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Stephen Fry steps down from Norwich City board as Delia’s nephew joins

19:02 18 January 2016

Stephen Fry has stepped down from the Norwich City board. Picture: Denise Bradley

Stephen Fry has stepped down from the Norwich City board. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant

Stephen Fry has stepped down from his position as a director of the Norwich City board as Tom Smith - nephew to majority shareholders Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones - joins as a new director.

Mr Fry, who joined the board in 2010, will continue to serve the club in the new role of Norwich City Ambassador

The actor and presenter told the official website: “My five years in the role have been an honour and a privilege beyond almost anything I can remember. I wish I could take credit for ushering the club up from League One to the Premiership during that time on the Board. Actually, I’m going to. It was all me. It can’t have been a coincidence.

“But now I’m so happy to relinquish my seat on the board to Thomas Smith and to engage as fully as I can in the role of ambassador for Norwich City. We have so much to be proud of, both on and off the pitch, and I hope to welcome many new fans to the greatest club of all. On the Ball, City!”

Thomas Smith, who joins the board with immediate effect, watched his first Norwich match at the old Den in 1989, having been taken to the game by his aunt and uncle, joint majority shareholders Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones.

The 35-year-old former civil servant said: “As a lifelong fan it is simply an enormous privilege to be invited to join the board of Norwich City football club.

“First I would like to thank Stephen for his devoted contribution to the life of this club over the last five years. I am delighted that he has agreed to continue his passionate advocacy for Norwich in his new role as club ambassador.

“I wholeheartedly share Delia and Michael’s passion for this football club, for its brilliant fans and for the values which underpin everything that it does. Football has the capacity to be an incredible force for good in this country and I’m proud to be part of a club which works so hard to serve its supporters and to generate a positive impact in the wider community.

“I’m joining a very experienced board and I’m looking forward to learning from my fellow directors, as well as all our football and non-football colleagues at Norwich, whose hard work and dedication culminated in that fantastic afternoon at Wembley.”

City’s chairman Ed Balls said: “Stephen has made a really important contribution since he joined the board in 2010. His support for our commercial, retail and catering departments has helped to raise significant revenue for the football club - and the huge affection in which he is held by the public at home and abroad has definitely enabled him to help raise the profile of Norwich City.

“We’re delighted he has agreed to continue to offer his support by carrying out the same duties for us in the role of NCFC ambassador and he will continue to be a great asset for the club.

“The board is also pleased to welcome Thomas Smith as a new director. As well as the experience and know-how he gained in the civil service, he brings bags of energy and passion for Norwich City to a board which holds these qualities to be of the highest importance.

“Tom joins a team of directors absolutely committed to working with all of our colleagues at Carrow Road and Colney to continue driving this great club forward.”

75 comments

  • Very impressed with the number of Canary fans who spotted that old political trick of putting out a bit of 'news' just after the Klose signing broke. Wonder if they will try it again ?

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • Bury Yella: Rumour has it . . . that Alan Bowkett did indeed put together a consortium and tried to buy the club. "Sauces close to boiling point" tell me that it turned out much as you would expect, whereupon he threatened to spill the beans and was beaten to death with a cast iron frying pan and dumped in the Wensum. That's what I've heard . . . well, I ask you, has anyone seen him since his, erm 'resignation'? Thought I spotted him in Lidl the other day, but it was Donald Trump . . .

    Report this comment

    urban seagull

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • Delia, with "out of a job Red Ed", "so grateful for a job Tommy" and "he who must obey" now holds a majority in the Boardroom. Our only hope is that one day City Man with a vast business empire will persuade her sell out to him.After all,apart from his ediceartion he ticks all of her boxes.

    Report this comment

    irongloves

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • My vote is for Donald Trump. If we had his money, not only would we have a proper team we could turn the university back into a golf course, and they could fill in that blessed lake at the same time. Why must they keep building hospitals and houses when there are so few courses?

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • Spanish, thanks for your response. May I take my tongue out of my cheek now please?

