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23 minutes ago, TeemuVanBasten said:

That's a great find, several members on here recently claimed that we weren't and that Alan Bowkett and David McNally made this up¬†ūüėČ

There is a difference between a prospect of administration and actually being on the verge of administration. And the difference usually lies in the ease or severity of the solution. Back in 2009 there was the possibility of administration, but the solution was a comparitively painless (not entirely painless but compartively so) rescheduling of the debts, based on the confidence the lenders had in the new board members, including Bowkett, that Smith and Jones had brought in.

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, PurpleCanary said:

There is a difference between a prospect of administration and actually being on the verge of administration. And the difference usually lies in the ease or severity of the solution. Back in 2009 there was the possibility of administration, but the solution was a comparitively painless (not entirely painless but compartively so) rescheduling of the debts, based on the confidence the lenders had in the new board members, including Bowkett, that Smith and Jones had brought in.

Ok so "rescheduling of the debts" sounds pretty minor or easy in principle, but we were at the height of the financial crisis or the "credit crunch" where banks were probably not feeling particularly generous towards those who owed them money, particularly football clubs. 

Southampton were relegated alongside us due to their 10 point penalty for administration, Portsmouth went into administration during our promotion season, Crystal Palace were deducted points the same season for entering administration, Stockport spent the entire season in administration, Darlington went into administration.

Rotherham, Bournemouth, Luton also in administration during our relegation season. The season after promotion Plymouth, whilst Sheffield Wednesday very narrowly avoided. Those three years were chaotic. 

I don't think its rocket science to work out that by "close to administration" what they actually mean is that if we were required to continue debt repayments we'd have insufficient cashflow to service our debt whilst maintaining a football squad capable of challenging in League One, and that is why negotiating a payment holiday was essential. 

You make it sound like a trivial or minor thing, when I suspect that walking into a meeting with money lenders in 2009 and successfully negotiating a payment holiday was incredibly difficult and depended entirely on the banks having faith in Alan Bowkett and his track record of turning around struggling businesses.

Roger Munby and Neil Doncaster would probably not have managed to pull that off. That's why some of us say that Alan Bowkett saved this club, because he forced the owners hands in dismissing those two and then took the bull by the horns.

You could get technical if you like, get your calculator out and say that if we'd kept Bryan Gunn, and not signed Fraser Forster and Grant Holt, sold Hoolahan and not appointed Paul Lambert, etc, we could have cut our cloth and not required a payment holiday to avoid administration that season, but then we'd have been stuck in League One and possibly for a very long time. 

We have a lot to be thankful to Alan Bowkett for. 

Edited by TeemuVanBasten
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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, TeemuVanBasten said:

Ok so "rescheduling of the debts" sounds pretty minor or easy in principle, but we were at the height of the financial crisis or the "credit crunch" where banks were probably not feeling particularly generous towards those who owed them money, particularly football clubs. 

Southampton were relegated alongside us due to their 10 point penalty for administration, Portsmouth went into administration during our promotion season, Crystal Palace were deducted points the same season for entering administration, Stockport spent the entire season in administration, Darlington went into administration.

Rotherham, Bournemouth, Luton also in administration during our relegation season. The season after promotion Plymouth, whilst Sheffield Wednesday very narrowly avoided. Those three years were chaotic. 

I don't think its rocket science to work out that by "close to administration" what they actually mean is that if we were required to continue debt repayments we'd have insufficient cashflow to service our debt whilst maintaining a football squad capable of challenging in League One, and that is why negotiating a payment holiday was essential. 

You make it sound like a trivial or minor thing, when I suspect that walking into a meeting with money lenders in 2009 and successfully negotiating a payment holiday was incredibly difficult and depended entirely on the banks having faith in Alan Bowkett.

Roger Munby and Neil Doncaster would probably not have managed to pull that off. That's why some of us say that Alan Bowkett saved this club, because he forced the boards hand in dismissing those two and then took the bull by the horns.

You could get technical if you like, get your calculator out and say that if we'd kept Bryan Gunn, and not signed Fraser Forster and Grant Holt, and not appointed Paul Lambert, etc, we could have cut our cloth and not required a payment holiday, but then we'd have been stuck in League One. 

We have a lot to be thankful to Alan Bowkett for. 

I have made these points before but while it is true that lenders to football clubs really wanted to get out of that business they were usually reluctant to pull the plug, unless the situation was dire. And you actually make my argument for me by quoting several clubs that did fall into administration around that time while we did not. Our position was not so dire. Hence the deal that was done.

I agree entirely about the debt (!) we owe Bowkett. I don't know whether that letter forced Smith and Jones' hand, but I do believe, based on what I know from that time, that S&J had already decided to shake up the boardroom, irrespective of what the lenders might have demanded then or later on.

