'Don't panic' - Norwich City bosses upbeat despite £38m loss

PUBLISHED: 09:00 05 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:16 05 November 2019

Norwich City's Chief Operating Officer, Ben Kensell with the clubs latest accounts. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Norwich City's Chief Operating Officer, Ben Kensell with the clubs latest accounts. Picture: Neil Didsbury

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Norwich City's bosses have reassured fans that they are building for the future - despite seeing operating profits swing to a loss of £38m in a year.

Norwich City supporters have reacted to the latest set of accounts published by the club. Picture: Neil DidsburyNorwich City supporters have reacted to the latest set of accounts published by the club. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Headline figures from City's annual accounts, which are revealed today, initially paint a difficult picture - with group turnover down 55% to £33.7m for the year to June 2019.

A key factor was the loss of parachute payments, which had totalled around £70m since the club's relegation in the 2015-2016 season.

Promotion to the Premier League this summer also initially hit the club's bottom line - with players and staff awarded promotion bonuses.

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However, these outgoings were made before the first instalment of Premier League broadcast payments landed.

Although bosses cannot yet reveal the exact sum, the total value of league payments for 2019-2020 will be in excess of £95m.

From L-R. Chief Operating Officer, Ben Kensell, Director, Stephan Phillips and Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary, Ben Dack at the release of Norwich City's annual accounts. Picture: Neil DidsburyFrom L-R. Chief Operating Officer, Ben Kensell, Director, Stephan Phillips and Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary, Ben Dack at the release of Norwich City's annual accounts. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Around a third of this has been transferred to the club, likely putting it back in the green already.

Despite finding itself in tight spots between promotions, chief operating officer Ben Kensell and business and project director Zoe Ward remained wary of selling the club for purely financial gain.

"There are pros and cons to selling," said Mrs Ward. "But Delia and Michael have always said they are only open to offers of interest for the right reasons. This club has been around since before any of us were here, and it will be around for a long time afterwards."

Mr Kensell added that being one of the few self-financed teams in the Premier League did come with its pressures: "We have to try and be smart with our decision making and ensure that we're not making any recruitment mistakes."

He added: "You have to make every pound work for you - but we're proud to be self-funded and the fans are too."

The club's commitment to future talent in Norfolk was reiterated by the opening of the Lotus Academy and Gym in 2019, with Mr Kensall saying: "The club continues to invest into the academy and continue the development and production of talented players, with the aim to progress them to the first team."

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