Thursday, November 22, 2012
Norwich City directors can expect a predominantly upbeat mood as they prepare to face shareholders at tonight’s annual meeting at Carrow Road.
The Canaries’ 1-0 Premier League victory over Manchester United could not have come at a better time in terms of putting supporters in a positive frame of mind.
City’s dramatic turnaround in fortunes under manager Chris Hughton over the past six games, which also included a home win over Arsenal and a Capital One Cup victory over Tottenham – booking a quarter-final place in the competition for the first time in 17 seasons – has come hot on the heels of good news on the financial front.
The club’s return to the Premier League in 2011-12 was responsible for generating the healthiest balance sheet in recent memory.
City’s financial report for the year ended May 31, 2012, published last month, showed an all-time high after-tax profit of £13.5m and the club’s external debt reduced to £11.3m.
Revenue was up by more than £50m from £23.1m to £74.3m, including TV revenue of £48.5m.
Spending on new players since May 31 has already reached nearly £10m.
Past annual meetings have at times been stormy or even downright chilly affairs.
Ten seasons ago, City staged the meeting outdoors in the Barclay Stand on a January night because they feared they could not accommodate shareholders whose number had grown by 6,000 following huge uptake of a new share issue in the wake of the ITV Digital cash crisis.
It is likely to be a warmer occasion tonight when, on the briefest of agendas, joint majority shareholder Michael Wynn Jones and deputy chairman Michael Foulger come up for reappointment as the two directors retiring by rotation.
The meeting will be held in the Norfolk Lounge at Carrow Road (7.30pm), with the formal business and presentation followed by a question-and-answer session with shareholders.
Issues that have prompted debate among City fans in recent weeks include the ongoing compensation battle with former manager Paul Lambert and Aston Villa – first revealed by club chairman Alan Bowkett at a fans’ forum in October – controversial ticket prices, safe standing and stadium expansion.