Tweed: 'Canaries did not want my business advice'

PUBLISHED: 11:00 08 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:16 10 September 2010

Sarah Hall

A millionaire businessman today accused bosses at Norwich City Football Club of ignoring his offer to help them generate more money at Carrow Road - and said that snub could have cost them Indian investment.

A millionaire businessman today accused bosses at Norwich City Football Club of ignoring his offer to help them generate more money at Carrow Road - and said that snub could have cost them Indian investment.

Graham Tweed, who runs Watton-based Sabrefix Group, which makes steel construction products, said that last summer he made clear he was prepared to advise the club on how to get more commercial benefits from Carrow Road.

And he said the club's failure to invite him for a meeting meant the club might have missed out on investment, because he had contacts in India who were looking to invest in a club and he had recommended Norwich City to them.

However, a club spokesman said that it was not aware of any contact from Mr Tweed offering advice and asking for a meeting.

Mr Tweed, the uncle of Jack Tweed, the husband of tragic Big Brother star Jade Goody, said: “I tried to speak to the club and did not get any response at all.

“I am not a great football fan, but I have spent a lot of time dragging sports organisations out of the mire. I have helped out at Saracens and with 120,000-seater stadiums in the States and I have advice I was prepared to offer the club.

“The fact Norwich did not want to use that advice is frustrating. I would not have wanted paying for it. I have a history of helping Saracens and they did not even talk to me.”

Mr Tweed said the club should have been maximising the revenue the ground can generate, such as using it to host a series of music concerts, rather than one-off shows, along with other events such as caravan shows.

He said that, had the club agreed to meet him to talk, he could have told them about Indian investors he had already spoken to about exploring commercial opportunities with the club.

But Mr Tweed said he never got the chance to tell the club he was aware of investors who might have been interested.

He said: “Unfortunately it never got to a situation where they wanted to talk to us. We made clear we wanted to speak to them and they would not speak to us.

“We were trying to make contact but it did not happen and those Indian investors are now looking at a club in the Premiership.”

However, a club spokesman said: “The club is not aware of any contact from Mr Tweed offering advice and/or asking for a meeting.

“We have had no contact whatsoever from anyone wanting to talk about potential Indian investment, nor from anybody on behalf of Indian investors.

“However, the club is always keen to hear from people with ideas about helping us to make money or wishing to discuss investment into Norwich City FC.

“Now is certainly a good time for Mr Tweed or anyone else keen to have such discussions to get in touch.”

Although Mr Tweed would not name the investors, the owners of Premiership giants Liverpool have recently denied they have held talks with Indian billionaire Grandhi Mallikarjun Rao's GMR group.

Mr Tweed, who splits his time between his home in Saham Toney and the United States, added: “I do not want to put millions into the club, but I would be quite happy to give them information which could help them. I think they missed an opportunity by not being willing to talk to people.

“They need to be more open to the idea of the club being run as a commercial enterprise, not just as a football club which has a very nice stadium in the centre of Norwich for playing and losing football matches.”

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