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • Anyway Klose should hopefully be a great signing but this "keep it in the 'family' lark" is really starting to grate. I await the usual torrent of abuse for making anti-Delia comments.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • Strange this was announced on the day we made a top level signing. Under-carpet sweeping, anybody? Now the dynasty is secure I am sure we will be run in the Delia manner for the rest of our lives. And as much as it will please the usual suspects it does not please me. Just my opinion and perhaps he will bring more to the Board than I could ever imagine. My uncle Joe was a top class painter and decorator, and he taught me how to hang paper properly and quickly. But he never appointed me as a director of Jos. Yeowell & Co. Probably cos there were no directors apart from him as he was a self-employed tradesman. Who's next for the Board? A retired priest who votes Labour? At this rate I wouldn't bet against it. Surprised not many folks got Victor B's crackers comment btw. It made me laugh anyway.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • Concise and correct, JimHow. IMHO. Is there to be another twist in the tale? Perhaps the new power-base on the board will extract the maximum synergy from Ed & Tommy and nationalise NCFC? With their combined political nous, business acumen and civil service efficiency, it shouldn't take more than, say, a decade. Imagine the disastrous effects of this Nationalisation: Queues. Poor performance. Player strikes (wrong sort). Bad food. Shortages. Should be a seamless transition - apart from the inevitable financial ruin.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • I don't think our boardroom is any more full of cronies than any other, is it? At least we know there are people on the board who genuinely love the club, rather than a billionaire with no previous connection to the teamarea, having a little hobby football club for something to spend their millions on. Delia doesn't get everything right, but who does? I actually think we're going pretty well. The fact that we bounced straight back to the Prem last season shows that financially and structurally we're doing something right, because lots of teams lose all their players and get mired when they get relegated. Our players wanted to stay for a reason - because we're a good club to play for and we don't stick people on the transfer list immediately after relegation, because financially we don't need to. We might not spend a lot, but we also don't have to sell a lot. And you know what? We sucked against Bournmouth on Saturday, but we beat Man U a few weeks ago. And we've drawn with the Gunners and Liverpool. Lets have some optimism!

    Report this comment

    Canarywary

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • dis dressed; you are not alone. My e-mail in tray yesterday was chockablock with Archrejections. I didn't bother to find out why. Reason? I had "Other" things to do. Just deleted them en bloc. Despite Cutty Quelch's best efforts, I still struggle with Latin. Perhaps I'm not trying hard enough? Mea culpa. Quid nunc? Nunc est bibendum. Ay-yay, that's your lot!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • Canarywary, Nope I havent forgot that a few seasons back we were in League 1 and I also havent forgot that it was Delia and Doncaster with the prudence with ambition line that got us there. The club was going under and she was forced to do something so doomcaster went and in came Mcnally, he got rid of Gunn, who should of never been given the job and appointed Lambert. We all know the rest. The boardroom is full of cronies, like some say its her club to do as she pleases but the saviour of years ago is now older and more stubborn. If McNally were to leave we would be fooked.

    Report this comment

    Jimhow

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • perceptive brew,and probably true. Personally cant get any meaningful post through,having to resort to french and latin,nobody understands but i feel better,,,off the ball city

    Report this comment

    dis dressed

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • Shhhh... nepotism is an internal family matter. On reflection, this anointment has highlighted Ed Balls' first service to his mistress - the hiding of iffy news under some glad tidings; in this case the signing of Timm Klose. Artful, those lefty politicos. Even mediocre ones.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • Hopefully the nephew will be worth his salt and any brash accusations of nepotism will not have a leg to stand on.

    Report this comment

    Radshenko

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • Wonder what is the holdup with Naismith? It was reported he was having a medical yesterday?

    Report this comment

    spanishcanary

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • Those investment figures were doing the rounds of the TV pundits this weekend, regardless of the details, the point is that Norwich have not been as aggressive in their recruitment as Bournemouth and Watford. Many people, me included, thought that Watford's huge turn-over of their squad in the summer was not going to pay off as they were "doing a QPR", but it seems to have worked nicely for them and as we all bemoan on a regular basis, it looks like we are being left behind. However, I think that the acquisition of Timm Klose is a good and also unexpected move. I am also optimistic about Naismith joining. I can't see that we could have done a lot better in this window unless we had picked up Charlie Austin as well. The problem areas have been identified many times on these boards, here's hoping that we now have some options to turn this whole ting around before it is too late.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • I'm surprised that NCFC's propaganda machine in Ruined Road has yet to organise a Fans' Opinion Poll (FOP). Question: Do you approve of this Board appointment? Tick only one of the two boxes: 1) Yes. 2) Of course I do.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • turnover, turn back to comment No.1 from Victor Bullimore...

