Open to offers
CHRIS LAKEY Delia Smith says she is willing to give up her role as Norwich City's “sugar mummy” - as long as any new investor brought 'new' money into the club. City's joint majority share holder, along with husband Michael Wynn Jones, told the club's annual general meeting that anyone with sufficient funds could try their hand on the Carrow Road tiller.
Delia Smith says she is willing to give up her role as Norwich City's “sugar mummy” - as long as any new investor brought 'new' money into the club.
City's joint majority share holder, along with husband Michael Wynn Jones, told the club's annual general meeting last night that anyone with sufficient funds could try their hand on the Carrow Road tiller.
However she emphasised that simply purchasing her and her husbands shares was not the answer.
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“I have been here 10 years and nobody has ever come in seriously,” she said. “We have had the odd letter but nobody has ever seriously said, 'look, I will give this money if you let me have a seat on the board'.
“If people want to come along and offer Michael and me a large amount of money for our shares what is that going to do? That is going to give us a lot of money but it is not going to help the football club.
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“The only way we would relinquish our shares is if somebody is going to put money into the football. Only if they put money into the squad - not if they buy our shares, we don't want money. It has to be that there is money for the squad, serious money for the squad.”
Delia has an almost iconic place in modern Canaries history having pumped millions of her personal fortune into the club, reviving its fortunes and helping to fund the march into the Premiership. Should Delia and her husband relinquish their current roles it would clearly be a major change on both a personal and professional level - although the celebrity chef insisted the club came first.
“We are passionate supporters, we only want Norwich to do well,” she said. “I would be happy not to be a board director and watch us leap into the Premiership and stay there. That's what we all want; there is nothing else we want.
“But the reality check is that today it is not like it was 10 years ago. We are living in a climate now where there are lashings of money in the Premier League and the rest of us are scrabbling about, it is very hard.”
Delia has become the face of Norwich City - and last night vowed to repeat her famous half time rallying call for support to prove that her passion for the cause was still alive and kicking.
During last night's meeting one share-holder questioned her “silence” in recent times as the Canaries attempt to revive their fortunes following their exploits among the Premiership elite.
But she said that her passion was very much alive and she would prove it with a repeat of her much publicised call to arms during a Premiership game against Manchester City during the Premiership campaign.
“I will come out and do another one,” she said. “It is no problem I would love to because I am passionate. I will talk to you all if you want to talk to me. I would like to apologise for my silence - but I don't understand it.”
All of City's power brokers were in attendance last night, including manager Peter Grant who spoke of his own passion for reviving the clubs fortunes.
Grant confirmed he would be bringing in a new face on the coaching staff to replace Keith Webb and said he believed the Academy set up was vital to the club's future.
“Nothing would give me greater pride if we could put a structure in place to progress this club in years to come,” he said.
There were calls from the floor for the board to consider taking on someone with recognised football expertise, but it was ruled out by Delia.
“We think we have a very good expertise in our coaching staff and in our manager,” she said. “What good would it do if we have a board director who also had expertise, who was picking the team and deciding the tactics. It would be a disaster.”