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Update Carrow Road

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This has always been the tricky question. Do we spend money on the ground or the team. Or both?

Clearly we had about 50000 last night for the (magnificent) celebrations. OK it was a one off, but it was also on a weekday evening and the numbers were not swelled by away fans.

If Carrow Road was expanded, and lets just be hypothetical here for a minute, there are in the Premier League lots of teams with incredible support. Even if we went down again, God forbid, the first division also has teams with large following.

Lets look at this season and imagine how many away fans we could have accomodated if the space was available. West Ham filled the same stand as us at Palace with 8000, OK it is local to them but they, Ipswich, West Brom, Sunderland and Palace would all have brought many more fans if allowed.

In the Premier League Arsenal, Man U, Spurs, Liverpool, I could go on but there are so many teams with huge following. 3,4,5 8000 would be normal if space allowed.

All the away fans also pay full whack, £27-30 per ticket. So if we get an extra 3000 to 5000 because the ground is bigger and we can not fill it ourselves there is the potential extra revenue of up to £150,000 per top game, plus programmes, food etc.

My view has always been that we need to accomodate the season ticket holders together. This means that there would be areas of the ground that are available for the bigger games, which can be used for away fans. If we increase the ground size and fill sections at a time with season ticket holders, then make another available as they fill up, a larger area is left for away support. This stops what used to happen in the past where the oposition was crying out for tickets and there were empty areas in the home section.

With a flexible away section we could therefore accomodate much larger away support.

With a bigger ground, all the ticket sales for cup games are also at full price.

We all know that a 6000 tier on top of the City Stand would cost about in the region of £8m. Sadly, if we do go down, in the worst case scenario, we may not need it at all, if the team have a bad run.

But what about this for some creative accounting. Also assuming that the infill is already sold out.

Say 2000 extra season tickets at £400 each total £800,000
say 3000 extra away fans for 6 games in the Prem at £30 each total £540,000
say the odd 1000 taken for 4 games by home fans at £30 total £120,000
say promotion ticket sales for some other games ie. kids for a quid etc £20,000
total additional ticket sales £1,480,000. I think in the Prem this would be sold out and much higher than this.

On the face of it no problem in the prem. If we keep up our amazing season ticket sales if we did go down, the extra away following, from the better supported first division teams could be accomodated, all at full price. I know the prices would have to go down again in the First Division, so it would make it more difficult. If not too big a risk to bear

A potential solution.

a) get season ticket holders to pay for their ticket monthly, starting from the start of next season. This would mean that we would pay say £30 per month each and therefore with 20000 an income of £600,000 per month for the club. By the end of the year the overdraft would be £7.2m less because we had all paid in advance. If we were relegated the season ticket sales would be the same for at least one year, because we had alredy paid in advance for them. This would let us also spread the load, but in advance not arrears.

The interest saved on our overdraft by having this money in advance, along with, even a smaller additional income in the first division woud finance a mortgage on the additional stand.

b) Budget for the money for the stand to come from the extra Premier League income. If the stan

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I see what you are getting at. One slight problem though.....how long would it take to build the 2nd tier on the City Stand? Ok, we wouldn''t have the excavation problems that set the Jarrold stand back and the foundations are already in, but you probably wouldn''t be able to use the existing tier whilst they are putting it up. Say it was started tomorrow, it wouldn''t be up and ready come August surely?!

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