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ricardo

Ricardo's report AGM 2019

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1 hour ago, Well b back said:

Ok ill take on the challenge as long as you keep it to a discussion not an argument and accept that my points are just an opinion as I am just not convinced although I my heart tells me I would love to be in a stadium of 40,000 each week rocking to our various songs.

If we go back 2 seasons we played Leeds and Ipswich ( could have sold more seats ) and 21 Watford’s, some away clubs offering a following of a 200 supporters.

1500 - 1800 season ticket holders every game do not turn up or offer their tickets to family, friends or the buy back system. Although those tickets at the moment in most games would have somebody willing to take them of your hands I remember those 2 seasons ago if one of our party couldn’t go we had zero takers for our tickets. 

The extra demand would come through success ( if in the EPL we can only sell 3000 away tickets ). Even finishing mid table for 5 years in the EPL would see boredom set in as shown in many existing grounds.

The club are already having to charge £50 membership to subsidise the reduction in seat prices to £30. Now this is ok in the EPL with the extra revenue, but a period where we no longer received EPL money would see those prices have to go back up.

Man City rarely sell out, yet Man Utd do. Likewise lots of local kids would rather go to Old Trafford once a year than come and support Norwich w eek in and week out. That is a major change brought about by Sky, whereas when I was a kid I supported Liverpool but my only way of watching live football was to go to Carrow Road.

Remember mine is a worry of sitting in a 1/2 full stadium, It is Kensell’s job to prove to the board why this would not happen and if he can do that then I am all for it.

Whenever I've looked at it City have had the highest percentage of seats filled outside the big six or seven for twelve seasons. Being at 95% or so of home seat capacity is regarded by clubs as an indisputable sign that extra capacity is needed. Most clubs are way below that yet still expand and often see a large improvement in gates after expansion. Pointing out that for some games away seats, single seats and restricted view seats haven't sold out isn't really a strong argument. Clubs know that there is a very limited number of people willing to take those seats- frankly, if they sell out too it is seen as a bonus. 

I do think some of the arguments against expansion are sensible and understandable but really it boils down to catchment area and demand (both of which are there in spades) and whether the club feels it is in a realistically healthy position to be fairly successful in the next decade (which again is looking like a yes).

One interesting thing from the AGM is that they are clearly looking at two stands, so may be able to do one, taking us to say 32,000, then see how demand pans out over a few seasons before taking on the next one. In my opinion the first one will be done within the three years Webber has committed to.

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16 minutes ago, ricardo said:

There is a lot of myth attatched to the idea of huge gates back in the day. I would suggest people look at the facts first. Yes, the present limit is a bit on the small side for most games but we should also take into account that in most of the last 20 seasons we have been involved in either a promotion or relegation battle. I often wonder how things would look had we been in a similar long featureless run as our rivals south of the border.

During the 1980's and 1990's and despite much of the time being in the top flight, our average gate fluctuated between 14-18k.  That fact alone suggests to me that we should proceed with caution. I watch a lot of Championship football on Sky TV and there is nothing worse than seeing vast areas of empty seats.

32k-35k seems about right to me but the real question is whether an increase of 5-6 k increases revenue enough to justify the expenditure. 

Many clubs who currently get bigger gates than us got similar or less than us in the 80's and 90's. I remember a Chelsea v Man.City game with a crowd of 11k. We used to get crowds similar to West Ham and would generally be above clubs like Southampton.

Another factor is that the local population has grown fairly rapidly in the last 30years and transport links have improved immensely. One thing that hasn't changed much is that City are still the only glamorous entertainment in the area!

I agree with your last paragraph.

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Perhaps I do look at the past with rose tinted glasses but the population of Norfolk was much lower in the 1970's than it is now. 

Someone mentioned borrowing and that terrifies me. At a previous AGM we were told that if we borrowed all the money to rebuild the City Stand we would have to sell 90% of the seats for 20 years to pay it back. I would think that the money would come from one big player sale. Usually I wouldn't be happy about that but the current regime's recruitment has been so good that we may get away with it

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Aha, so the Socialists have now admitted that the goal is not to be an EPL club, but a yo-yo club.

This is what I suspected all along as these forays into the EPL suit their ownership model which is to self-fund and wipe out any debts and overdrafts that build up from those seasons spent in the Championship. This is what they have been doing in any case since 2011. It is not that they can't be in the EPL for a long period; they don't want to be as that would mean spending as much money as their competitors; which they simply cannot afford as self-funders.

And of course they are not going to sell to someone who does away with the self-funding model as according to the Socialists there is nobody who can be trusted out there.

