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Bowkett aiming for top-10 finish

10 Oct 2013 09:01:56

Bowkett aiming for top-10 finish

Chairman Alan Bowkett sees no reason why Norwich should not target a top-10 finish in the Barclays Premier League as the Norfolk club look to build on solid finances with their debt now 'eradicated'.

Norwich on Thursday morning revealed a robust set of latest accounts published for the year end May 31, 2013, which returned a small profit after tax of £500,000 as a large portion of additional £26.3million revenue was used to slash down external debt which had stood at £11.3m, with the remainder now cleared since June 1.

Last season, manager Chris Hughton guided his side to 11th place after eventually pulling clear of the relegation battle.

Norwich have been quick to further bolster the playing staff, with seven summer signings including a club-record £8.5m purchase of Dutch striker Rickie van Wolfswinkel from Sporting Lisbon.

Even though the Canaries currently sit in 18th place following a 3-1 home defeat by Chelsea - a fourth loss in the first seven Premier League outings - Bowkett is confident the team can push on again through to May 2014.

"Internal debt to the directors is around £2.1m, and we will be budgeting to eradicate that in this current financial year - and I don't think there are many football clubs in the Premier League who could have a balance sheet like that," said Bowkett, who was quick to pay tribute to the role of majority shareholders Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones as well as deputy chairman Michael Foulger, each of them having committed significant personal investment to help keep the Norfolk club afloat when just a few years ago it languished in League One and stood on the brink of administration.

"We always sensibly budget for staying in the Premier League at a modest level (of 16th place), but the ambition of the football club - and Chris knows this - is continuous improvement, so 12th (in 2011), then 11th (last season). What does that mean? Well, it is (now) a top-10 finish.

"We have spent £24m in the two months since the end of the financial year, so an expectation of continuous improvement would be reasonable."

Should Norwich - brought up through successive promotions under Paul Lambert - retain their Premier League status for a third consecutive season, then the rewards would increase further following the lucrative new broadcasting deal, with 16th place likely to generate around some £70m.

Bowkett insists the board will look to continue their policy of investing all profits back into the team.


PA

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