Supporters' group calls for fans to claim rebate

PUBLISHED: 11:07 18 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:16 10 September 2010

The Canaries' biggest fans' group has urged season ticket-holders to apply for their rebate after relegation to League One. The club will have to repay well over £500,000 to those with season tickets for 2009-10 if they all apply for their discount.

The Canaries' biggest fans' group has urged season ticket-holders to apply for their rebate after relegation to League One.

The club will have to repay well over £500,000 to those with season tickets for 2009-10 if they all apply for their discount.

Norwich City Independent Supporters' Association committee met on Friday, 24 hours after the public meeting at St Andrew's Hall at which a vote of “no confidence” in the Carrow Road board was passed.

A statement issued today by NCISA press officer Mel Lacey said: “In relation to the vote on the club's rebate scheme, NCISA are recommending all fans to apply for the rebate. They acknowledged suggestions from the public meeting that some supporters may want to receive the rebate and then individually earmark it for the benefit of the club in other ways, such as making donations to the supporters' trust or the youth academy. However, NCISA's committee felt this should be a matter for individuals.”

The rebate will not be automatically given to supporters, as some had hoped, but will need to be applied for.

Letters will be going out to supporters by the end of the month detailing what they need to do to claim either 20 per cent for those who bought before the first deadline of February 28, or 10 per cent after the deadline.

Despite their stance on the rebate, NCISA are still urging fans to get behind manager Bryan Gunn at the start of next season, although those at the meeting voted against the “hurried decision” to reappoint him.

Their statement added: “The committee believed the directors were aware their decision would cause discontent, but decided to gamble that fans would still get behind Gunn at the start of the season. Recording the fact they were unhappy with the directors' actions, NCISA said they will nevertheless be encouraging all fans to unite behind the manager and players at the start of the new season.”

t NCISA PRESS STATEMENT IN FULL

A public meeting for Norwich City supporters, held at Saint Andrew's Hall, Norwich, on Thursday 14 May 2009, was attended by more than 500 fans.

John Tilson, Chairman of NCISA, organisers of the event, emphasised it was arranged to collect the actual views of fans as opposed to second guessing them.

The evening provided everybody with the opportunity to publicly air their views. Lively and passionate speeches were made about directors, players, managers (past and present), season ticket rebates, club finances and the future of Norwich City.

During the event, the audience was addressed by Mike Reynolds of the Supporters Trust, Peter Wolsey of the Shareholders Association and football writer, Richard Balls.

Fans were asked to vote on three important issues…

t Do you think Bryan Gunn is the right man to manage Norwich City in Division One? Seven people voted 'yes'. The remainder of those present felt Gunn was the wrong choice.

t Fans were asked how many would be applying for the season ticket rebate offered by the club as recompense for relegation. Approximately 75% of those present said they would be claiming the refund.

t And finally, a vote was taken on whether those present felt the current directors are the right people to prepare the club for the future. There were five abstentions. Everybody else present supported the vote of 'no confidence' in the directors.

On Friday 15 May 2009, the committee of NCISA met to discuss feedback from the public meeting.

In relation to the vote on the appointment of Bryan Gunn as team manager, NCISA's committee recorded the fact they were unhappy about the apparent hurried decision of the directors which flew in the face of the opinions of Norwich fans at a time when it is widely accepted unity amongst all parties is crucial. The committee believed the directors were aware their decision would cause discontent, but decided to gamble that fans would still get behind Gunn at the start of the season. Recording the fact they were unhappy with the directors' actions, NCISA said they will nevertheless be encouraging all fans to unite behind the manager and players at the start of the new season. However, they are warning the club that following a number of years of failure, the patience of supporters has worn thin. Fans will want and expect success from day one.

In relation to the vote on the club's rebate scheme, NCISA are recommending all fans to apply for the rebate. They acknowledged suggestions from the public meeting that some supporters may want to receive the rebate and then individually earmark it for the benefit of the club in other ways, such as making donations to the supporters trust or the youth academy. However, NCISA's committee felt this should be a matter for individuals.

In relation to the vote of 'no confidence' in the directors of Norwich City FC, NCISA felt this sent a very strong message to the board that 'rank and file' supporters are unhappy about the running of the club and very unhappy about fans' opinions being ignored. NCISA felt there is a need for all fans' groups to meet regularly and work towards greater unity. To that end, NCISA will be contacting other groups and bodies associated with the football club to arrange a meeting. NCISA also felt that at a time when the club's standing has reached its lowest point for almost fifty years, the feelings of supporters are still being sidelined. Directors have regularly stated how important fans are, but have very rarely matched this with actions.

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