Norwich City board backs Lambert
Canaries boss Paul Lambert has been given the financial backing he asked for after being told that any spare money coming City's way after promotion to the Premier League will go into his playing budget.
Lambert had made it clear that he needed backing in hard cash to give City every possible chance of competing with the big boys next season – and the club's board of directors have given him the go-ahead.
Promotion is said to be worth a minimum of around �90m, but the key figure is �40m – the least City can expect from TV revenue and payments which are dependant on where they finish in the table. On top of that is the worst-case scenario money – the �48m clubs are handed as parachute payments over a period of four years.
The �40m is what Lambert is interested in – take away some essential costs which come with promotion, such as improvement of certain facilities at Carrow Road, and the rest will, in effect, be his to manage on transfer fees and salaries, which are now guaranteed to rise substantially.
The misnomer is that a big, fat cheque will land on his desk any day soon – the �40m is spread in payments during the course of the season and the total amount will depend on where City finish and how many of their fixtures are televised by Sky TV.
City's promotion prompted questions over the destination of their windfall: to Lambert, to pay off some of the club's debts, which stand at around �20m, or a mixture of both. However, those debts are all stabilised – and promotion to the top flight is a sign to the financial partners that the club is heading in the right direction after years of turmoil.
What happens next depends on the manager: he has always preferred to bring new players in as soon as possible to ensure they settle quickly and hit the ground running when the new season begins.
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The rumour mill has already produced a flurry of names - some realistic some not – but Lambert insisted last week that there would be 'no �60,000 or �70,000 a week' players on the books while he was manager.