That Bowkett came in as chairman in June or July of 2009 after, as he later said, months of S&J trying to persuade him, strongly suggests the move came before the lenders decided to demand it. After all, the rescheduling deal was not finalised until late November 2010.

Edited by PurpleCanary

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, PurpleCanary said:

I have made these points before but while it is true that lenders to football clubs really wanted to get out of that business they were usually relcutant to pull the plug, unless the situation was dire. And you actually make my argument for me by quoting several clubs that did fall into administration around that time while we did not. Our position was not so dire. Hence the deal that was done.

I agree entirely about the debt (!) we owe Bowkett. I don't know whther that letter forced Smith and Jones' hand, but I do believe, based on what I know from that time, that S&J had already decided to shake up the boardroom, irrespective of what the lenders might have demanded then or later on. That Bowkett came in as chairmanjoined the bor.

When the club says "close to administration", and you look at the accounts and say "we weren't really that close to the edge" (paraphrasing), are you taking into consideration the difference in revenue that we'd see in an exciting and successful promotion chasing season and what the reality would have been if we'd struggled and found ourselves in 12th? 

Because you'd be basing your conclusion in hindsight, based on published accounts, and at the time they'd be basing their worries on forecast revenue at the time, which at worst case you'd expect to be significantly lower than actually achieved that season. A promotion season means more casual fans, more shirt sales, more TV revenue, more prize money (however negligible in that league), more on club cabbage, keeping sponsors on side, more people taking up season ticket renewals for following season which falls into that financial year.

What would it look like if we'd only had 14000 people renew season tickets for the following season? If shirt sales fell accordingly? If we'd seen Bob's Pie Shop Swaffham on the side of the stands instead of Boswell's? 

I'd always assumed that their claims we were "close to administration" was based on our ability to service our debt and meet all overheads against conservative financial projections. Gates would have been significantly lower in a poor season, and season ticket renewals would have taken a huge hit (remember that first deadline is just over halfway through the season), sponsors don't want to pay the same money to be seen by 17,000 if they were previously being seen by 25,000, etc. 

You are viewing the accounts as they stood after a successful season which was in part only possible due to us restructuring the debt. You could have been looking at accounts after a very different season.

Edited by TeemuVanBasten
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8 minutes ago, TeemuVanBasten said:

When the club says "close to administration", and you look at the accounts and say "we weren't really that close to the edge" (paraphrasing), are you taking into consideration the difference in revenue that we'd see in an exciting and successful promotion chasing season and what the reality would have been if we'd struggled and found ourselves in 12th? 

Because you'd be basing your conclusion in hindsight, based on published accounts, and at the time they'd be basing their worries on forecast revenue at the time, which at worst case you'd expect to be significantly lower than actually achieved that season. A promotion season means more casual fans, more shirt sales, more TV revenue, more prize money (however negligible in that league), more on club cabbage, keeping sponsors on side, more people taking up season ticket renewals for following season which falls into that financial year.

What would it look like if we'd only had 14000 people renew season tickets for the following season? If shirt sales fell accordingly? If we'd seen Bob's Pie Shop Swaffham on the side of the stands instead of Boswell's? 

I'd always assumed that their claims we were "close to administration" was based on our ability to service our debt and meet all overheads against conservative financial projections. Gates would have been significantly lower in a poor season, and season ticket renewals would have taken a huge hit (remember that first deadline is just over halfway through the season).

Not what I have been saying.

 

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Posted (edited)

So Bowkett took this financial nous with him. Something that was sadly lacking on the board at that time even though he was on the board at that time.

Was that nous all he took? (I looked it up and it means financial common sense). Was there no need for Delia's hambag or if things turned nasty her rolling pin?

So how was it Martin Armstrong and Gordon Bennett didn't have any of this nous so had to take Watling's wallet?

Why didn't all those other clubs take a bit of financial common sense to stave off administration?

Edited by nutty nigel

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Things were not at all good financially, structurally or operationally at that time. Significant restructuring took place to avert actual administration. 

It is fair of Teemu to point out that such action was catalysed quite dramatically from - in effect - external sources. The inference quite clearly being that the internal plenipotentiaries were not capable, trusted or willing to sufficiently address the issues at hand. 

Restructuring debts, gaining or re-establishing the trust of banks, re-positioning the Company as an entity that had a renewed, clear plan is both art and science. It is a crucial role and process. 

It typically does need to see visible structural change, both in operational, financial and personnel terms. 

Teemu is right to point out - as the Associate Directors clearly stated - that the direction of travel was downwards. It is entirely reasonable to continue to plot that graph downwards and project administration without the changes that all stakeholders agreed to. 

As for the issue of money, however much you have, if you keep losing more, it depends on a financial institution believing in your proposals and plans to recover. Unless you throw (previously undisclosed) money at it. Perhaps à la Martin Armstrong’s intervention previously. Money I’m not at all sure any serious stakeholder really had at the time in question. 

