David McNally: We won’t gamble with Norwich City’s future

Chief executive David McNally has promised the club will not gamble with its newly found financial stability.

With the perilous financial position and subsequent administration at Rangers confirmed this week, plus Portsmouth's seemingly inevitable venture down the same administration route they took in 2010, McNally vowed that however City's impressive season finishes the club will continue to live within its means.

'It's our job to try and back Paul Lambert and Ian Culverhouse as much as we possibly can, within the parameters of what we have. We won't gamble on the club's future – we don't have the right to do that. The football club is owned by the supporters in effect, so we won't gamble with money we don't have.

'Equally with the current economic outlook that we are all having to recognise – we will look back at these as some dark days and austere times – you have to ensure that you live within your means, and that's it.

'But we will give Paul every spare penny, as we have done. Let's not forget that through some difficult seasons we have not been a selling club and if there has been interest in any of our senior players, we have knocked those offers back. So we are focused on developing the squad and we will do everything we can to give Paul the opportunity to do well next season.'

That involved keeping the canaries' assets, with City reportedly rebuking approaches from Rangers for skipper Grant Holt. 'We had one or two enquiries – there is one which is in the public domain,' said McNally. 'We had two enquiries from one club for a player and they were knocked back immediately.'

Away from keeping players at Carrow Road, the Canaries also made a successful stab at their first January transfer window as a Premier League club, with Leeds captain Johnny Howson and Peterborough centre-back Ryan Bennett arriving for reported fees of �2m and �3m respectively.

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And that is an outlay not to be underestimated, says McNally.

'I saw somewhere there wasn't much more than �50m spent in January in the total transfer window market – and we made getting on for 10pc of that,' he said. 'So Norwich City spent 10pc of the total January transfer funds – now we've not said that before, I don't think.

'Paul decides on who he wants and Paul and Ian are very good at identifying who they want in their squad and their success rate is phenomenal. It's our job behind the scenes to try and ensure we get those players.

'Occasionally you're not successful with it, especially if a club doesn't want to sell somebody and January can be really difficult, more so than the summer. But in the end we did OK – it was last minute on the last date though. Ours was the last deal to be completed.'

Indeed, of the two transfer forms completing Bennett's deal that needed to reach authorities by the 11pm deadline, one had a time stamp of 10.59pm. The other – 11.00pm.

McNally believes the plight of Rangers and Portsmouth may face other clubs before May: 'I think there will be some other tragic stories for supporters of clubs.

'I feel desperately sorry for any club in those difficulties, but I feel ever more sorry for the supporters. At Portsmouth it's been problem after problem for years now and you feel desperately for them, who are very passionate for their club. But I feel there will be other financial problems along the way for other clubs.'

City get a break from the Premier League with the FA Cup fifth round visit from Leicester City on Saturday.

Speaking at Wednesday's 20th anniversary of the club's Community Sports Foundation – which started life as Football in the Community – McNally added: 'I was informed earlier this week we have only been to the FA Cup quarter-finals six times in our history, which is incredible when you consider how famous and how glorious our history has been in the last 110 years.

'Anything in the FA Cup is a bonus. Whatever happens on Saturday is great and we are just very grateful that we're doing so well in the Premier League.'

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