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4 hours ago, ricardo said:

There is a lot of myth attatched to the idea of huge gates back in the day. I would suggest people look at the facts first. Yes, the present limit is a bit on the small side for most games but we should also take into account that in most of the last 20 seasons we have been involved in either a promotion or relegation battle. I often wonder how things would look had we been in a similar long featureless run as our rivals south of the border.

During the 1980's and 1990's and despite much of the time being in the top flight, our average gate fluctuated between 14-18k.  That fact alone suggests to me that we should proceed with caution. I watch a lot of Championship football on Sky TV and there is nothing worse than seeing vast areas of empty seats.

32k-35k seems about right to me but the real question is whether an increase of 5-6 k increases revenue enough to justify the expenditure. 

I have only ever envisaged  an increase of 5,000 at the most, but there is no doubt in my mind that such an increase would end up being profitable*, just as the extra 4,000 seats in the South Stand have been. Ever since they were paid for any usage of the South Stand above the previous capacity of about 4,000 represents pure profit, and will for however many more decades the stand survives. And that is not taking into account extra money from catering and the club shop. Even down in League One we were getting gates above the old  South Stand capacity, meaning some of those extra seats were being used.

My guess is that the club, if it goes ahead, will aim not to have to fund the entire cost from debt, or at least not from the kind of debt that paid for the South Stand, but save some money and use sponsorship and other means to reduce the debt burden.

*This is on the assumption that English football continues roughly on the path it is, and that Norwich City continues generally to be a yo-yo club between the top two divisions. If there was a drastic increase in live TV coverage I would revise my view, but just as likely, or even more likely are that either the TV bubble deflates a bit (no, I do not see it bursting ) and/or) that the long-threatened Europe super league happens, propelling NCFC up the ladder into the Premier League as a near-permanent member.

 

 

 

Edited by PurpleCanary

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Crowds since the Worthy years of the early 00's prove we need extra capacity.

To compete better in the top flight a club of Norwich City's size need a 30,000+ capacity. Yes more income comes from the TV deals but the extra income from bigger crowds albeit smaller is still very handy and the demand is definately there!

This season I reckon if Carrow Road held 32,000 we'd be getting that every game the same as we are getting 27,000 at present. The Premiership draws people in from all over the place including people who don't particularly like football, that should never be underestimated. The home FA cup game against Portsmouth last season saw many unfamiliar faces in home areas proving that many people who currently don't go regularly would be interested in attending matches.

 

Southampton and Leicester who in the last 30 years mostly get smaller crowds than us when they aren't in the top flight regularly get 30,000+ in the top flight. Cardiff City who out of the top flight are a 16,000 average ATT club, averaged 31,000 last season. Yet some Norwich fans don't think we would! - Trouble is many Norwich Fans particularly those who were following the club in the 1980's have been brainwashed by the "little ole Norwich" urban myth and therefore think the club is smaller than what it actually is!  

Didn't get the poster who used the crowd figure (27,000+ virtual sell out) for the recent Watford home game as a reason why ground expansion isn't needed? No disrespect to Watford but they are one of the most unattractive teams in the top flight who we played on a Friday night at 8pm, a somewhat awkward time to be contending with unreliable public transport, when the game was live on TV. I'd say these facts are firm evidence that Carrow Road should be expanded to 33-35,000 in the next 10 years when finances allow! 

Edited by kingsway

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Not trying to make any particular point for or against here, just adding feelings. I have lived on Tyneside almost continuously since 1969 and regularly stood on the terraces at Sid James and Joker Park. My two sons were born here and despite my best efforts are natural Newcastle supporters and Mackem mockers, although they retain a warmth for their Dad’s club. As with myself (born into a Forces family and waking up to football when a kid in Norfolk), their club chose them, they didn’t choose their club. But they have never caught the match day bug because their formative years were in the days of Keegans’ Entertainers, before the big ground expansions, and even if I could have got tickets I could not possibly afford to take my boys to the game. Retired, I now have the time and money to go two or three times a season, with or without them and friends. To do so I have a club membership (free) so as to buy the tickets. I’ve just been on line and if I felt like it I could buy tickets right now in many parts of the ground for tomorrow’s game – ok it’s lunchtime and on tv, but this is The Champions of England coming to town. Even on the box anyone can see the holes in the crowd at Newcastle these days and a businessman friend who has held four season tickets for many years for corporate entertainment has cancelled them because of Ashley. Nowadays my boys enjoy the match if and when, but in truth can take it or leave it. Newcastle cannot fill the stadium without consistently good performances or vitally important fixtures. Many times their stadium is too big whereas we can near fill our stadium come what may, which suggests our stadium is a bit too small. I’m sure there are youngsters in Norfolk who love football but will never get into the match day habit and modest expansion rather than a potentially soul destroying mega-build could fix that. Ok, I think I am making a point!!!!

