Norwich City supporters group suggesting a festive gift
Norwich City's biggest supporters' group have called on fans to back the Canaries' Championship challenge by dipping into their pockets.
The Norwich City Independent Supporters' Association (Ncisa) have called on supporters to consider returning part of the controversial season ticket rebate claims made in the summer of 2009 following relegation to League One. They have also pledged to buy �1,000 worth of club shares to set the ball rolling – and to donate new Ncisa membership fees to the club.
In a statement released yesterday, Ncisa chairman Chris Wright said the initiative was intended to help add cash to manager Paul Lambert's transfer kitty.
'Both the CEO and manager of Norwich City Football Club have publicly stated that there is very little in the kitty to supplement our playing squad,' said Wright.
'We are in a strong position to push for at least the play-offs and therefore, we, the fans, need to help our club as we have before.'
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The issue of season ticket rebates was a contentious one last year, with the club promising to match pound for pound money that was not claimed – feelings ran high and many fans kept the money.
'Last year following a disastrous relegation and boardroom upheaval the fans voted to take back their promised rebates,' said Wright. 'We backed that decision based on the facts as they were at that time.
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'Hindsight is an exact science, but viewing the situation as it is now we are backing a campaign for additional monies to give Lambert a fighting fund, including, if people choose to do so, the return of some or the entire rebate that was reclaimed.
'We have established that the club has shares that are available to purchase and this would be a simple way of instantly supplementing whatever the directors can find.
'Ncisa will kick off this campaign by immediately buying �1,000 of shares for its members.
'We also promise that, in respect of every new membership received from now until the end of January, the full membership joining fee will be utilised to buy even more shares without any reduction in membership benefits.
'Any donations received will also be used in this way, so if you took your rebate but feel that, having made your point, now is the time to 'give some back' in order to help the club, then we will be glad to co-ordinate this for you.
'We are proud of our financial independence but also delighted that we can help our club financially when they need it.'