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • Was not Tom Smith famous for making Christmas Crackers ?

    Report this comment

    turnover

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • good luck to stephen veni vidi et capie bar ad anum,hello tommy, tace at que abi tore soltinum tube rosun

    Report this comment

    dis dressed

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • Hi Waclor, for me there is no change to the board that makes any difference at this point. Fry did little if anything in his role apart from turning up at Wembley. So all we have done is fill a chair in the boardroom that has been left empty on many occasions.

    Report this comment

    spanishcanary

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • canterbury,chelsea is what happens for 10 years, more or less. Cuckoo, Cuckoo !

    Report this comment

    dis dressed

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • On the positive side, I do hope these boardroom changes will make us a bit tighter at the back. Too many avoidable goals being leaked in recent games.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • He sure wrote some good fiction that Geoffrey Chaucer didn't he and his legacy rolls on with the usual unlikely scripts and plenty of laughs.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • I hope outsiders* don't read this message board, because frankly it's embarassing how negative and attacking people are about every single thing the board does. Phrases like "This is a nail in the coffin no chance of us establishing our team in the premiership" being used, simply because we've got a new board member? I mean, get a grip. A few seasons ago we were bottom of League 1. *those not of a Canary persuasion

    Report this comment

    Canarywary

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • Excellent appointments to the Board with Ed Balls and Tom Smith. Balls thro his brother as a senior director of one of the biggest investment funds in the world can find a party to buy a stake in the business. Tom Smith is a bit of succession planning who will become the majority shareholder. This should keep NCFC out of the hands of Russian billionnaires with their pillaged money. What happens to these clubs when such owners lose interest?

    Report this comment

    Canterbury Tales

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • Urban: the figuresstats are a nonsense. After all if we had kept Grabban in the reserves and not sold him, there would have been a £14m swing in the relative numbers. Norwich would have £7 less in the bank, Bournemouth £7m more in the bank, we still have a loser on the payroll BUT NCFC would look more ambitious relative to Bournemouth. if we commit what looks like £15m to Klose and Naismith ( both deals around our RVW record.....and lets not forget how spending a king's ransom on him made us look ambitious) that is reasonable ( and a record). Add the other 3 acquired to date that is £20 million committed. But if we recouped £5m form Hooper and Lafferty ( who cannot get on the pitch) then I accept the net spend and wage bill would drop , making Delia look more like a cheapskate. We would all settle for 10th. Assuming £40m would get us there, would you advocate throwing another £20m (on top of the current £20m spent) in this window with the pricesvalues that it offers?

    Report this comment

    Pseudophobe

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • whats nept neptut neoep you know that word you been using

    Report this comment

    dave@thecrown

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • Pseudophobe: 7 points ahead of Bournemouth and we'd be 10th in the table. I'd take that all day long. Not that it would need £400m, or even £40m. We don't need to take a giant stride, just a natural, affordable step forward, only the owners won't allow it.

    Report this comment

    urban seagull

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • Noted Urban Seagull Bournemouth have spent £50-m more than NCFC and it shows. They have one point more than us. If only Delia would open her purse: Four hundred million quid and we would be 7 points ahead of Bournemouth. Hurrah!

    Report this comment

    Pseudophobe

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • He only got the job cos I stuffed up my interview. So the dynasty continues. Oh dear. Oh dear indeed.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • mardler: "Grow the club the Norwich way". Yes - like a bonsai tree. Stunt its development. The following stat was aired on 5Live last night: "Net spend on players since summer 2014 [ie. transfers in minus transfers out]: Bournemouth + £38m, Norwich City MINUS £13m, ie. a profit of £13m on transfers." This is completely unacceptable. Bournemouth may have wealthy owners, but we've spent 4 of the last 5 seasons in the Premier League, where the money is. Delia's made it pretty clear she'd prefer us to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond. She won't give two hoots if we're relegated this season, rather the reverse. We won't be, though. OTBC.

