Why council bought stake in NCFC security firm

PUBLISHED: 08:52 29 January 2009 | UPDATED: 16:02 10 September 2010

Shaun Lowthorpe

The tactical thinking behind a deal to buy a 75pc stake in Norwich City Football Club's Event Guard firm was outlined out last night.

Norfolk County Services - a commercial offshoot of the county council - bought a share of the firm believed to be for around £300,000 on Monday.

The tactical thinking behind a deal to buy a 75pc stake in Norwich City Football Club's Event Guard firm was outlined out last night.

Norfolk County Services - a commercial offshoot of the county council - bought a share of the firm believed to be for around £300,000 on Monday.

Event Guard runs a range of services from door staff and security, and match day security at Carrow Road.

Managing director Peter Hawes said hopes were high that the deal would help Event Guard win new contracts across the country.

Neither side were prepared to spell out the exact amount paid, possibly because of the potential political sensitivity at a time when the council, which receives an annual dividend payment from the firm, is facing a tough budget round and potential cuts.

And Mr Hawes said both sides were keeping to strict commercial confidentiality rules.

Under the agreement, Event Guard, which will shift its headquarters from Carrow Road to a new purpose built site at Fifers Lane.

The club is also believed to be keen on closer tie-ups with County Hall, as part of its whole back to the grassroots strategy which has so far seen Glenn Roeder sacked and fans' favourite Bryan Gunn installed as manager.

But it is not clear whether that means more tie-ups with NCS or other forms of investment with County Hall.

Mr Hawes said: “We feel we can develop it elsewhere and we have got quite big ambitions for the company, there are parts of their business we think we can develop. It's really us bringing together their experience and the contacts we have got.

“We have bought the goodwill and the name of the company because we think that adds value to what they are doing. It's a good local brand,” Mr Hawes added.

“The growth of the business is quite impressive. They are at the point where small businesses often are and they can't do more themselves and need a large organisation behind them

“It's a straight forward commercial transaction between two companies. We only started talking about it in December, it was just a casual conversation between two people.

We have got a security operation as well, but we wanted to see how we could improve this aspect of our business. We have been looking to see if we could buy a security company for the last four to five years and have had discussions with others

“It's a service they provide which has been really well received by everyone concerned.”

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