Parma 

nb: There is not especially two sides here. Much of that which is stated is not mutually exclusive.

 

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Of course the real hypothesis is had Bowkett said no what would have happened? I don’t think we’d have the club we do today!

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Posted (edited)

It's not mutually exclusive. I agree 

But I'm not hearing much about 1996 or 1957.

What I am hearing is that in 2009 the club found the wherewithall within to restructure. 

In 1996 that wasn't the case. This is what Barry Lockwood had to say -  "One of the biggest problems in sorting out the finances was that there were so many people running around professing to represent Norwich City that our name was dragged around every lending institution in London."

"One local company had four different approaches. All said they were acting for Norwich City, but all were acting in their own interests and it made our lives doubly difficult.

Another big figure from that time, Gordon Bennett, said - "The bank was going potty. We'd sold Ashley Ward and John Newsome for 2.5m and that had hardly brought us a months grace."

"Probably the only reason the club is still in existence is the fact that Mr Watling bought those shares and put up seven-figure guarantees at the bank."

I'd say that was a close thing.

No doubt others will say differently.

Edited by nutty nigel

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Nutella,¬†Teemu‚Äôs Associate Director‚Äôs letter clearly implies¬†that they did not feel that they were ‚Äėinside‚Äô.

Nor did they feel - nor did the downward slide imply - that there were sufficient capabilities within the Company to address that slide. 

Bowkett felt external, his skills were essential (without access to previously undisclosed monies that would have ‚Äėbought out‚Äô the situation and made any restructuring plan unnecessary), he was brought in, his vision was believed by the lenders and the Lambert miracle further enshrined the turnaround.¬†

I would have to agree with Teemu that there was no evidence that the addressing of such issues would or could have been achieved by the plenipotentiary encumbents of the time.

Change is often rejected by those who need it most.

Parma

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, nutty nigel said:

It's not mutually exclusive. I agree 

But I'm not hearing much about 1996 or 1957.

What I am hearing is that in 2009 the club found the wherewithall within to restructure. 

In 1996 that wasn't the case. This is what Barry Lockwood had to say -  "One of the biggest problems in sorting out the finances was that there were so many people running around professing to represent Norwich City that our name was dragged around every lending institution in London."

"One local company had four different approaches. All said they were acting for Norwich City, but all were acting in their own interests and it made our lives doubly difficult.

Another big figure from that time, Gordon Bennett, said - "The bank was going potty. We'd sold Ashley Ward and John Newsome for 2.5m and that had hardly brought us a months grace."

"Probably the only reason the club is still in existence is the fact that Mr Watling bought those shares and put up seven-figure guarantees at the bank."

I'd say that was a close thing.

No doubt others will say differently.

The point here Nutty, no one is arguing, all you posted regarding 57 & 96 we’d all happily agree with every point.

Some dispute the seriousness of 2009 and that’s the debate, those at board level chiefly Bowkett stated the serious nature. Without Bowkett coming in, do you think the current owners would still be in charge? Before we get into any long winded **** for tat ****e I genuinely would like to know what you think? 

Edited by Indy

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Indy said:

The point here Nutty, no one is arguing, all you posted regarding 57 & 96 we’d all happily agree with every point.

Some dispute the seriousness of 2009 and that’s the debate, those at board level chiefly Bowkett stated the serious nature. Without Bowkett coming in, do you think the current owners would still be in charge? Before we get into any long winded **** for tat ****e I genuinely would like to know what you think? 

What I genuinely think is what I genuinely post.

As for your question. It is what it is.

All I ever hear is the current owners wouldn't be here if this happened or if the other hadn't happened. If McNally hadn't happened. If Bowkett hadn't happened. If Webber hadn't happened, if Maddison hadn't happened.

They must be the only club owners in history anywhere in the world who are judged on if something hadn't happened or if something else had happened. Ultimately they should be judged what actually has happened during their stewardship.

 

 

Edited by nutty nigel
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Parma Ham's gone mouldy said:

Nutella,¬†Teemu‚Äôs Associate Director‚Äôs letter clearly implies¬†that they did not feel that they were ‚Äėinside‚Äô.

Nor did they feel - nor did the downward slide imply - that there were sufficient capabilities within the Company to address that slide. 

Bowkett felt external, his skills were essential (without access to previously undisclosed monies that would have ‚Äėbought out‚Äô the situation and made any restructuring plan unnecessary), he was brought in, his vision was believed by the lenders and the Lambert miracle further enshrined the turnaround.¬†

I would have to agree with Teemu that there was no evidence that the addressing of such issues would or could have been achieved by the plenipotentiary encumbents of the time.

Change is often rejected by those who need it most.

Parma

Maybe if I post the entire webchat with Alan Bowkett things may look a bit clearer. I think it's impossible to say what would have happened if something else happened and what would have happened if something else hadn't happened. However it does seem to me that we had the wherewithall inside the club to do what we did and that wasn't the case in 1996.