    Report this comment

    urban seagull

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • Obviously it it up to Delia and the Board who they bring in. My only concern is whether appointments at this level improve things at Carrow Road in any shape or form?

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • This appointment is Delia telling us "I'm Queenie and I can do what I bally well like". However she does have McNally and Neil running the football for her and that could just be enough to see us navigate our way to survival - quite an achievement considering our owners are the Prems paupers. Would be nice to have someone come in with buckets of dosh but Delia not showing any signs yet of abandoning the Canary rollercoaster. Cue the mind what you wish for brigade.

    Report this comment

    Lincs Canary

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • unfortunately the point is she is making a statement that confirms we can do nothing about it and we are of no consequence. These statements concerning money put into the club,are we ignoring the pie concession,the car park sale the hotel development and no one will convince me that any capital surplus after profit sharing is not covered by assets and goodwill. Nice egotistical ride

    Report this comment

    dis dressed

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • not so subtly put barking,congrats on gaining entry

    Report this comment

    dis dressed

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • how is smith operating and appointing in the best interests of the club and the PAYING public,appears no room in delia`s dolls house for experience and soccer acumen,save for Mr Mcnally

    Report this comment

    dis dressed

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • The joke of the year. Brew you are too kind in your comments. Obviously Monty Python turned them down

    Report this comment

    Melbourne

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Some City fans are, Wac......no names.

    Report this comment

    Barking Wise

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • A former Civil Servant at 35??? What, did he get the sack and now nice Aunt Delia is giving him a job ?Just what "experience and know-how "can he possibly have at his age which ,if any, will be of the slightest use to a Premiership Football Club. "Energy and Passion " alone is not even enough on the Pitch,much less in a Boardroom. City Man, lets be 'avin you.

    Report this comment

    irongloves

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Ridiculous....You will never see any real progression or investment with her at the helm...she is a menace and its a shame a lot of canary fans can't see through her plastic persona. But I am sure this appointment is in "The best interests of the club"

    Report this comment

    AC Canary

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Its not all bad folks, in Delia online Tom along with his sister Hannah are described as the chief ice cream tasters in the family. I have no idea what this proves, but would like to know which branch of the civil service he was in. its unreal.

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • So no nepotism at NCFC then?

    Report this comment

    G.D.Bartlett

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • First friend of the Family Ed and now this. It really is now a family Club. You couldn't make it up.

    Report this comment

    irongloves

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Dan you are a sycophant. Why not change you name to R Slicker.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • "His experience and know how in the civil service"???? What a huge joke. Expert tea drinker and procrastinator is he? Name any business in the history of the world that has ever been run efficiently by civil servants. I suspect that this is another battle of the boardroom to move the power from David McNally back to Delia. Just remember that last time Delia ran the club, we ended up in league one and had to call on Bowkett and McNally to get us out. I was not going to make a comment but that rubbish comment was taking the proverbial. Ed you learned last May that the electorate are not idiots; well neither are City fans.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Jim. Given that she owns the club and has put in more money that you or I ever will I think she's earned that right to be honest.

    Report this comment

    Dan

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Delia can make all the decisions now that she is surrounded by muppets and puppets.

    Report this comment

    Jim

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Consolidating the PL fortune and keeping it in the family. Stinks.

    Report this comment

    Jim

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Delia's new recipe: Nepotism pastry - don't forget to serve it half-baked with melon balls.

    Report this comment

    One Horse Town

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • not a football fan, sad to see mr fry go though, still keep it in the family mr win jones.

    Report this comment

    ted

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Nepotism at it's finest...

    Report this comment

    Brixton Canary

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Good show = preserving the dynasty should insure us against some crazy yankee takeover like Aston Villa with all its dire consequences. Grow the club the Norwich way

    Report this comment

    mardler

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • It is hard to believe that City man has not exploded into action. Maybe his Merc dunt work, or he's too busy working out today's financial plan. I'd guess he's 110% in favour of this family appointment. As I'm sure most loyal NCFC fans are.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Honest Injun, it is most likely the Passport Office. Young Tommykins has vast experience in the photographic industry. Maybe as much as a whole year.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Delia Nephew says it all ! We need a new buyer and owner of the club ! if of no interest then we have to stick with the same attitudes and direction !

