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Not Nigel

Stadium VS Relegation Conundrum.

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It is said that it would cost £20m to expand Carrow Road, an expansion that we most certainly need if we are going to genuinely grow as a club (and indeed, if we are going to be able to keep a check on ticket prices which are pricing thousands out of games and putting at risk our next generation of fans).

Yet we all know that we have to spend big each year to stay in this league. Stoke City have spent a fortune, for example.

Everytime we spend big we are putting millions on our wage bill. The likes of Elliott Ward are likely to be on a fraction of the wage of Bassong, what would the hypothetical figures be? £8k per week Vs £30k a week? Morison £12k a week, Becchio £20k a week? And so on, and so forth.

Yet relegation eventually appears inevitable, all clubs our size play a game of staying here as long as possible before going down and facing the bleak financial consequences, desperately attempting to offload high earners quick enough to avoid financial meltdown. Hull City, Birmingham, Middlesbrough, Bolton, Wolves, for example.

Each year we will spend more money, add more to the wage bill, each year the objective will be the same: Premier League survival.

Each year our profit margins become slimmer and slimmer as we add more and more expensive players to the payroll, yet income doesn''t rise in correlation with expenditure. A few thousand grand per league position? A million or so for a decent cup run?

The point comes where we eventually do get relegated, with a wage bill which far exceeds the one that we came up with, maybe double or three times the amount.

The question that I have is...... where does ground development fall in this equation? I often see statements to this effect:

1) when the debt is repaid we can spend a lot more money on players like Gary Hooper.

2) when the debt is repaid we can extend the ground.

We can''t have it both ways, what way do you want it?

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I''ll always take staying in the PL, but agree that unless we expand prices will keep rising for Season/Casual tickets and risk drops in attendance for the ''less glamorous'' fixtures.

I also agree that there''s a fine balance between squad and stadium but as you said, you can''t have both.

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In the new financial reality of 2013/14 the proportion of the club''s income generated by gate receipts will be negligible. The crowd are there simply to provide atmosphere for the far more important tv audience. There is no logical argument for ground expansion. A smaller always sold out stadium will look so much better on southeast Asian tv screens. It simply isn''t going to happen. I feel genuinely sorry for the chap who wants to turn up once a year to see manyoo...

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And that is typical of the short-termist attitude that Premier League clubs have Mungo Bumpkin. Gate Receipts may be negligible for a Premier League team, but if we get relegated in five years time having alienated/lost a large proportion of our loyal Championship fan base and replaced them with fairweather/glory hunter/nuetral sorts who disappear upon relegation (like Ipswich fans, in fact), then the disparity in income between 12000 season tickets sold and 20000 season tickets sold won''t seem to negligible then.

I think that you are wrong, to a certain degree, anyway. The clubs with the most spending power in this league have the biggest stadiums and the biggest average attendances, with the only obvious exception being Newcastle, who in fairness outspent anybody else in the bottom half in January.

As for your last comment "I feel genuinely sorry for the chap who wants to turn up once a year to see manyoo", you are looking at things the wrong way. When the chap who turns up to Carrow Road to watch manyoo brings his two young kids, who see Norwich beat their dads beloved manyoo, they may.... just may..... decide at that point to become Norwich City fans.

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No, those are white elephant testaments to the foolishness of building a completely new out of city stadium at huge cost.

The Jarrold Stand serves as a good example of a successful stadium expansion.

Both Stoke City and Reading have recently (this week) submitted planning applications to expand their stadiums, by the way.

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If all the fans who said they weren''t going to renew if CH stays there will be plenty of tickets available.we can do without "fans" like them so good riddance, I will watch Norwich in whatever league we are in and whoever is Manager.

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We must expand the stadium for the long term vision. If you make the argument that we will be relegated eventually (and we probably will, be it this season or in 10 years) then having 25/30k attendances in the championship puts us in an incredible financial position in the championship.

That said, I believe in the old romantic notion of a football club being at the heart of a community and in our case a county. Therefore stadium expansion is needed so that the next generation of fans can enjoy our club and not see man yoo on the TV and want to support them instead.

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Agree walking man!

 

Ours crowd levels make it obvious to me that in the top flight we could average 32,000 just like we average 26,000 now. Yeah I''m sure their''d be games where we wouldn''t sell a 35,000+ stadium out but I''d say we would for 4-5 games against the top teams and a couple of the London clubs!

 

Stadium expansion is part of growing the club but its expensive and should only be done when it isn''t going to hinder the playing budget and not push the club into financial meltdown otherwise we''d of built Carrow Road up to 35,000 8-9 years ago!

 

Too many people are stuck with the little ole Norwich theory that we have been forcefed for many years. Coventry last week who average 10-11,000 for league games got nearly 32,000 for a JPT area final at the Ricoh last week. While I''m sure the tickets were dirt cheap it proves that people will come out of the woodwork for games. Now if a club who normally gets under half the crowds we do can get 32,000 for a micky mouse cup game then its not unrealistic to think we could average well over 30,000 crowds in the top flight considering we''re only just over 3000 short of that now. You only have to look at the unfamilir faces in the home ends at the Luton game to see that theres many more potential fans out there!

 

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How many people back in the days when we averaged around 14,000 would of envisaged the crowds we get now?

 

Only those with mental issues!

 

When the ground capacity goes over 30,000 we have to give the oppoition 3000, 500 more than present if they require that many. About 5-6 teams at least would require that amount!