 

Sports Desk Pete: Welcome to the live webchat with Norwich City chairman Alan Bowkett. We have some questions already sent in for Mr Bowkett to answer but you can put your own question to the Norwich City chairman in the text box at the bottom of this screen. Tuesday October 27, 2009 12:08 Sports Desk Pete

12:20  Sports Desk Pete: Apologies for the delay, almost ready.  

Tuesday October 27, 2009 12:20 Sports Desk Pete

12:26  Sports Desk Pete: Mr Bowkett, as part owners of the hotel how much income do the club get from the hotel? As income I mean from people using the hotel and nothing else like being tax deductible etc.

Mr Brian Burrell. A season ticket holder for far too long 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 12:26 Sports Desk Pete

12:29  Alan Bowkett: Afternoon  Mr Burrell - we own 30% of the hotel business and we have sub contracted part of the business to a third party.   I think in the current environment the hotel is doing quite well and any income stream the hotel receives we will benefit from.   We also have a good trading relationship with the hotel which means that when we have conferences we sell hotel beds and equally   the hotel can sell our conference facilities as well. 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 12:29 Alan Bowkett

12:29  Sports Desk Pete: Are you personally going to contribute any finance/investment to NCFC?

Mello Yello 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 12:29 Sports Desk Pete

12:30  Alan Bowkett: I am sorry Mello that I am not going to be anyone's fairy godmother but if there is one out there I am certainly going to find him or her.   In the meantime, we are going to manage this business professionally, which has meant that we have had to take some very difficult decisions and I am sure over the coming years we will have to take a few more. 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 12:30 Alan Bowkett

12:31  Sports Desk Pete: What is your vision for NCFC over the next 5-10 years. And what benchmarks have you established to measure progress? Good short term progress so far. Well done, Chairman.

BlyBlyBabes an exceedingly minor shareholder 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 12:31 Sports Desk Pete

12:38  Alan Bowkett: We have immediate goals and then a medium-term plan which is in the embryonic stage at present.   Our immediate goals are to gain promotion and remain solvent with a view of achieving promotion this year.   David McNally has put forward a business model that means that we can be self-funding in the Championship and in  League One in the short term.   However, and I make these comments very markedly, we should not underestimate the financial position the Club is in and the Board is working extremely hard to ensure that all available monies are targeted towards football and not other commercial interests around the Club.   Once we are in the Championship we are confident that we can conslidate our position both financially and in football performance within our own means.   However, if we are to make a sustained bid for a position in the Premiership we clearly will need an injection of new funds.   This may mean new ownership - something I know the current owners are fully aligned to.   However, this is in the medium term and I must emphasise our key objective at the moment is to return to the Championship.   

Tuesday October 27, 2009 12:38 Alan Bowkett

12:39  Sports Desk Pete: With the encouraging start to Paul Lambert's reign as our boss, what are the board doing to back him fully with the finance required to convert his good start into a concerted attempt for automatic promotion? Will any future transfer budget depend on current players being sold in January, or will he be backed now to bring in the players he wants from Swindon and Exeter?

Let's hope as a club we all now want the same.

Paul 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 12:39 Sports Desk Pete

12:44  [Comment From GMFGMF: ]

In light of your reply to BlyBlyBabes, is Administration on the horizon? 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 12:44 GMF

12:44  Alan Bowkett: I agree Paul Lambert has had an encouraging start to the current season and as I said in a previous response all our efforts are committed to providing funds for Paul to ensure we achieve promotion this year.   We have no plans to sell any players in January.     However, if Paul and his staff do decide to move any players on, any funds generated will be reinvested in the Club.   I do need to make the point that Paul, David and I will only make sensible bids for players and we will not be carried away by "deal fever".   I feel too often in the past that prospective vendors have seen Norwich knocking on the door and have inflated prices accordingly.   We will pay a fair price and nothing more.   Moreover, one of the attractions of asking Paul to join our Club was his experience in achieving value for money in acquiring players. 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 12:44 Alan Bowkett

12:49  Alan Bowkett: In reply to GMF - Clearly, apart from 4 or 5 clubs in the whole Football League, finance remains the critical challenge.   Fortunately, we have the support of our long-term lenders and we are working with them to ensure administration is as far away from Norwich as we can possibly make it.   We have meritorious business plans that are self-funding and can take this Club forward.   Naturally, as I have said before, in the medium-term we need to look at all aspects of funding which could include new equity injection, change of ownership and a public offering of new shares or bonds.   None of these can be ruled out. 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 12:49 Alan Bowkett

12:49  [Comment From TimTim: ]

Alan, you mentioned that you'll be searching high and low for investment as and when it is appropriate for the football club - do you believe NCFC has burnt its bridges with Peter Cullum as a potential investor/new owner? 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 12:49 Tim

