New directors bring much more than money

After a season which clearly was not up to the standards we set ourselves at this football club, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on some positives, which we very much hope will help us to achieve a significant improvement in the 2007-2008 campaign.

After a season which clearly was not up to the standards we set ourselves at this football club, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on some positives, which we very much hope will help us to achieve a significant improvement in the 2007-2008 campaign.

One very real positive is the news announced this week of the arrival of two of Norfolk's most successful business people onto our board of directors in the shape of Andrew and Sharon Turner.

Not only have Andrew and Sharon stepped in with a crucial initial financial commitment of £2m to give us greater confidence and security generally, and in the transfer market specifically, but the value they will undoubtedly bring in the shape of their business acumen and passion for this football club is equally important moving forward.

The board has heard and listened to comments from many supporters who felt we should be actively seeking new investment and, critically, new ideas to help us shape our strategy for the club in the seasons ahead. Andrew and Sharon have between them built Central Trust up from scratch to its current position as one of the fastest growing businesses in the financial sector. The drive and imagination that has helped them to do this is now part of the mix at Carrow Road.


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But any suggestions that the club only started to investigate the possibility of new investment following the 2006 annual meeting are well wide of the mark. The club, through its active efforts to bring forward investment at Christmas 2003, when we were trying to afford to bring Darren Huckerby south from Manchester, contacted a huge number of potential investors then. Among the many calls we made was one to Andrew and Sharon Turner.

This kind of connectivity between the club and the local business community is constant and ongoing. The question of potential new investment, I can assure you, is never off the agenda at board meetings.

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However, I must at this stage enthusiastically endorse Delia and Michael's comments that our search for new people and new money to support the ambitions of this great club must not be unconditional. Chief among the conditions for any new investment is that it should come from people who, like Andrew and Sharon, have the club's best long-term interests at heart. And that means no quick fix from someone looking to make a personal fortune on the back of Norwich City Football Club gambling with expenditure that it cannot afford.

There has been a little criticism, following Andrew and Sharon's investment, of our unwillingness to spell out precisely what, if anything, is available for Peter Grant to spend this summer. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it clearly cannot be in the best interests of this club to give our competitors such a potentially damaging 'heads up' about what exactly we have to spend.

In summary, this is a very exciting development and I would like to wish the Turners a long and happy involvement with Norwich City. I feel totally confident that they understand the very special privilege and responsibility that stewardship of Norwich City implies.

I would also like to pay tribute to Barry Skipper for his hard work for the club over the past ten years and for his dignified departure from the board on Tuesday. We look forward to welcoming him back as a vice-president - an honorary position that he occupies alongside other former board members Barry Lockwood and Gavin Paterson.

Peter has gone on record as saying that he wants us to go up as champions of this division next season. Myself, the rest of the board and everyone at the club is totally committed to doing everything we possibly can to help him achieve this ambition. Nobody has a God-given right to go up as champions, whatever parachute monies they may or may not enjoy. But, fans have a right to hear from their club what their club's ambition is. Promotion is our ambition and we will all be working very hard this summer to set the ball rolling in the right direction.

Finally, thank you for your sterling support this season. Enjoy your summer break. We look forward to seeing you all at Carrow Road again next season.

On The Ball, City!

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