Rebate cash helps City secure Holt
Jonathan Redhead Rebate money waived by Norwich City season ticket holders after relegation has been used to buy striker Grant Holt, boss Bryan Gunn has revealed. The Canaries manager paid tribute to the club's faithful following and director Michael Foulger, who controversially agreed to match pound for pound, any money relinquished by fans entitled to a discount on their 2009/10 tickets after the drop into League One.
Rebate money waived by Norwich City season ticket holders after relegation has been used to buy striker Grant Holt, boss Bryan Gunn has revealed.
The Canaries manager paid tribute to the club's faithful following and director Michael Foulger, who controversially agreed to match pound for pound, any money relinquished by fans entitled to a discount on their 2009/10 tickets after the drop into League One.
And yesterday the cash saved from the scheme helped Gunn buy “the big one” in the shape of Holt from Shrewsbury Town for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around �500,000.
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The 28-year-old target man was last season's leading scorer in League Two with 20 goals for the Shrews and Gunn is delighted to have prized his big summer signing away from the New Meadow outfit, using money from the rebate scheme.
“This is the big one,” Gunn said.
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“I was speaking to (chief executive) David McNally, and when David came on board with the new board directors, certainly my thoughts were on a striker and someone who would make an impact, not only for the Norwich City fans but also someone who all the other clubs in this division will know about and not enjoy playing against.
“Somebody, who with the money the fans contributed with the rebate and also Michael Foulger's commitment to that as well, we've been able to pursue over the last five weeks until you find us here today having signed him.
“I think that was an important factor in being able to push this deal through and with the support we've had from the whole board in terms of making this signing and the personal contribution from Michael Foulger and the fans, each and every one of them who left their money in, have meant we've been able to pursue Grant.
“Obviously the other signings have come from within the playing budget we'd already discussed.
“I'd like to send a personal thank you to each and every one of those fans and to Michael Foulger.”
Gunn said he hopes Holt can be the weapon he is looking for to launch a successful promotion push - and add some much needed power to the Canaries front line.
“We look forward to getting him in the number nine jersey and he offers us something that we haven't got much of in the squad at the moment in the striker's position - goals and power,” he said.
“We hope that he can give us that in abundance. And all through our discussions with him he's keen to get the ball rolling quickly, as much as he's been with us a couple of days.
“The fans want to see a goalscoring hero and hopefully we've delivered him. He gives us the best chance possible now to go into the season with threat.
“We've got the player we feel will score the goals to certainly make us very competitive in this league. I'm sure a lot of defenders in League One will be wincing at the fact we've taken Grant on and they won't be looking forward to playing against him.”
Gunn said he had been tracking the former Nottingham Forest player for around five weeks and was pleased his patience had paid off enabling him to get his man.
“We been patient on a number of the deals we've concluded, but that patience has paid off,” he said.
“People have been saying 'we need a striker, we need a striker' we knew we needed a striker. These types of players do take longer to get commitment from both the club and the player and I'm glad that patience has paid off.”
And despite making four signings yesterday, to bring his total for the summer to nine permanent signings and one on loan, Gunn refused to rule out any more moves in the transfer market before the window closes at the end of August.
“Never say that's it!” Gunn said.
“We'll always keep looking. I suppose my job is always to challenge David (McNally), to challenge the board if we feel there are positions we feel short in so we'll always keep looking, but we've been very happy and delighted we managed to get these ten players in.”