Bowkett: We never considered selling
Chris LakeyCanaries chairman Alan Bowkett says manager Paul Lambert is close to "walking on water" - and that selling off his biggest playing assets during the transfer window was never on the cards.Chris Lakey
Canaries chairman Alan Bowkett says manager Paul Lambert is close to "walking on water" - and that selling off his biggest playing assets during the transfer window was never on the cards.
Rumours were rife in the final hours of the January window on Monday that Wes Hoolahan was on his way to Premier League Hull City for �2.5m - with City's debts of �23m adding weight to the speculation.
Strikers Grant Holt and Chris Martin are part of a triumvirate of players who could have commanded hefty fees, but Bowkett insisted that selling any of them was never an option.
"I am not prepared to talk about it other than that I think we have clearly got three footballers at the front of our team who are very attractive to teams way above our current playing performance level," said Bowkett.
"It doesn't make sense. You sell a player for �1m, �2m, but just by going up into the Championship we stand a chance of getting �3.7m extra revenue through broadcasting and a share of parachute payments - it just doesn't make sense."
City's success on the field is just what the bank manager ordered when Bowkett and chief executive David McNally set about the task of trying to balance the books when they walked into the boardroom last summer.
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"When we started out on this path, David and I went to see our lenders and explained our budget and our tactics for the current season, and a key part of that was to improve their security on the loan by us getting in the Championship," he said.
"If we are in the Championship, revenues are higher - if I am a lender I would rather have revenues higher, so you agree a plan, we explained to them what we wanted to do in terms of investing in playing resources, they agreed it, we're on track.
"The great thing is when you go and see your bank manager now all he wants to talk about is the football rather than the finances."
Bowkett says the board have backed Lambert all the way.
"We have signed new players, we have kept our good players," he said. "I know at the start of the transfer window all I got was emails saying, 'don't sell Hoolahan, don't sell Holt etc etc', but we had no intention of doing that. We are investing in the football resources of this club to get us in the Championship, then we will think again."
It's Lambert who is taking all the plaudits, having taken City to the top of the league - and at Tuesday's annual meeting displaying a manner which was in contrast to the previous year and then manager Glenn Roeder's abrasive appearance.
"When you are winning 79 pc of our games what can you do - apart from walk on water?" said Bowkett, pictured. "And I think he's getting pretty close to that now."