Administration fears prove unfounded - for now

PUBLISHED: 10:21 27 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:09 10 September 2010

While Championship managers were wrapping up their final pieces of transfer loan business yesterday, spare a thought for thousands of fans - including Norwich's - who could be forgiven for biting their fingernails to the quick ahead of another deadline.

While Championship managers were wrapping up their final pieces of transfer loan business yesterday, spare a thought for thousands of fans - including Norwich's - who could be forgiven for biting their fingernails to the quick ahead of another deadline.

The Football League's deadline for teams to go into administration passed at the same time as the loan market closed - 5pm. The number of league clubs facing the threat - which incurs an immediate 10-point penalty - was thought to be in double figures, although none came forward yesterday.

Chief executive Neil Doncaster says Norwich aren't in that position, although it probably didn't prevent fans from breathing a sigh of relief at the close of business yesterday.

But there's still relegation - and the associated financial worries - to concern themselves with.

The Football League's new agreement with Sky and BBC begins at the start of next season, and if City go down they will receive £440,000 as part of the deal. Stay up and they get £2.9m.

Season ticket sales at Carrow Road are above and beyond what many expected, but the TV money is a vital component on the "in" column on the club's accounts - lose it and you can see why observers are predicting massive changes at Carrow Road should City go down. A salary bill that reached £10m and is now down to £8.5m would, at a guess, be pared down to half that, possibly more - and that means you can draw your own conclusions as to the make-up of next year's squad should the worst happen.

Football isn't immune to the whims of the economic market, and Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney wasn't exactly full of the joys of spring yesterday when he predicted more doom and gloom ahead. Lord Mawhinney believes clubs have been shielded from the current mire because their business strategies were in place before the recession.

"Season tickets, corporate hospitality and commercial sponsorships were all negotiated a year ago," he said. "They're about to start doing that for next season and there will be a reality check for some clubs. What has happened so far is only the tip of the iceberg. I have told the clubs that I believe life will be extremely tough through to the end of the 2011-2012 season.

"That's a scary prospect for all businesses - and clubs have to understand they are not protected from the real world."

Most Read

Norwich City Video

Norwich City Audio

Norwich City Stats

The Pink Un magazine

cover
A must-read for any Norwich City fan with in-depth, straight-talking, analysis from the best writers around.
Purchase

Most Read

Latest from the Pink Un - Norwich City Football Club News