12:51  Alan Bowkett: In answer to Tim's question - I am willing to take phone calls from any bona-fide new investor or potential new owner, including Peter, and, apart from excluding the innumerable lap-dancing club owners that would like to own a bauble of a football club this week, I am willing to arrange meetings as well. 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 12:51 Alan Bowkett

12:52  Sports Desk Pete: From Don Coop: I think all will agree its great to see so many NCFC young prospects playing in [...]the first team. Are we, giving our finanacial situation, going to have to rely on them more from now on in, and do you think this is a good thing or not? 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 12:52 Sports Desk Pete

12:55  Alan Bowkett: Afternoon Don - We are all delighted to see the success of so many Academy graduates and long may it continue.   However, I know Paul is concerned because of a very long season and we are making substantial physical demands on young men.   We have to balance their development, our needs  and the availability of new external talent coming into the Club.   Fortunately, in Paul and his team, we have the people who can do this but  I would like to go on record and say how delighted I am with the performance of our graduates.   As for relying on them I support Paul's motto - I"f you are good enough, you're old enough" and our Academy graduates are in the team because of their ability, nothing else. 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 12:55 Alan Bowkett

12:55  [Comment From B-ruB-ru: ]

Much was made about the amount of compensation dut to Colchester when Paul Lambert and his management team arrived. At what stage of negotiations are the two clubs at? and will it be likely to go to be sorted out soon? 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 12:55 B-ru

12:59  Alan Bowkett: In reply toB-ru - We are still in negotiations with Colchester as regards compensation and in fact I had a meeting with the Chairman of Colchester last week.   Sadly, we are still substantially apart but I am hopeful an amicable resolution will be made eventually.   

Tuesday October 27, 2009 12:59 Alan Bowkett

1:00  Sports Desk Pete: From Richard: What difference do you think you can make to our club? 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 1:00 Sports Desk Pete

1:06  Alan Bowkett: In reply to Richard - My personal skills set is transforming diffiicult companies and these are the talents I am attempting to bring to NCFC.   In Paul and David we have outstanding leaders in their field and my task is to bring the best out of them and ensure that we have the financial resources to support them.     I feel in the past that we may not have been as focussed on football as we should have been and, moreover, I think we may have been viewed as a soft touch by other clubs and agents.   While remaining fair and balanced we will be quite ruthless in our pursuit for success for Norwich.. We have made and will continue to make the tough decisions that need to be made in the best interests of the football club.   I am confident now that we have a Board that can do that. 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 1:06 Alan Bowkett

1:07  Sports Desk Pete: You publically challenged how Smith & Jones were running the club back in May. Apart from their obvious love of the club, what have you seen to change your opinion?

Can u sit down please 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 1:07 Sports Desk Pete

1:13  Alan Bowkett: Can u sit down please - I must correct you, I publicly challenged how Neil Doncaster was running the Club.   As for Delia and the two Michaels, I think their outstanding contribution has been the appointment of David McNally   as Chief Executive - a consummate businessman who has a decade of football experience at the highest level.   Paul, David and I are now running the Football Club with the complete support of the substantial shareholders.   When we have had to take very difficult decisions, all our substantial shareholders have been demanding in their questioning of our proposals, as I would wish any non-executive director to be and then they have been some of the most supportive non-executive directors I have ever worked with and I can assure you I have worked with a lot.   Let's not forget, I did not seek this job and it was Delia and Michael that realised some fundamental changes had to occur and they spent considerable time persuading me to undertake the task. 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 1:13 Alan Bowkett

1:13  [Comment From PaulPaul: ]

Good afternoon, Alan. You've now been in the job few months, is it what you expected it would be? Have there been any surprises? 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 1:13 Paul

1:16  Alan Bowkett: Afternoon Paul - I think the main surprise is that I am not enjoying my football as I used to.   Previously I used to be able to sit in the stands with my son, have a good moan and groan, a drink afterwards and the go home and forget about it all.   Now, if things don't go as we planned, I feel it is my fault and I pester my dogs until I can work out what we need to do next.   Fortunately, as I live on a farm, I can walk forever with our three dogs and not have the neighbours complain about them barking as I hear may be the situation in Suffolk. 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 1:16 Alan Bowkett

1:16  Sports Desk Pete: Is Keith Harris still employed by the club? If so, any news? Did his work ever yield any interested parties?

Lewis 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 1:16 Sports Desk Pete

1:19  Alan Bowkett: Afternoon Lewis - Keith is still giving advice to the Club and in fact I met him 3 or 4 weeks ago.   He has a remit to find new investment and/or possible new owners but to date I am sad to report this has been fruitless.     All the key financial advisors in the City of London who have football experience, and that includes Rothschilds and Deloittes, as well as Seymour Pearce, are aware that we are seeking to restructure the balance sheet. 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 1:19 Alan Bowkett

1:19  Sports Desk Pete: What are your thoughts on the prospect of our FA Cup first round tie away to Paulton Rovers next weekend?

