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Steve Ritchie

Season 2007-08 - why did we not follow the Portsmouth model?

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Taken from ncfc.mobi........


2004-05 was a Premier League season for Norwich, somewhat spoilt by the nightmare of a thrashing by Fulham, which ultimately saw Premier League Co-Founders Norwich City relegated once again to the Championship.

A glance at the league table shows that Norwich were only six points adrift of Portsmouth.

Charlton finished above Portsmouth.

Fast forward to the end of season 2007-08. Two seasons of parachute payments has been spent, managerial changes had been made, star players sold, under-performance on the field witnessed all much documented elsewhere.

Roeder had saved Norwich from relegation to the third tier of English football as the 2007-08 season grew to a close. Norwich finished 17th in the Championship, Portsmouth rallied to 8th in the Premier League.

If the Charlton model which we had strived for was out of reach, how did we perform against the Portsmouth model?

The figures make for bleak reading.

What immediately springs to mind is the massive difference in revenue from TV Sponsorship – a massive £49 million. Norwich managed to generate just 5% of this total.

But delving further in, there is still a deficit of £4.6 million in like-for-like non-TV revenue comparisons. In other words Norwich were only able to generate 78% of Portsmouths total Non-TV Revenue.

During this time Portsmouth were operating a leisure clothing company, had a stake in Local radio as well as starting a number of financial services.

While Norwich had a superior season ticket fanbase (17,000 compared to 13866), Portsmouths 635 employees outnumbered that of Norwich.

And this is one area where the difference between the Clubs is large.

2007/08 was a season that Manchester United finished up owing £649m. £5 million is a small portion of that, but figures show that 98% of Londons businesses in 2006 turned over less than £5 million highlighting that it is not an easy job to generate business to fill this gap.

Perhaps this shows that while football club ownership is the plaything of the excessively wealthy, its also seriously big business and, football aside, the gap between clubs like Norwich and Portsmouth is growing larger by the day.

All cash figures in £Millions.

Debt £44 (Portsmouth) £18.8 (Norwich)
Turnover £70 (P) £19 (N)
TV Revenue £49 (P) £2.6 (N)
Turn Less TV £21 (P) £16.4 (N)
Losses £6.79 (P) £2.3 (N)
Staff Costs £54.6 (P) £13.6 (N)

Season Ticket Holders 13,866 (P) 17000 (N)





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They''ve just been bought by Dr Sulaiman Al Fahim.  He was the chap who made a bit of an arse of himself at Man City, saying they were going to buy every player in the world for silly money.  Before he bought them they were in serious financial trouble.  In fact this open letter to their club was produced on their vital football site on May 26, a day before the takeover was announced.  The letter talked about their worries relating to giving the managers'' job to Paul Hart, an in-house appointment seen by fans as a cost cutting measure.  Sound familiar ?So they''ve bought themselves some time in the Premiership, and delayed the inevitable with the size of their following.  But only because the board of their club realised that what they were trying to do was unsustainable, and sold the club to a richer man.  Quite what happens to them if / when he tires of the club, who knows ?

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