Canaries sell land to ease debts

Norwich City has announced the sale of car parks next to Carrow Road to ease the club's debt burden.

The main car park and the orange car park have been sold to Broadland Housing Association for what the club has described as a 'substantial, undisclosed sum'.

All the cash raised from the sale will be used to reduce the club's debts - which stood at �23m before the sale - to provide stability during the tough economic climate.

Although the land purchased by Broadland includes the site of the current main car park, this is not expected to affect parking provision there this season or during the 2011-12 campaign.

In the longer-term, the club will need to find a replacement car park and says it is in discussions with a number of third parties.

Chairman Alan Bowkett said: 'The cash raised from the sale of the land will help us to reduce the club's concerning debt levels and the price achieved in a difficult market is very satisfactory.

'Over the past year we have worked constructively and positively with our main lenders, Lloyds Bank Group and AXA, to restructure and reduce the burden of the club's debt and the repayment of this latest sum underlines the club's on-going commitment in this regard.

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'With the club more than �23m in debt before this payment and working very hard and successfully to manage and reduce annual losses, it is imperative to demonstrate we are serious about balancing the books.

'In a climate when football clubs of all shapes and sizes up and down the country are experiencing financial problems which threaten their very existence, we are determined this will not happen to Norwich City.

'Not only does this sale substantially reduce our debt burden, but it also frees up management resources to concentrate on football and related business activities.

'Although no money from this land sale is going to the football budget, the board and everyone at the club remain committed to doing everything we can to raise additional funds from right across the business to support the manager.

'We remain totally focused on our twin aims of serving our supporters and supporting Paul Lambert and the playing budget.

'We'd like to thank Broadland Housing Association for their part in helping to make this important deal happen.'

Michael Newey, group chief executive of Broadland Housing, said: 'We are delighted to have been able to acquire the land and we are looking forward to working with the city council and our neighbours in developing plans for a new Carrow Road Quarter on the site. This will see an area of the city in much need of regeneration brought back to life as a vibrant community.'