City chiefs 'very proud' of financial results amid Covid-19 challenges

Norwich City finance director Anthony Richens at Carrow Road Picture: Adam Harvey

Norwich City finance director Anthony Richens at Carrow Road - Credit: Adam Harvey

There's a great sense of pride for the Norwich City hierarchy after managing to navigate a £30million loss due to the Covid-19 pandemic while also achieving Championship success and posting a profit.

The Canaries have published their annual report for the 2020-21 financial year, for the 11 months up to June 30, and shown that a profit of £21.5m was achieved.

That was primarily due to almost £60m in player sales overriding an operating loss of £26.5m as income nosedived amid both Premier League relegation and the impact of the pandemic.

Finance director Anthony Richens said: “The club are very proud of what they’ve done over the last 24 months. We could have quite easily hidden behind Covid-19 as a reason not to invest in facilities and put a halt to projects.  

“But we’ve continued to invest in our facilities at Carrow Road, whether that be new offices or media suites, and at the Lotus Training Centre, where we’ve now got three DESSO (synthetic turf) pitches and the Soccerbot.  

“We’ve continued to invest and actually we believe the club is in a better position now with facilities and infrastructure than it was pre-pandemic.  

“So, really proud of what we’ve been able to achieve. Key for us around the profit is that we’re proud of our model and how we work with our recruitment strategy.  

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“Continuing to grow is the key message for us here. We don’t stand still, we continue to invest and move forward.” 

The strong situation contributed heavily to City being able to spend £52.7m during the summer transfer window, after the club-record sale of Emi Buendia in June in a deal worth up to £38m - which doesn't all arrive immediately.

It again emphasises the importance of developing young talent to the club's self-funded model, with the jury still out on whether that set-up can earn Premier League stability amid the current struggles of Daniel Faarke's team.

“I think the message is that we definitely want fans to feel comfortable that the club has financial stability,” added the finance director, who joined Norwich last year and has previous experience with MK Dons, as well as with major accountancy firm Deloitte.  

“Not all fans want to hear it because they want us to invest in the here and now, and think about short-term performances, but there is a definite balance between short-term performance and long-term stability.  

“We’ve got to find that balance, that’s what we’re here to do, and the board discuss it regularly to make sure that we’re trying to find that balance as much as possible.” 

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