply cannot see what relevant experience he is bringing to the role and the club. it's utterly beyond me.

    Report this comment

    Surrey Canary

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • Can't stand the bloke or his po faced lady cooper........bit of luck we won't see or hear him.....bit like the Fry....

    Report this comment

    tom the taxi

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • ҉ ̡ ۫ Ձ٥۫١Ƽ ̡*۰ Ձ٥۫١6 ۪ ҉ ۫۰̡´ Have a read of ᗰY ᖴOOTᗷᗩᒪᒪ ᗯᖇITᕮᖇ and get your lives into perspective MOG's. Perhaps Mick Dennis should be on the board too. Oh NO, not a journalist, they're the lowest of the low ! Knee jerc, band wagon muppetry of the highest order. (ღ˘⌣˘)♥ ℒ♡ⓥℯ ㄚ♡ⓤ

    Report this comment

    Ole Tommy Buster Custard

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • Let's hope he has enough Balls to immediately start spending money for new players in the upcoming transfer market, we have to spend to strengthen our weak areas, now not later. G'day MB, El Dingo

    Report this comment

    Adelaide Canary

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • Some of successful people from the top US business schools donate 100s of millions to academic and charitable institutions. After watching the Newcastle game, I think we could claim to be a charitable institution!

    Report this comment

    MichiganCanary

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • I know they are on a losing streak but this doesn't mean they have to take on a loser.

    Report this comment

    Norfolk Lad

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • Now we know the board has Balls, but do they have balls?

    Report this comment

    Spirit of Fleck

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • "Connections in the US via Harvard......?" I'm now shuddering at the thought of overexcited cheerleaders at half time (steady!) and popcorn and hotdog sellers roaming the stands next season...

    Report this comment

    powelld123

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • A joke of an appointment by a ridiculous woman who lost the plot years ago.

    Report this comment

    jigs69

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • At least it's given The Archant Troll something to do on a wet Sunday afternoon.

    Report this comment

    Larson Whipsnade

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • Always thought him a total to$$pot as a politician but do not doubt his commitment to our course. How will he help? No idea but will give him the benefit of the doubt for now.

    Report this comment

    DJ_FRAMBOISE

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • Why us? Oh please, why us? I'd be with PaulH if I could, but once a Yellow...

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • The hand of Saint Smith here.Thats it for me I Am supporting Villa Monday.Bloody joke.

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • she obviously didn't look at his CV?

    Report this comment

    riversofblood

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • You are micturating into the wind there, dingo.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • Tommy: I was glad to see the back of CH, but also pleased to see Big Bass given a second chance, which was all down to the vision of AN. I am a Bassong fan. And a big AN fan. Sorry but I really don't like politicians overmuch. Sure I have judged Mr Balls before he takes up his tenure. I cannot believe the Board have made this appointment PURELY because the guy is a politico. I'm sure I won't actually stop the donation - but the shares are worth Jack and it might be the sort of tiny little protest that my conscience would be proud of. I hate politicos. And I'll be there tomorrow just like you:-)

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • Dingo. Wasn't Hughton a failure? No second chances with you? You're beginning to sound like kenny and his discriminative opinions of Bassong. I didn't think you'd be in an 'ism' camp. Oh and is Ed a politician? Dunno? I'll have to look it up. And what is your point of withdrawing from the academy? Either you support the club's young guns or you dont? Weird reaction by an old head of these boards. Boxing can cause irreparable damage.

    Report this comment

    Ole Tommy Buster Custard

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • Politicians are adept at hiding bad news, el dingo. They either wait for a major disaster as cover, or release their stuff simultaneously with all the post-Yuletide brassica gases. Btw; this winter's concerted efforts to promote sprouts puts me in mind of the great Spinach Initiative in the USA. Which led to Popeye the Sailorman. At this flatulent, cruciferaeous season, we should welcome the wind of change. Trouble is it's just malodorous hot air. Over to...

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • As an academic I can assure all supporters that Ed Balls position at Harvard University will not do the slightest good for Norwich FC. Btw in Sweden at the moment TV pundits always refer to NCFC as that 'small farmers club' . Contribute to the academy ? Supporters that do must be mad in view of the money swilling around in the football industry.

    Report this comment

    Canterbury Tales

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • RichardGarratt: yes I get the Ivy League stuff but I am at a loss to understand how that can filter through Ed Balls to benefit NCFC? Potentially a great post but I would love to understand how things might work on a practical level?

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • Tommy: I never said I'd give up my ST ever - and no you couldn't have it even if I did! I just don't understand the logic here as the man is an acknowledged political failure so what can he do for us????

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • Touche Richard. Excellent post. Open eyed and open minded. Dingo you're a wise old chap. Don't do anything drastic. Can I have your season ticket when you're done with it please? I'd pay the going rate plus then some. It's a sad day that MOGdam End welcomes back one it's own.

