1. ITV Report

Canaries wipe out debt thanks to Premier League cash

Norwich City reveal annual accounts Photo: PA

Norwich City may be struggling on the pitch, but it's a different matter off it.

The Premier League club have just revealed its annual accounts for the financial year, and announced a pre-tax profit of £17m.

City, who entertain Arsenal this evening, generated a whopping £74.3m in revenue, up from £23.1m in 2011.

The rise is mainly due to the club's elevation to the top flight which brought with it £48.5m, up from £5.5m in the Championship.

Norwich City Chairman Alan Bowkett said it was a pleasing set of results.

'Its another big step to achieve our ambition of becoming an established, self sufficient Premier League club', said Bowkett, who now hopes their player recruitment will help secure their top flight status.

'We've invested in 19 new players in the last eighteen months, we have a budget for the transfer window in January, every transfer window we've improved the quality of the squad. It is imperative that we are in the Premier League next season - obviously the new TV deal comes through in that season'.

'It feels a lot better standing as chairman of Norwich City now than it did on my first day and the 7-1 defeat against Colchester', Bowkett added.

Also highlighted in the annual report is the reduction of the club's debts.

Three years ago the club was on the verge of financial catastrophe, with spiralling debts of around £23m and on the verge of dropping out of the Championship, the first drop to the bottom two tiers of English football for half a century.

The report revealed that back in 2009, the debt was 150% of revenue, now it stands at just 15%.

External debt now stands at £11.3m, the majority of which is schedule to be wiped out by the end of this season.

Among other positives highlighted in the document include the possibility of Category 1 status for the Premier League Elite Player Performance Plan - it would mean the ability to recruit players from across the country instead of the current 90 mile restriction.

Chief Executive David McNally said, 'I'm thrilled that the team behind the scenes at Carrow Road and Colney have produced the 46 per cent improvement in sales, excluding the Premier League money - that's the measure of how hard my colleagues work here. I'm thrilled that the figures reflect well on them.

'Our mission is to support the first team and serve our supporters. If we support the first team as we need to to stay in the Premier League, to keep us in the Premier League and serve our supporters, hopefully we will be okay'.

'Delia Smith and Michael Wynn-Jones are the best owners in football. No doubt. They've given this club millions and millions over the years when we truly needed some help. So we should never forget their contribution. It's extraordinary.

'Michael Foulger in recent years has supported the club in a generous way too. So we're very lucky that we've got three huge Norwich City fans in board level positions'.

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