Norwich City will not rush into expanding Carrow Road – but independent research has backed the club’s long-term wish to increase the stadium capacity to 35,000.

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Chief executive David McNally has told supporters it would cost £20m to add 7,000 seats to the existing ground, and that the playing squad must remain the short-term priority.

In a question and answer session on the club’s official website, McNally reasserted that City need to become established in the Premier League before considering redevelopment.

He said: “We have been convinced for some time that there is sufficient demand to expand Carrow Road.

“Strategic decisions of this type are hugely important and so we asked the University of East Anglia to research the opportunity for the club.

“Empirically, their findings support the move to expand Carrow Road by at least 7,000 additional seats. This independent research project is really important as it deals with facts, such as population growth, and real numbers, such as socio-economic data, and not instinct or intuition.

“And so we are convinced that an expansion of Carrow Road is something that the club should contemplate.

“However, circa 7,000 additional seats could cost approximately £20million.

“Currently, every spare penny is reinvested in the first team squad and this is something that the board wishes to continue in the short term.”

City have looked at the possibility of extending or rebuilding the Geoffrey Watling City Stand, while exploring other short-term options such as putting a temporary stand in front of the hotel in the Barclay Stand-Jarrold Stand corner, which at one stage was said to be a possibility for the latter stages of last season.

“Once we have become an established Premier League team then we may consider it viable to invest in the development of Carrow Road,” said McNally.

“In the meantime, we will look at a number of alternative schemes in order to ensure that we are properly prepared for expansion as and when it happens.

“We continue to look at all possibilities for stadium expansion. We would like to put a small stand in front of the hotel. However, the decision-making process involves a number of stakeholders, some of whom may need some convincing that it is in everybody’s interests to put some seats in front of the hotel.”

In answering other questions, he also revealed that City were still fighting for compensation from Aston Villa for the exit of former boss Paul Lambert.

He said: “The matter of compensation remains unresolved with Aston Villa. It would appear likely that this matter will go to a tribunal. We did, however, agree compensation for the services of Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa.”

On the change of heart over a new three-year deal for skipper Grant Holt, McNally said: “Chris (Hughton) was clear from day one that Grant Holt was a big part of his NCFC plans. From here, we agreed a new contract in a matter of days.”

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8 comments

  • It could probably be paid off in about 5 years from revenue if necessary. However, first the team has to be built to be a Premier League permanent fixture first. There seems to be plenty of forward thinking going on and it is an unpredictable business, as well as being a game of two halves, mind you that is predictable.

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    Swiss Canary

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • If they've done their socio-economic research then fair play to them. I personally would doubt if City could ever attract a more than 30,000 crowd for the next 10-15 years, but if they've done their sums + the Norwich population is about to take off big-time, then we'd better ring Ipsw*ch + make an offer for 7,000 seats. Obviously they'll have to paint 'em yellow for us before we take delivery.

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    Timbo

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • Please, please . . is there nowhere we can 'tinker' to 30k without a radical re-build (revenue loss!)?. Beyond, to me, sustainably is . . . Wonderland? Realism . . . Realism.!!!

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    Dissaster

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • Revenue comes from a lot more than just ticket sales and the McNally approach seems to be to get debts paid off quickly.

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    Swiss Canary

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Paid off in less than 5 years? How do you work that out Swiss? Not all of them will be sold at full price even and then you have the interest on the loan to include in the cost. Timbo, you have to remember that we could already sell a few thousand more than we do so the population of East Anglia does not have to grow that much. How many of the Orwellites will jump ship if they go down this year too?

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    baguio

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • Borrow Portaloo Road. It is now far too big for 1p5wich

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    Pondlife

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • £2,857 per seat!!! Would take a huge number of games to pay that off, good idea though.

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    Eddie Kerridge

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • I think that there is definite justification for extending the capacity, but the funding must be kept away from the player budget. Putting business before Premiership security would hark back to the dark days of Robert Chase. There is no point in selling all the current jewels to fund the expansion, then to pay for it with relegation, is totally counter productive.

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    Algarve Canary

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

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

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