    Report this comment

    Ole Tommy Buster Custard

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • How does his 'vast economic knowledge' help him lead a football club? We need a tough business person who has contacts to bring more capital into the club. Stephen Fry for deputy chair? Again what does he bring to the party? The reality is that Delia wants us to operate as a comfortable championship club with the occasional spell in the Premiership. It is unfair to the supporters to imply otherwise.

    Report this comment

    Canterbury Tales

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • I believe that the real value of Ed Balls will lie in his contacts in the United States through his academic work at Harvard. When you understand how wealthy and connected Harvard and its alumni are you will realise what a potentially great appointment this is. And to the complete wallies on the comments who reference his 'failure' as an economist, most of them would fail an adults' access course at Ipswich College. OTBC.

    Report this comment

    RichardGarratt

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • canarytim: thanks, your post cheered me up a bit. I'm still going tomorrow as I always do but I'm giving my worthless shares back and stopping my academy donation anyway.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • Get real, Uncle Stew! Ed has been on the Gravy, sorry - Jus - Train for ages. No need for extra place settings at the top trough. Thinking of Top Troughs, Burton Albion aka The Brewers, are doin' good. Ed would approve of the Burton Union system. Unions are a very important factor in his stellar success. All the froth ends up in the Top Trough.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • Steely: I understand somebody left the Club because he said some folks should invest this season and he was firmly rebuffed. Fine - that's the way of the world. But to follow it up with this, presented like it's good news on a dull day smacks of well, erm, poor PR at least. And on the eve of a vital match? What are these people like? Please don't answer that. As I said on another thread it doesn't matter what the man's politics are, just the fact that he's a politician. Ugh.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • I'm a big fan of Ed Balls. His commitment to NCFC is unquestionable. He'll makes a nice celebrity midfield trio with Delia Smith and Stephen Fry.

    Report this comment

    canarytim

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • Agreed El Dingo this is a disgraceful appointment. He shouldn't be touched with a barge pole. He has less a grasp of economics than an A level student. During the time of the last government every time he made a prediction then the very opposite happened. Had he not been a politician he might well have had his collar felt.

    Report this comment

    Steely Dan

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • You couldn't make it up.

    Report this comment

    irongloves

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • We have a labour run council that is destroying the city so labour politician can help with the football team .!!!!!!

    Report this comment

    Norwich

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • This MUST be a bad taste joke. Ain't no way in the world I want a failed politician as Chair of MY Club. Or even a successful one. I can't believe it. All you Delia fans look at yourselves and defend this move if you can. As of the first working day I am giving my shares back for free and stopping my academy donation. For all you lot who like politics fine but I do not understand the logic behind this. Just my opinion so if the rest of you want to support Mr Balls please do so. And the last thing I am is a Tory. Heaven help NCFC.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • jobs for the boys, not what you know but who you know !

    Report this comment

    dr.zack

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • "His economic know-how and experience," Erm, good luck with that!.

    Report this comment

    blueboy

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • …..It seems it's ok to say Balls!…. Headline could have read 'Balls up' for it'!….Wonder what's going through McNally's mind at this point?...Competition in the accounts department!…. He may be doing the job unpaid, but he won't have to bung out for a Season Ticket, or pay over the odds for a pre match meal!….What are the odds of Yvette getting a seat next to Delia?….That 's a long shot in anyone's money!….

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • Welcome, Ed! It is what you do for NCFC that matters. You are clearly one of us, so good luck!

    Report this comment

    Fylde Canary

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • When I first heard this I thought it was a wind-up. I don't know whether to laugh or cry!

    Report this comment

    bogbog

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • Striker problem sorted, good in the air, Ead Balls.

    Report this comment

    Bald Canary

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • Sounds like a Cóck & BalIs story to me alright, Uncle Stew.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • Come back, Hyacinth, all is forgiven. At least there's no contractorisation in the cosy Carrow coterie of cronies. I hope that's an XXXXXXXL shirt with a matching collar measurement.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • .....I see trouble ahead!....Archie what name will we be allowed to use when making any comment?....Will it be PC to say 'B*lls'?...or will he answer to 'Mr ED'....I remember a footballer named Allc*ck!...Good job he isn't standing as vice chairman!....Sounds about right for Axle!........think about it!...'Allc*ck & Balls'!.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • What!!! Is this story for real or have I dry k too much over the festive season!!??

    Report this comment

    CreuseCanary

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

  • Just confirms what I always thought - football today is a joke! Lets hope he does a better job of it than he did for the labour party. By the way, whats with these ad's halfway down the page? I'ts difficult enough to read the items with ads like blaines dominating!

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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