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Can't get through any more. How very unusual.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Actually, MichiCan, I've done some research on ole DonnyT. His family roots are in Strumpshaw and his is an invented name. Before his ancestors made their ilIegal entry into the USA to be, they made their family fortune manufacturing rugs and toupees from sisal and hog hair in Hales. Therein is another connection. Ancestors in another strand of the family made money out of branded Christmas Crackling in Naaridge. Centuries later, the connection is re-established. We will eventually have Donny Strumpshaw AND Tom Smith on the Board. All in the best possible taste and without a hint of nepotism. Photo rights are the sole property of young Tommy - he has vast experience in that field. And for one so young. DonnyT may be seen, by appointment only, at the Wig & Pen. Mich, you let us all down. This could all have been avoided if you'd opened your burgeoning billfold. Instead of Brave New World we have Craven Corner Shop. I'm brimful....

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Civil servant eh. I'm intrigued to know which branch. Hopefully not the passport office, or the treasury under Balls' lot!

    Report this comment

    Honest Injun

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • They must have left him their shares in their wills. Otherwise it does seem a bit of a strange one.

    Report this comment

    Surrey Canary

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • As a matter of urgency the sausage roll problem raised at the AGM needs to be addressed.If they cannot resolve the sausage rolls how can fans have any confidence they can run a football club?I would welcome feedback if they are still as tasteless as ever and there many excellent local producers of fine quality sausagemeat they could be using.The Norfolk Saveloy is a rare speciality.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • To Bombay A traveling circus came They brought an intelligent elephant And Donald was his name One dark night He slipped his iron chain And off he ran to Hindustan And was never seen again. Ooooooooooooo. . Donald the Elephant packed his trunk And said goodbye to the circus Off he went with a trumpety-trump Trump, Trump, Trump !

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • I'm certainly no expert and I'm very pleased these guys all seem to be proper city fans but this does all seem a little bit jobsfortheboysish.

    Report this comment

    lordbesty

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • What does this appointment bring to our club ? Oh I'm sorry silly comment it's there club !!

    Report this comment

    5th generation

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Hi MB. Not sure I'd vote for Trump for NCFC board - bit too much of a megalomaniac. Of course we could do with his $$$$$$ and it might take his mind off the run for pres.

    Report this comment

    MichiganCanary

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Ooops! Hot off the press. That announcement was a troll-manufactured confection. It's really Donald Trump who is about to join the Board. Subject to visa and checks on his ethnicity and religion. Now, he could be the wind of change.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • What a rotten stench. Keep it in the family indeed.

    Report this comment

    Arbee

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • You can't be serious man I was hoping the Smiths were going to stand down not bring another one in.This is a nail in the coffin no chance of us establishing our team in the premiership,sad times.

    Report this comment

    El tel

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • MellowYellow, the raison d'etre of nepotism is to keep it in the family. Unknown to many, NCFC scoured Colney, the Country, Europe, the World, the Cosmos, the Civil Service and Surbiton before making this choice. Respect. Hi, MichiCan. 8-\

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Remember that Not the Nine O'Clock News sketch with the board quizzing the manager after a bad run. "We're going to give you one last chance," says the chairman. "Thanks Uncle Jimmy," says the manager.

    Report this comment

    Outside The Box

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Civil servant indeed!!! Any chance of an industrialist or successful business man to join the board anytime soon to replace Mr Bowkett. I appreciate this is all about opinions but what a board we have now. McNally is the only true pro active business man. Perhaps Bowkett will gather together a talented group to buy out the current owners. If he, or any other group attempts it I hope they make the approach public.

    Report this comment

    Bury Yella Fella

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Nephew please!!!!!!

    Report this comment

    spanishcanary

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Was hoping for a Bill Gates or Warren Buffet kind of business acumen and cash injection. Guess the family corner shop approach continues.

    Report this comment

    MichiganCanary

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Jeeez, keep it in the family. When we appointed Balls Delia said she wanted younger blood to come in on the board. Quite a few changes in the club at the moment, new players, new board members, new purse strings.. let's hope it's all for the better.

    Report this comment

    MellowYellow

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • All sounds a bit CRACKERS to me

    Report this comment

    Victor Bullimore

    Monday, January 18, 2016

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