Norwich City's finances are in the news – again. Reporting on the state of the club's lolly, Neil (Mr “We Never Have Any Money to Spend on Trivial Things Like Players)” Doncaster bemoaned the need to publish accounts at all when he said, “In the year covered by these accounts, and despite a £7m parachute payment, the club's cash position worsened by £1.5m.”
Translation: “We are taking these accounts completely out of context and only talking about events during the dates we choose to report on. The club's cash position is a raw measurement – taking no account of other factors which may have resulted in money gains for the club. I am not reporting on my wages or on the wages of the many hangers-on and directors who make a tidy living out of NCFC. I am also not reporting any gains the club may have made from selling land originally purchased by former Chairman, Bob Chase – because, despite the fact that he is a hated man by the supporters – he was instrumental in putting the club into a position where I can be paid loads of money for cocking things up. Thanks, Bob.”
He goes on, as quoted in the EDP, “. . . the board believed that it should back the judgment of former manager Nigel Worthington and did so, sanctioning player wages during 2005/6 which were only marginally lower than our year in the Premier League.”
Translation: “Nigel Worthington (who has just pocketed £600.000 as a get-lost payment) was an idiot – but the board decided to pay his group of inept players loads of money anyway. We decided to live well above our means (if you believe the figures) in the hope that something would turn up – but it's not our fault that we're idiots – working with Delia has made us this way. Anyway, Nigel's group of players was never going to be good enough to stay in the Premiership. We knew that – but, of course, never mentioned it to the supporters – who may have asked awkward questions. Like, why didn't you make efforts to offer the kind of wages that would attract good Premiership players to the club?”
Finally, he concludes that the club's financial position is “stable”, despite the large debt, which he said was, “structured and manageable”.
Translation: “Financial stability is dependent on remaining in touch with the top of the Championship – not gaining promotion. Promotion costs too much money in the long-term with supporters demanding big-money signings which, if brought to fruition, limits the board's ability to trouser even more of the club's cash. We are committed to earning a comfortable living from the supporters money and not answering questions about where the money goes. Our accounts are transparent – because it is transparently obvious to anyone (who isn't a professional bean-counter that is) that they are designed to disguise just how rapacious the board are and how glaringly stupid Norwich City supporters actually are. Therefore, we constantly bemoan the lack of money at the club, despite the fact that we are the best supported club in the Championship. We believe, and fervently hope, that the local press will continue to be slavishly sycophantic in their treatment of the club, thereby ensuring that the boat is not rocked and awkward questions will not appear in the Eastern Daily Press.”