Delia pumps another £2m into Canaries

DELIA Smith and Michael Wynn Jones have ridden to the rescue of cash-strapped Norwich City by handing over another £2m from their personal fortune, it has emerged.

DELIA Smith and Michael Wynn Jones have ridden to the rescue of cash-strapped Norwich City by handing over another £2m from their personal fortune, it has emerged.

The couple moved swiftly to hand over the loan after Andrew and Sharon Turner sensationally quit the board - leaving the club to get by without the £1.5m they pledged to put in this season.

But the true depth of the cash crisis gripping Carrow Road means the £2m injection still leaves the Canaries short to the tune of £1.5m this year.

And tough decisions are being taken by City bosses this week, with employees in the process of finding out who will stay and who will go in order to balance the books.


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The decision to quit by the owners of mortgage firm Central Trust left City with a total projected shortfall of £3.5m this year. Delia and Michael's generosity has shrunk the black hole to £1.5m.

Much of the problem is down to the size of the player wage bill, which stands at £10m - double the £5m that the club can afford even if it sells out every home match.

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City chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “In common with the vast majority of the Football League clubs, Norwich City runs at a substantial loss.

“We do have a financial hole this season which is being plugged through a combination of budget cuts and the fantastic generosity of Delia and Michael.”

It is understood that a “substantial” six-figure sum has been saved by not replacing director of sales and marketing Andrew Cullen, who left last month for MK Dons, and by moving head of catering Lindsey Greensted Benech from the Carrow Road payroll to be directly employed by Delia and Michael.

Job cuts look set to follow among backroom staff, but details are unlikely to emerge until negotiations have been concluded with employees.

Delia and Michael's latest generous gesture is believed to have taken their personal investment in the club beyond the £10m mark.

The couple, who became City directors in 1996 and joint majority shareholders in 1997 when they bought club president Geoffrey Watling's 42pc shareholding, have repeatedly given the club six and seven-figure interest-free loans at times of financial difficulty.

Although they are prepared to call time on their ownership if the right investor comes along, this latest loan shows that their love for the club remains strong.

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