We won't need to sell, insists City chief

Michael Bailey Chief executive David McNally has revealed Norwich City will not have to sell players in January to balance the books. Canaries manager Paul Lambert has made two signings in the days leading up to yesterday's emergency loan deadline, Peterborough United's Russell Martin and Swindon's Anthony McNamee.

Michael Bailey

Chief executive David McNally has revealed Norwich City will not have to sell players in January to balance the books.

Canaries manager Paul Lambert has made two signings in the days leading up to yesterday's emergency loan deadline, Peterborough United's Russell Martin and Swindon's Anthony McNamee.

Both deals look set to become permanent when the transfer window reopens in the new year, but McNally has denied the arrivals mean Norwich's sought after League One assets will be going anywhere after Christmas.


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He said: "Firstly, and most importantly, there are no plans to sell any players in January. However, there may be fringe players leaving the club during this period.

"If the club does receive any offers for first team players, these offers will be considered by Paul Lambert and the board. Clearly Paul may decide to trade because he knows he will be allowed to reinvest any monies received into his squad."

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The Norwich chief executive was answering questions from fans at the club's first question and answer session on its website yesterday, and several fans were keen to get an update on the Canaries' search for new investment.

McNally said: "We are searching for investors or indeed potential new owners; this remains the case. We have appointed professional advisors to work alongside the club in this regard and this is our non-football priority over the coming months."

However, he denied one of Birmingham's former owners had met the club to discuss a possible takeover.

"David Gold is a good friend of the club but I can assure you that he hasn't visited us recently," added McNally.

City fans are finally feeling buoyant after a series of painful seasons and with League One promotion a distinct possibility this season, McNally gave an insight into the new Norwich board's long-term plan.

"Once we are back in the Championship we will aim to get to the Premier League as quickly as possible," said McNally. "From a business planning point of view this will mean up to three years, allowing a further two years, to become a consistently successful Premier League club."

And a return to top flight football could mean a dramatic redevelopment of Carrow Road.

McNally said: "The current capacity is sufficient for Championship and Division One football. In my view, when we do get back to the Premier League we will need a stadium capacity of between 35 and 40,000.

"A strategic review looking at how we get from where we are now to where we want to be will need to be completed before any decisions are made. Most importantly, we need a mid-term solution to our current financial problems before any commitment to significant capital expenditure is given.

"We are working closely with our major lenders, who have been helpful, and it is our aim to restructure the balance sheet as soon as we possibly can."

The City chief also defended the club's decision to move future reserve team home games to an afternoon kick-off - a move that has been met by annoyance from some Canaries fans.

He said: "Like many supporters I really enjoy being able to watch reserve team football under lights at Carrow Road. However, we currently make a significant loss every time we play a game in this way and we cannot allow any loss-making activity to continue.

"If we did this would ultimately mean that Paul Lambert would have less to spend on his first team squad. If you were me, what would you do?"

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