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Anybody who feels like nerding out can check this website for attendance stats. Some are pretty shocking- Wolves were down to 4k average in the 80's, Villa had an average of 15k one season in the top division, Chelsea were regularly down at around 12k and even clubs like Newcastle regularly averaged below 20k.http://www.european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm

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8 hours ago, Feedthewolf said:

Who was that mentalist who suggested we could move up to the UEA and kept banging on about 'peppercorn rent'?

Tom Cavendish.

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1 hour ago, PurpleCanary said:

 

*This is on the assumption that English football continues roughly on the path it is, and that Norwich City continues generally to be a yo-yo club between the top two divisions. 

 

 

 

I refer you to Hamlet

"Ay there lies the rub"

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7 minutes ago, ricardo said:

I refer you to Hamlet

"Ay there lies the rub"

In context the whole of my asterisked paragraph is relevant, and needs to be taken as a whole, rather than the snippet you quoted.

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11 hours ago, PurpleCanary said:

In context the whole of my asterisked paragraph is relevant, and needs to be taken as a whole, rather than the snippet you quoted.

However that sentence encompasses the nub of the problem. Without regular top ups from the Premier League the prospect begins to look economically unsound. Last years income of 36.5 million against this years 126 million is where the concern must lie.

 

Edited by ricardo
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10 hours ago, Mr.Carrow said:

One interesting thing from the AGM is that they are clearly looking at two stands, so may be able to do one, taking us to say 32,000, then see how demand pans out over a few seasons before taking on the next one. In my opinion the first one will be done within the three years Webber has committed to.

What I heard from the reported comments was a) buying the land behind the City Stand was a requirement to ensure you could build above it and the club would also seek to adopt Carrow Road, and b) buying the land behind the Barclay Stand would allow the club to close Carrow Road (on match days I assume). So that may provide a clue how deep a new stand / updated City Stand would be. 

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I would agree with the odd poster or two in this topic that in all likelihood an increase in the range of 3 to 5k would be the result of any new ground expansion, bringing it to around the 30-32k mark. Thoughts of  perhaps a 35-40k stadium means an increase of between 8-13k...unrealistic in my opinion and if it even happened could make the the ground look unbalanced and unseemly. So in my view a ground with a capacity of 32k or a bit less would be right and suitable for the club....and look good to.

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An increase of 5-6000 would bring in what £3-£5m per annum? That would not make us more competitive in the EPL. Unless there is a large hike in season ticket prices as well.

For a club with high revenues from a rich owner similar ground expansion might be sustainable, but for us and our modest self funding model it's tinkering around the edges. Bearing in mind the current finances, including the rather disappointing projected profit for next year, ground expansion seems high risk to me. 

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1 hour ago, Capt. Pants said:

An increase of 5-6000 would bring in what £3-£5m per annum? That would not make us more competitive in the EPL. Unless there is a large hike in season ticket prices as well.

For a club with high revenues from a rich owner similar ground expansion might be sustainable, but for us and our modest self funding model it's tinkering around the edges. Bearing in mind the current finances, including the rather disappointing projected profit for next year, ground expansion seems high risk to me. 

I think we would all like to see more capacity but its not the one way bet that many seem to suggest.

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It seems to me that many on this thread are missing the point as to how our club operates nowadays. If a new stand was to be paid for directly from operating revenues, by a bank loan or by selling a player then it would indeed be a risky proposition. However, as we have already seen with the redevelopment of Colney the people running our club at the moment happen to be rather savvy. 

Architects are already working on designs for a new City Stand - their brief is to come up with proposals where as far as possible the the building of the new stand will pay for itself. 

Edited by Thirsty Lizard

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This subject has been talked about loads by Norwich fans for the last 10 years almost every year!

 

The main reason why this has been a popular subject in that timeline is because average League crowds at Carrow Road since the new South stand was built in 2004 have never dropped below 24,000, currently they are 27,000+ and even in the 3rd Division we averaged just under 25,000. All of which indicate the club would of almost certainly at times in this 15 year period had bigger ATT figures. National ATT stats at League clubs in England show that Norwich City have had one of the highest ratio of ATT's to ground capacity in the Country which indicate that Carrow Road has one of the most pressing needs for expansion anywhere.

 

Regardless of whether the "little ole Norwich" blinkered fans still insist we don't need to expand (while we're at it lets reduce the capacity instead!) the above stats are cold facts!

 

With most ambitious clubs seeing that in order to compete, ground expansion is a necessity to not being left behind by other clubs, its obvious Carrow Road needs to get to be expanded when financially viability allows, to as near to 35,000 as possible within the next decade.

