Norwich City chief executive justifies �30 cup ticket prices at supporters’ forum

Norwich City chief executive David McNally tonight defended higher-than-expected cup ticket prices, saying the cash would go straight into manager Chris Hughton's transfer funds and help the club towards its ultimate goal: survival in the Premier League.

Speaking at an open supporters' forum at Carrow Road, Mr McNally told about 130 fans he understood times were tough but that the money raised would be reinvested in the first team.

The Canaries today announced that adult ticket prices for the Carling One Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur would be �30, with many fans reacting angrily.

Responding to a question from compere Chris Goreham, Mr McNally said: 'We've had some feedback about the prices being too high, and that a number of fans are upset with that.

'We are a co-operative so any money we make from this tie will go into Chris's pot for January.'

He added: 'Compared to prices you will pay for the Norwich City-Tottenham Hotspur league game here, it's a huge discount.'

He said adult prices had been marked down by around 40pc, and under-12 prices by 75pc.

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'Times are tough, and we understand, but we don't have someone at the end of the year to write out a big cheque,' he added.

Mr McNally repeatedly stressed the club's status as a co-operative in his opening address, where he reiterated the club's intentions to reinvest in the first-team, improve on and off the pitch, and continue its community work.

The first priority, however, was remaining in the Premier League.

'I could give you about 70 million reasons, from next season, why that's important,' he said.

'Our strategy is about doing all we can to help Chris Hughton, his backroom team and the great footballers we have, to stay in the Premier League.'

For that reason, plans for stadium expansion had been put on the backburner as the money was better spent on ensuring survival, said chairman Alan Bowkett.

The club was also investigating the possibility of hosting live music and comedy gigs at Carrow Road, said Mr McNally, with opportunities 'in the not-too-distant future'.