'We want to do it differently from an Arab Sheikh or a Russian oligarch' - City's owners want to break the mould
Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones' vision for the future of Norwich City lacks what most football clubs feel is required to achieve success in football - a seriously wealthy benefactor.
Very few clubs in English football run themselves via a self-sustainable model, but the Canaries are looking to break the mould by sustaining themselves in the Premier League without breaking the bank.
City's majority shareholders describes themselves as 'caretakers' of the football club and are proud of its prominent role within the local community.
During the periods where success has been in short supply, some supporters have questioned whether the club needs a wealthier owner to bring consistent success to Carrow Road. Smith is hoping their current model, which includes a sporting director and head coach, will prove to be the blueprint that allows Norwich to dine at the top table of English football regularly.
She told the FT Business of Football Summit: “We really love the club and see our role as caretakers. And caretakers have to take care.
“This club is a precious thing, a community thing and if somebody made an offer we would ask the supporters.
“We really would like, if we could, to have a really healthy club that is going well in the Premier League without having to sell it, because it might go to someone who doesn’t care about it."
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Smith and Wynn Jones have received numerous offers for the football club since they took the reigns in 1996, but they feel the takeover bids weren't in the best interests of the club. Now, they remain committed to their current plan.
“Our formula is to bring through our youth players, under a manager who believes in youth players.
“We want to do it differently from an Arab Sheikh or a Russian oligarch. If you say that’s being Utopian, I will take that - I am Utopian.
“So of course we know we will have to sell and we would rather have £40m for Max than the money from a Sheikh or oligarch.
“And when he goes, you just need to have another one read. You might say it’s a case of ’here’s one I made earlier’.”