 

Clubs like Southampton, Brighton, Leicester, Cardiff all of whom haven't got bigger fanbases than Norwich have bigger grounds and are proof of the "build it and they will come adage" which in the modern Premiership era definitely applies. 

 

Ground expansion is like buying your first house in that if you looked in to the costs you'd never contemplate it but once you've done it you adjust things and you get through it. I remember the outcrys when the new South Stand and it facilities were built in 2004 but that stand has proved a fantastic, necessary investment which has pushed the club forward. Much the same as the River End stand when built in 1980 and the grant funded Barclay end in 1992, there were murmours of discontent from a few. (who remembers fans calling the River End stand the Kevin Reeves Stand cause they assumed he was sold to pay for it?) Ultimately these 3 stands replaced ageing costly to patch up stands with bygone era facilities and no other streams of income other than matchdays. Just a shame that 3 stands at Carrow Road were built when the club averaged around the 15,000 mark in the top flight cause I'm sure in modern times they would have been built bigger. Likewise the Hotel was built in the corner after the 2005 relegation when maybe if Premiership survival had been achieved an infill with a Hotel attached behind could of been constructed and capacity now would be close to 29,000?

 

From what I can make out the current land purchases around the ground are Carrow Road which starts where the Canary store in the corner next to the River end is, ending just past the Hotel and the strip of land between Carrow Road and Koblenz avenue. I assume that cause of the need to purchase the Road behind the City stand in order to pave the way for possible future stand expansion in that area meant that the club had to buy all of the Road which of course goes round behind the Barclay.

Have the club bought the strip of shrubbery that lies between the main road and Carrow Road behind the Barclay end?

 

The City stand has the foundations to add and upper tier but I think the general thinking is that this 1986 completed stand is not state of the art nowadays and it would be better to start from scratch with a bigger modern single tier stand of a similar/ slightly bigger size to the South stand.

 

I've always thought that in order to not cause any temporary reduction in capacity during ground expansion the best way would be to add a second tier onto the South stand. While no doubt an expansive exercise is it possible to build a 4-5000 South stand upper tier with extra corporate and commercial space?   - This modest capacity increase would push capacity up to 31/32,000 which is not an unrealistic figure for Norwich. Then after doing this if near to capacity crowds were achieved over a number of years then a bigger City stand could be built?

While undoubtedly Norwich won't sell out a 30,000+ Carrow Road regularly while out of the top flight, they certainly would average 30,000+ in the Premiership which would make them more competitive, satisfy demand and the possible extra corporate/commercial faciltities would be advantageous!     

Fair play to the current Norwich City hierarchy for putting plans in place to assist with the future POSSIBLE expansion of Carrow Road! 

 

 

 

 

Edited by kingsway

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2 minutes ago, nutty nigel said:

"Little ole Norwich" blinkered fans...

I wonder what the opposite group are called?

The Over Excitable Expansionist?

Or

The Tom Cavendish Disciples?

I'm still waiting for news of the club rebuilding on the Bacon, lettuce and Tomato Triangle at Thorpe.

 

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"The over Excitable Expansionist!"

 

Is that me?!!!

 

I'm certainly not a Tom Cavendish disciple as anyone getting a bus or driving to the UEA would know, adding a 30-40,000 Norwich City FC football to Earlham Park would be a logistical nightmare. Anyone whos done the train or park and ride to Brightons new ground, been to Stokes retail park stadium or jumped on a packed minibus outside Bristol station to get to Ashton gate home of Bristol City would testify, out of Town/City stadiums are dreadful to get to!

 

Carrow Road is an ideal location for our ground cause its walking distance from the City, close to the Railway station and not far from the Southern bypass.

 

Does anyone know if the club has bought that strip of land covered by bushes that lies behind the Barclay end? 

Edited by kingsway

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5 minutes ago, kingsway said:

Does anyone know if the club has bought that strip of land covered by bushes that lies behind the Barclay end? 

They want to, but first they have to get a removal order.......................  there's a dishevelled old bloke who hides in there with a long lens camera trying to get photos of the player's wives and girlfriends ...... (allegedly). 

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Building a new City stand is the obvious route but like I said, I questioned whether a South stand upper tier could be done first could this could be constructed without any reduction of present capacity for games?

 

I know some will say putting an upper tier on the South stand would make the ground lop sided but isn't it already if your worried about things like that and surely we all go to the ground to look at the pitch rather than the stands? 

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If the south stand is chosen the first thing that would need to go is the TV gantries (spl). I can't see how they could be relocated anywhere else, unless they manage to do the whole thing in the close season.

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