Norwich City aim to stay up - and stay solvent

Norwich City chief executive David McNally remains confident the Canaries can buck the Premier League trend on and off the pitch.

City's hierarchy formally presented the latest set of accounts to shareholders on Tuesday which underlined the club is on track to be free of external debt over the next 12 months. The chief executive insists improving the financial health of the club will not be at the expense of on-going efforts to strengthen Paul Lambert's squad to meet City's survival target.

'Staying in the league and remaining solvent are not words that you find in the same sentence all that often when discussing teams in the Premier League,' McNally told a packed meeting at Carrow Road. 'That is a real challenge for most clubs and many survive because they have very wealthy benefactors. They wouldn't be in business if they didn't. We are lucky that we have the best owners in the business who have supported this club during some really hard times. Wouldn't it be great if this club could remain in the Premier League, remain solvent and be self sufficient. That is our aim in the short term.

'We want to help Paul all we can to stay in this league and have a healthy balance sheet. We've said before that we want to improve the squad every single window. If its non core, non football and we don't necessarily need it then we will look to turn it into cash to try and pay down debt. Each area of the business, whether it's commercial or otherwise, will increase its turnover this year – there is not just a reliance on the Premier League income. Any spare cash above budget will go towards the football manager.'

Chairman Alan Bowkett echoed McNally's strategic vision for the Canaries moving forward.

'The key thing that I want to get over to our fans and our shareholders is that we are running this almost like a mutual,' he said. 'Any spare revenues that we generate are going into football. They are not going in to buying land or whatever. We will be externally debt-free by the end of next season and that will then give us the freedom to decide whether to invest in ground expansion or not, but the fact is we will not have debt amortisation in that we plan to clear �6.5m, along with �3.5m in deferred interest. That is �10m that can go into football.'