 

More people would buy season tickets cause it works out cheaper and you get to sit in the same area every game!

 

Top flight games will always attract once a season fans/ fair weather supporters!

 

The recent cup game against Luton where many of the home ends were filled with non season ticket holders shows there many people who don''t go regularly who''d be interested in going more often!

 

If there was lots of empty seats the Board would be savvy enough to reduce casual prices to try and fill them!

 

With about 3-4 sell out 35,000+ crowds and even the less popular games attracting 28,000+ I think we''d be able to average 32,000+ crowds inthe top flight with all the above factors happening!  

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If we keep getting this £60m extra in each season from the telly sales why should fans pay more? Use that money wisely and we can build a quality squad, expand the stadium and still have full houses each week.

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Exactly Banana!

 

We all know people who''d go to some games on a casual basis if it was cheaper and/or they could get tickets and many of these would take young children as well!

 

Stadium expansion is must when the time is right in order for the club to grow!

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[quote user="singupcarrowroad"]No, those are white elephant testaments to the foolishness of building a completely new out of city stadium at huge cost. The Jarrold Stand serves as a good example of a successful stadium expansion. Both Stoke City and Reading have recently (this week) submitted planning applications to expand their stadiums, by the way.[/quote]

 

Nobody was saying that 2005-11. The vast majority blamed it for our fall and our debt. Now we are back we see it how it was seen in 2004. I enjoy going to games whatever league we are in and have nothing against stadium expansion. It''s just in this ridiculous unsustainable period of football diverting money from the football team to the stadium will almost certainly result in relegation. The chances are that we weill be relegated at some point in the next few seasons anyway so it could be a price worth paying? Maybe. But pay it. Don''t finance it with new debt!

 

 

 

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I was under the impression that we had no choice but to demolish the South stand as it was becoming structurally unsound and would have had to have had the capacity drastically reduced in the near future.

If it was a choice of building a new stand or reducing capacity to 17000 I know what I''d have chosen, it certainly looks to have paid off now, won''t we be almost debt free within 12 months?

Would you object to the club diverting the extra £20m it will get next season straight to the stadium and telling Hughton to make do with the same budget as he had this season?

It would be a risk of course, and likely put us straight back into a relegation battle next season, but if we didn''t borrow the money for the new stand it would surely potentially leave us better off in the long run?

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The South stand demolition and Jarold stand construction was a complete no brainer cause it would of cost money to keep bringing the old cow shed South stand up to scratch, the capacity would of likely been reduced and it had no non football income streams.

 

The Jarold stand as well as increasing the capacity wth better facilities also offers corporate facilities, and a nemuber of companies rent out office space at the back of the stand so its being used during non football days!

 

Mcnally and Bowkett have already said that major stadium development will  not happen next season due to the club wanting to divert all funds into improving the team and academy facilities though if any small capacity increase is possible like extra rows or a temporary stand in the Hotel corner then they''ll try to increase capacity this way.Aparently Bowketts friendly with the Wolves owner, Morgan and look what building a new stand has done for them!

 

It will happen when the time is right!

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[quote user="singupcarrowroad"]I was under the impression that we had no choice but to demolish the South stand as it was becoming structurally unsound and would have had to have had the capacity drastically reduced in the near future. If it was a choice of building a new stand or reducing capacity to 17000 I know what I''d have chosen, it certainly looks to have paid off now, won''t we be almost debt free within 12 months? Would you object to the club diverting the extra £20m it will get next season straight to the stadium and telling Hughton to make do with the same budget as he had this season? It would be a risk of course, and likely put us straight back into a relegation battle next season, but if we didn''t borrow the money for the new stand it would surely potentially leave us better off in the long run?[/quote]

 

Would I object to it? Probably. But I''m quite an easy going sort of bloke who has seen enough to know that a football supporters enjoyment level isn''t directly linked to what division we are in. However I''m yet to be convinced thgat these extra fans are actually there to warrant increasing capacity. As you rightly said we had no choice with the South stand. Or the Riverend. Or the Barclay. But in each case relegation followed. As it did at Wolves last season. This time we have a choice. Four perfectly serviceable stands. Would you object to trading our premiership status for a new stand we don''t need?

 

 

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I honestly don''t know Nigel, in fact that''s why I started the OP to open up the debate.

Perhaps I''m just being cynical, but I see relegation from the Premier League in the relatively short to medium term to be inevitable anyway, that''s just the way that the cycle seems to go for medium sized clubs like us. What are we looking at realistically? Four or five seasons maximum?

Asides from Wigan and Fulham who seem to have bucked the trend, albeit both appearing to be approaching the end of their cycle (Fulham have hardly progressed, surely Wigan will go down one season?), nobody seems to last any more than 3 or 4 years should they survive their first season.

And most teams go down financially worse off than they came up, with huge wage bills and big name players that they are desperate to shed (Bullard''s, Ben Haim''s, Sereni''s, etc).

It is almost a clear choice between staying in the league a few years and coming down with an unmanageable wage bill or coming down with a squad that we can by the large part keep but with a stand.

It''s a difficult one, hence why I used ''conundrum'', but I think I''d probably be inclined to use the extra £20m to rebuild the City Stand and giving Hughton a similar transfer budget to the one that he was handed this year.

Can''t they just burn it down and do an insurance job the last time? I suppose that a fire would be riskier this time, what with the Barclay and Riverend being connected to the City Stand.... oh well!

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