Darrell Allen 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 1:19 Sports Desk Pete

1:23  Alan Bowkett: Hello Darrell - I am delighted to announce that our game against Paulton Rovers in the FA Cup first round will be held at Paulton's home ground, Winterfield Road, Paulton near Bristol at 12.45 pm on Saturday, 7 November.   This will be a live game on ITV which clearly will be a huge financial bonus for both clubs.   Over and above all that, as a great believer in the FA Cup, I think this represents what cup ties are all about.   I know Paul and his team will take this game very seriously, as they do every game.   I wish Paulton Rovers the best of luck, but not on 7 November! 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 1:23 Alan Bowkett

1:24  [Comment From don from hethersettdon from hethersett: ]

Hi Alan - If you were granted 3 wishes what would they be - 2 wishes for NCFC and I for yourself? 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 1:24 don from hethersett

1:26  Alan Bowkett: Hello Don - Petr Cech, Fernando Torres and for myself, automatic promotion this year! 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 1:26 Alan Bowkett

1:27  Sports Desk Pete: Assuming Paul Lambert does well, how does the chairman envisage the club keeping him here if other clubs are interested in him?

Norfolkchance1 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 1:27 Sports Desk Pete

1:29  Alan Bowkett: Paul Lambert will do well and I am convinced he will be a manager in the Premiership.   It is my job to ensure that it is with Norwich City.   We must ensure that we do no lose a second Martin O'Neill.   I know Paul is delighted with the reception he has received in Norfolk, but above all the support from the fans, both home and away.   Long may that continue. 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 1:29 Alan Bowkett

1:35  Alan Bowkett: In closing, thank you everyone for all your questions.   I am sorry that I have not been able to answer them   all but Ihave tried to pick them out according to theme.   We can arrange another session later in the season.   In addition, myself and other directors will be taking part in webchats on Canaries.co.uk as part of our new policy of consulting with our supporters.   I am looking forward to Saturday's game.   Thank you for all your support and let's remember, despite all our different views, the one thing that is universal to us all is that we love Norwich City. 

Tuesday October 27, 2009 1:35 Alan Bowkett

1:36 

 

Edited by nutty nigel

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A great read from both NN and TvB.

The interesting points 10 plus years on are :

1. This was the precursor to 3 years of amazing success and the rebuilding of the football club over the last 11 years.

2. The way the relationships between Bowkett, Lambert and McNally turned out.

3. That whilst the role of Club Chairman appeared to be important then, it doesn't come across in that way now. 

If we had a beauty contest between 1957, 1996 and 2009 what comes out on top?

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, essex canary said:

A great read from both NN and TvB.

The interesting points 10 plus years on are :

1. This was the precursor to 3 years of amazing success and the rebuilding of the football club over the last 11 years.

2. The way the relationships between Bowkett, Lambert and McNally turned out.

3. That whilst the role of Club Chairman appeared to be important then, it doesn't come across in that way now. 

If we had a beauty contest between 1957, 1996 and 2009 what comes out on top?

 

 

 

Bella Emberg?.......

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Posted (edited)

 Nutella, Bowkett is a professional. 

There is a clear disconnect between statements when he was ‚Äėoutside‚Äô and then when he was ‚Äėinside‚Äô.

It is quite clear that once ‚Äėinside‚Äô he enacted¬†significant restructuring and his views reflected ‚Äėthe new normal‚Äô.

The fact is that he was (or considered himself)¬†‚Äėoutside the tent pissing in‚Äô, then later¬†‚Äėinside the tent pissing out‚Äô. Once¬†things change, things change.

This simply does not disprove the original assertion that Administration was a real and present danger, averted by significant restructuring catalysed by external pressure that Bowkett was a key part of.

Bowkett was a recognised figure and a prominent Associate Director for a period. There was plenty of time to attract, recognise and embrace his skills. That he was forced into writing a quite dramatic, direct and critical formal letter implies strongly that his views and skills were not being warmly embraced by key stakeholders at that time.

It is only fair to state - given his key role subsequently - that that was a mistake and any loyalty was misplaced in other individuals. That it took dramatic intervention to catalyse change - by external sources - is not unusual. 

Parma

Edited by Parma Ham's gone mouldy

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Unusual how Mr Bowkett just resigned and departed the club....after only a month after being re-elected?.....

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20 hours ago, PurpleCanary said:

Not what I have been saying.

 

My internet up the spout at the moment. More might follow if I ever get¬†properly connected again...ūüėė

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56 minutes ago, Mello Yello said:

Unusual how Mr Bowkett just resigned and departed the club....after only a month after being re-elected?.....

The only period in NCFC history under the current regime in which the role of Chairman has appeared to be in any sense important is during Bowkett's tenure. 

