Norwich City’s accounts put Championship upturn in perspective

James Maddison's club record sale was vital for the state of Norwich City's finances Picture: Paul C

James Maddison's club record sale was vital for the state of Norwich City's finances Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Chief operating officer Ben Kensell is under no illusions there is plenty of hard graft ahead to complete the Canaries' turnaround.

The state of City's accounts will be outlined on Thursday at an annual shareholders' meeting that graphically illustrates the scale of the financial challenge for a club outside the Premier League.

City's income dropped to £63.7m in the latest set of published accounts, to June 2018, and with top flight parachute payments now at an end the forecast is for a negative cash position by the end of the current year.

Daniel Farke, however, has guided the Canaries to the Championship summit despite the summer sales of talented duo James Maddison and Josh Murphy, and Kensell is tasked with matching that progress off the pitch.

'Commercially we are in a really good place as a football club. There needed to be a lot of change when I first came in and we have achieved that,' he said.

'Now we have a base to build on, we have the 36 commercial partners, we have a great team working in that area of the business and it is about impacting the other areas of the business, and bridging that gap between the training ground and the stadium.

'That only comes from a team moving in the same direction, I don't just mean the team on the pitch, but everybody off it as well.

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'We have so much work to do but we have had a good start.'

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Kensell was part of City's delegation in Tampa, during the first week of the international break, which sought to foster closer ties with key commercial and sporting partners.

'That togetherness we are striving to create across the football and non football areas of the business is massive,' he said, speaking before his return to the UK. 'If you are unified you can achieve so much. We have that inside the club and I feel the fans are right behind what we are trying to do.

'The trip was about eight months of planning in total, and the scheduling was meticulous.

'We wanted to make sure we met with all the sports franchises, because they can learn from us and vice versa. We wanted to take something back to Colney and Carrow Road that said we have learned both as staff and also our commercial partners.

'We go back now ready to take on the winter months.'