Relegation could cost City up to �7million
Norwich City are facing major multi-million pound losses if they are relegated on Sunday. Big reductions in TV income and through gate receipts, the effects on a corporate sector already reeling from the economic meltdown and an expected drop in merchandising income as families tighten their belts would all have significant effects on a club which is already striving to slash a huge player wage bill.
Norwich City are facing major multi-million pound losses if they are relegated on Sunday.
Big reductions in TV income and through gate receipts, the effects on a corporate sector already reeling from the economic meltdown and an expected drop in merchandising income as families tighten their belts would all have significant effects on a club which is already striving to slash a huge player wage bill.
The financial problems at Carrow Road form a dark backdrop in the run-up to Sunday's season finale, when City must win at Charlton and Barnsley lose at Plymouth to avoid the drop.
If the worst happens, it could cost City up to �7m, according to one leading expert.
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City would have to offload their top players to bring in much-needed transfer fees and slash wage bills, which would lead to inevitable questions about their ability to be competitive, even in new surroundings.
Once again the loss of TV money would hit City hard - relegation would mean waving goodbye to �2.9m revenue from the new deal which starts at the beginning of next season and, instead, receiving just �440,000 as a League One club.
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City would also face a drop in attendances of several thousand and the prospect of paying rebates to their 18,000 season ticket-holders, which could run to hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Season ticket-holders who renewed before the first deadline are entitled to a 20 per cent rebate if City go down but with the club declining to answer questions on finances until after Sunday's nerve-racking finale, the cost is difficult to measure.
City officials have no doubt done their maths already, but it is possible they may ask the fans to waive their right to a rebate - and if enough do that, it could have a significant impact.
However, there is likely to be a significant drop in the number of non season ticket-holders attending matches at Carrow Road - and if that drops to around 20,000 it will again leave a shortfall running into a sizeable six-figure sum.
Renowned football finance expert Professor Tom Cannon believes the cost of relegation to City would be between �5m and �7m.
“It's very hard to predict because if they started off like a train and played wonderful flowing football and were top of the First Division and everyone was feeling good about promotion then gates would be higher than if they were pottering around in the middle or even in the relegation area,” he said.
“But the best case is a team that did as well as Leicester City. I know they are very different cities, very different areas, but Leicester City were getting gates last season of about 20,000 on average and Norwich's are about 24,000, 25,000 - so I would be surprised if they did better than Leicester City.
“The biggest club in the First Division is Leeds United and they are getting an average gate of 23,000, so if they beat Leeds United they'd be going some.
“I would have thought the minimum is between �5m and �7m down on income.”