Perhaps that tells us something about different philosophies.

The Annual Report informs us that ' The Board delegates responsibility for operational risk to the Executive Committee.' 

A Management textbook will tell us though that responsibility can't be delegated.

The change from McNally to Webber wasn't exactly seamless which is why doubtless we are all a little anxious about post Webber

 

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Posted (edited)

I think just concentrating on one part of a series of events clouds the whole picture.

As I remember it ...

We were relegated on the Saturday. Maybe the Sunday?

Bowkett and Bertram's letter hit the press on the Monday

Doncaster and Munby resigned a week later.

There was immediately a joint statement from Delia and the two Michaels saying there would be further changes to the board.

A month later David McNally was appointed as chief executive.

10 days later Bowkett and Philips were announced completing their radical restructuring of the boardroom.

Now all those events were connected. Relegation was the catalyst for that. Whether Doncaster and Munby went as a result of the letter or as a result of the relegation is as far as I know unknown.

What is known is that at some point between relegation and the beginning of July Bowkett changed his mind about wanting the job. The timings suggest that the appointment of McNally was the catalyst for that. Bowkett certainly saw that as an "outstanding contribution when asked in the October.

The comments Bowkett made in that October interview were interesting because they were prior to the restructuring of the debts.

I think the restructuring of the debts was announced three months after that interview.

Events happen and are connected. I guess we can isolate any one of these and claim it to have staved off administration. But for me they all happened from within. How close to the edge were we? Certainly not close enough to lose control of the situation as happened in 1996.

I'm a bit of a geek for following boardroom events. I think the seed was sown at my first AGM which was actually an EGM at St Andrew's Hall in 1987. (That was a colourful night for sureūüôÉ)

But I find it fascinating to watch how our club continually has to adapt to the various changes that are not in it's control. So far the present owners have managed to steer us through. Whether that be relegations or itv digital collapse or the growing disparity between the divisions. Then just as we are back on track again Covid hits. I wonder if we'll come out the other side of this basically unscathed while other clubs don't. Or will we finally be beaten. Would octogenarian owners be up for yet another restructure if we are? 

It's never dull...

 

 

Edited by nutty nigel

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Posted (edited)
On 12/08/2020 at 16:13, nutty nigel said:

But I'm not hearing much about 1996 or 1957.

Nobody is denying that we were in a terrible situation in 1996 or 1957 though.

Or indeed, that we sailed much closer to the wind then than we did in 2009.

Whereas there are several people who seem to be, for some reason I can't explain, wanting to rewrite history and deny that we were in a bad position in 2009. One very recently claiming that this was massively exaggerated by McNally and Bowkett to make themselves look good. The club doesn't seem to be in denial about this, as they include it on the club history on the official website.

I'm not sure whether they (and I'll now include you in the 'they') are so keen to airbrush this period because they believe it is damaging to Delia's legacy, or just because it gives us less right to laugh at Ipswich right now, I suspect the former. 

The argument being made is that we were on a dangerous trajectory which would relatively quickly have ended up in the same place as those other two occasions. Of course, another option would have been for Delia to go back to Peter Cullum and accept his offer of £0 for her shares. 

I think Alan Bowkett is deserving of the praise that I'm giving him. He had an excellent reputation in the city as somebody who could turnaround distressed businesses prior to him becoming our chairman, and fortunately for all of us he left being able to add Norwich City Football Club to his CV as one of his success stories. There have been one or two times he has failed in a turnaround. 

Edited by TeemuVanBasten
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Posted (edited)
On 13/08/2020 at 12:34, nutty nigel said:

Now all those events were connected. Relegation was the catalyst for that. Whether Doncaster and Munby went as a result of the letter or as a result of the relegation is as far as I know unknown.

Whether Bowkett landed the job as chairman as a result of his activities as the leader of the group of Associate Directors who collectively owned 5% of the club and were exasperated at what they saw from the board so became activist investors in our relegation season is the real question, I'd guess "yes". 

Edited by TeemuVanBasten

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I first dipped into the debate about the financial state of the Club back in 2009 on another thread because the suggestion there was that it was less serious than 1996.

To be honest, that comparison was irrelevant. Why? Because the 2009 accounts clearly stated that we were in breach of our banking covenants and then reliant on a non legally binding letter from our lenders for support over the next twelve months.

To be absolutely clear, it‚Äôs illegal for directors to continue to allow a company to trade¬†when it‚Äôs unable to pay its debts as and when they fall due - that‚Äôs exactly why the auditors gave us a serious ‚Äėred flag warning‚Äô and a qualified statement on¬†our ability to continue trading as a going concern.

It was the equivalent of a corporate being in an intensive care unit - the doctors, our lenders, could have pulled the plug at any time.

