Fans are given the chance to quiz Delia

Norwich City joint majority shareholder DELIA SMITH took part in a Q&A chat with supporters on the official club website on Thursday. Subjects included promotion celebrations, Paul Lambert and investment.

Norwich City joint majority shareholder DELIA SMITH took part in a Q&A chat with supporters on the official club website on Thursday. Subjects included promotion celebrations, Paul Lambert and investment.

t Ian Berry: We have now learnt that the hearing between Norwich City and Colchester United is to take place next week. What do you think will happen - the question no supporter wants to ask is do you think there is a possibility of a points penalty?


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Delia: You're quite right, the hearing is on Monday, but unfortunately the lawyers have to be obeyed and I'm not able to make any comment - but I'm sure you'll all hear the result very quickly.

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t Chris Young, Truro: I'd like to congratulate the board on what has proved to be the inspired appointment of Paul Lambert.

But what measures can be taken now to ensure he's not lured away by Celtic or by a Premiership club?

Delia: Paul has assured us all he's extremely happy here, both with the club and the supporters. A couple of weeks ago I did say that if he ever wanted to leave, I would lie down in Carrow Road and prevent his car from leaving! But joking apart, we can assure all of you that we will do everything in our power to keep Paul here.

t Kevin: Yourself and the board took some flack last year when times were not so good. A huge thank you now for the decisions you made at the beginning of the season. Would you have made the same decisions had we only lost 1-0 to Colchester?

Delia: Getting flak is nothing new and it goes with the territory. I'm glad you thought our decisions were good and I can't answer precisely what would have happened but I can tell you we were monitoring everything very carefully and we knew that if things didngo well we would have to act quickly.

t Nikki: Could you tell us if you will be investing the money you make from the Waitrose advertising campaign in the football club?

Delia: I'm delighted to tell you that the deal with Waitrose means that they themselves are investing in the club with a very generous sponsorship for Delia's Canary Catering. They are here today at one of our food and wine workshops.

t Adam K: Is an open top bus parade / civil ceremony over the top for winning League One?

Delia: I can confirm that we have had an invitation from City Hall inviting the club to a civic reception. Whether this happens or not will depend on the manager, the team and the supporters. We will comply with whatever they want.

t Richard: What difference have the new boardroom members made since replacing Neil Doncaster et al? Do you think we would be in the same position now if changes hadn't been made?

Delia: Last year at the Valley, Michael and I left the match and over a glass of wine in a pub by the River Thames we both felt that there had to be some changes and we both felt determined to do all we could to make those changes. Looking back now those changes have fulfilled our wildest dreams and more.

t Laurence: With the Deloittes report now in what is the latest with regard to investment? Some serious investment now would help us enormously to compete in the transfer market this summer.

Delia: We would echo that. Deloittes continue their search, which is not yet completed. However, like you, we all live in hope and who knows because we are better placed now than we were.

t Suffolk Yellow: Richard Balls was mystified that you and Michael made no comment after the fantastic Charlton win. Was there a reason for that?

Delia: The last time I talked to the press at the kit launch Steve Gedge had a pop. We didn't talk to the press on Saturday and Richard Balls has a pop. Two things to say - one is we felt last Saturday belonged to Paul and the players, secondly I want to say a big thank you to Richard because I've always wanted to be 'mysterious'! If we are fortunate enough to win the title I will be there with open arms.

t Paul: I have loads of things I could ask, but will restrict myself to one question. Will the club be able to match Paul Lambert's ambitions?

Delia: We've had planning meetings with Paul and I think both the chairman and the chief executive are doing a fantastic job with the finances. Our aim is to give Paul a very competitive budget for next season.

t Kieran Brady: What do you think is a realistic target for next season?

Delia: With Paul and his team, and the squad we will assemble for next year. all I can say is we are going to go for it - and with player recruitment being a key part of that, we're hoping to have some exciting news regarding the appointment of a chief scout shortly.

t Ade: Who would you say was your player of the season?

Delia: There are so many players of the season. All I can say is don't forget to vote everyone.

t Eddie: I'm sure most fans are as pleased as I am that we have won promotion back at the first attempt but many fans are still unhappy about last season's relegation and blame you for all the ills of the club. They write on message boards that the club is a shambles through successive poor managerial appointments and your prudence before ambition policy. They claim you refuse to price the club reasonably and won't let any investors in if it means losing your majority share. How do you feel when you read these things?

Delia: Just for the record, prudence with ambition was never a policy of mine or Michael's, otherwise we'd be about �12million better off. We have never priced the club and prior to the Deloitte search we have only had one offer of cash which was for �1! Losing our majority shareholding is not, I repeat not, a problem, if it helps the football club. How do I feel and what drives me to carry on? What I assume we both share, and that is a deep love of our club.

t Daniel Jemy: Are there any plans for pre-season fixtures yet?

Delia: We hope to confirm shortly two games against Premier League clubs this summer.

t Warren: Do you think that the Premier League is a possibility in the next five years?

Delia: The new board planned from the start for the next seven years and we're one year ahead on returning to the Championship so we will obviously be all guns blazing now to get to the Premier League. So if you are asking in five years then certainly that is our intention.

t Bonney: What emotions did you feel at Charlton hearing we'd been promoted?

Delia: When we arrived at the Valley on Saturday afternoon, the sun was shining as it was a year ago. But just being there brought back all the pain of that previous visit. It probably was the most difficult second half I've ever experienced and when the whistle finally went Michael and I were both really choked with emotion and for once in my life, I was speechless. We just clung to each other. Then it was back down to the river where a good deal of champagne was consumed!

t Jon Cleland: Since your time at Norwich City would you say this is the best board we have had?

Delia: Then as now, it was the players and the manager who got us promoted. As far as the board goes it's our duty to serve you the supporters in the best possible way we can and I'm delighted with the way the current board is working very closely to achieve this.

t Darren: Why don't you sell the club and let someone who actually really supports the club take over rather than someone from Suffolk who was pictured in 1978 wearing an Ipswich scarf at a cup final at Wembley?

Delia: Yawn, yawn! We've said it before but let's just trot it out one more time I was NOT at Wembley. I was working for Multi-Coloured Swap Shop and the joke was my rosette and hat were turned round to reveal the Norwich colours amidst very loud booing as we were filming in Christchurch Park, Ipswich. Meanwhile I'd like to thank all Canary fans who live in Norfolk, Suffolk, all around the country and indeed, all around the world.

t Daniel: Grant Holt has had a brilliant first season for the club. Are there any reassurances that he will remain at the club next season?

Delia: Thank you so much for your question because it gives us a chance to thank all the supporters who did not ask for a rebate and Michael Foulger, who matched that generosity so that we were able to sign Grant Holt. Grant, like the rest of the team, has had a great season and we are delighted to confirm that he is on a long-term contract and he is really happy living and working in Norfolk.

t Will Ellis: Which game, for you, was the most satisfying on-field performance of the season?

Delia: Off the top of my head, Huddersfield at home on December 19 . I thought it was going to be the toughest game of the season because I think they're one of the best footballing sides in League One. I also think, like Paul, Lee Clark is one of the brightest young managers in the game and is sure to have a great future.

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