Bowkett paints positive picture as Norwich City accounts are released
Norwich City chairman Alan Bowkett has painted a positive picture of the future after the club released its annual accounts.
The facts and figures show a club still striving to clear its debt, but reveal major steps that have been taken since the new 'regime' came into Carrow Road in the tumultuous summer of 2009.
What supporters will want to hear is that City remain a buying club in the transfer market and that they expect the 'complete company reorganisation' to start showing a marked improvement on the balance sheet.
In a statement released on Tuesday afternoon the club said that by the end of next year they expect:
• Revenue to increase by at least �5m
• Biggest operating profit since 2007, when the club received parachute payments from the Premier League
• Net debt to reduce by at least a further �1m
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'It has been a year of positive progress on and off the pitch thanks to some very hard work by all concerned,' said Bowkett, who came to power last July.
'The numbers show a club in transition, but we are now showing positive results on an operating level for the first time since 2007.
'The long-term future of the club is now much more secure thanks to the refinancing of our debts to 2022 and we are forecasting increased revenue and improved profit before tax in the next financial year.
'It is very much an on-going challenge and the hard work from everyone at the club will certainly continue in the months and years ahead.
'Our football management team and the players have set the benchmark on the pitch as to what is expected of all colleagues at Norwich City Football Club. We aspire to replicating their success off the pitch.'
The new board's task has been to make inroads into a debt which reached �23m. They have undertaken a financial restructuring with lenders AXA and Lloyds Banking Group which extends the repayment schedule to 2022 – a major part of that deal was the sale of land adjacent to Carrow Road which raised �2.1m. The net debt has now been reduced to �20.9m from �22.9m in 2009.
City's relegation to League One was the main factor behind a reduction in revenue, down to �17m from �18.2m while the normalised operating loss was reduced to �1.2m from �4.1m in 2009.
With exceptional costs taken out, the club say their operating performance was 'very strong considering League One status'.
While Paul Lambert and his team went a long way to solving the on-pitch problems by winning League One and returning City to the Championship at the first attempt, the board were busy changing life behind the scenes, listing the 'key actions' as:
• Refinancing of the balance sheet
• Everybody in the business focusing on football
• Complete company re-organisation
• Stripping out of all unnecessary costs
• Improved commercial operations across the business
• Completed full review of our suppliers
The figures will be up for discussion at the annual general meeting, which has been adjourned until January 18.