Corporate finance was a completely different World back in 2008-10 and, to be so blasé about bankers not plugging the plug underestimates how serious our situation was at the time.

To be clear, the bankers had to take a commercial view - one where they could have changed their minds at any time and one that ultimately resulted in an extended refinance period, undoubtedly at significant cost. It worked out well, not least because of successive promotions. 

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29 minutes ago, TeemuVanBasten said:

Nobody is denying that we were in a terrible situation in 1996 or 1957 though.

Or indeed, that we sailed much closer to the wind then than we did in 2009.

Whereas there are several people who seem to be, for some reason I can't explain, wanting to rewrite history and deny that we were in a bad position in 2009. One very recently claiming that this was massively exaggerated by McNally and Bowkett to make themselves look good. The club doesn't seem to be in denial about this, as they include it on the club history on the official website.

I'm not sure whether they (and I'll now include you in the 'they') are so keen to airbrush this period because they believe it is damaging to Delia's legacy, or just because it gives us less right to laugh at Ipswich right now, I suspect the former. 

The argument being made is that we were on a dangerous trajectory which would elatively quickly have ended up in the same place as those other two occasions. Of course, another option would have been for Delia to go back to Peter Cullum and accept his offer of £0 for her shares. 

I think Alan Bowkett is deserving of the praise that I'm giving him. He had an excellent reputation in the city as somebody who could turnaround distressed businesses prior to him becoming our chairman, and fortunately for all of us he left being able to add Norwich City Football Club to his CV as one of his success stories. There have been one or two times he has failed in a turnaround. 

You can include me in any 'they' you like Teemu. The reason why this whole thing started was because on a thread I posted that 1996 was the "nearest I'd known us to be to administration". Some 'theys' (I won't include you, I don't think you are one) took exception and made claims about 2009. I have never waived my opinion, and still don't, that the closest I have ever known us be to administration is 1996.

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17 minutes ago, nutty nigel said:

You can include me in any 'they' you like Teemu. The reason why this whole thing started was because on a thread I posted that 1996 was the "nearest I'd known us to be to administration". Some 'theys' (I won't include you, I don't think you are one) took exception and made claims about 2009. I have never waived my opinion, and still don't, that the closest I have ever known us be to administration is 1996.

So you arguing that we were closer to administration in 1996 than in 2009 on this thread, where nobody has claimed otherwise, because on some other thread somebody did claim otherwise.

That makes perfect sense¬†ūüėź

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On 13/08/2020 at 10:40, Mello Yello said:

Unusual how Mr Bowkett just resigned and departed the club....after only a month after being re-elected?.....

He has been a turnaround specialist for this entire career. He left the club debt free and in the Premier League. His job was done.

Or, perhaps he disagreed with the huge spending the club had planned in the January window and felt that it risked undoing some of his hard work. He did step down in December! 

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47 minutes ago, GMF said:

I first dipped into the debate about the financial state of the Club back in 2009 on another thread because the suggestion there was that it was less serious than 1996.

To be honest, that comparison was irrelevant. Why? Because the 2009 accounts clearly stated that we were in breach of our banking covenants and then reliant on a non legally binding letter from our lenders for support over the next twelve months.

To be absolutely clear, it‚Äôs illegal for directors to continue to allow a company to trade¬†when it‚Äôs unable to pay its debts as and when they fall due - that‚Äôs exactly why the auditors gave us a serious ‚Äėred flag warning‚Äô and a qualified statement on¬†our ability to continue trading as a going concern.

It was the equivalent of a corporate being in an intensive care unit - the doctors, our lenders, could have pulled the plug at any time.

Corporate finance was a completely different World back in 2008-10 and, to be so blasé about bankers not plugging the plug underestimates how serious our situation was at the time.

To be clear, the bankers had to take a commercial view - one where they could have changed their minds at any time and one that ultimately resulted in an extended refinance period, undoubtedly at significant cost. It worked out well, not least because of successive promotions. 

No doubt you know far more than me about this GMF.

I still dont think 2009 was as close as 1996. We may have been even closer in 2007 when the parachute payments ran out but we were kept afloat by loans from D&M. Michael Foulger and the Turners. 

So we now have D&M, Michael Foulger, the Turners and Alan Bowkett as saviours.

Last but not least, unless I'm wrong the 'securitisation' from AXA was based on future season ticket sales, so take a bow The Fans and Michael Foulger again.

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17 minutes ago, TeemuVanBasten said:

So you arguing that we were closer to administration in 1996 than in 2009 on this thread, where nobody has claimed otherwise, because on some other thread somebody did claim otherwise.

That makes perfect sense¬†ūüėź

It only makes sense when you consider why GMF posted on this thread¬†ūü§®

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7 minutes ago, nutty nigel said:

It only makes sense when you consider why GMF posted on this thread¬†ūü§®

I have no idea who GMF even is, so I guess I'll just have to remain confused. 

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