Canary fans want Delia to meet Peter

FRUSTRATED fans last night urged the two lead figures in the extraordinary multi-million-pound battle for control of Norwich City to sit down and talk for the good of the football club.

FRUSTRATED fans last night urged the two lead figures in the extraordinary multi-million-pound battle for control of Norwich City to sit down and talk for the good of the football club.

After two days of claim and counter-claim, supporters and MPs called for City's joint majority shareholder Delia Smith and Norfolk-born billionaire Peter Cullum to end the poker-style stand-off by thrashing out a deal.

The call came on a day when both sides pulled up the shutters and refused to comment publicly on a saga that has gripped fans hoping for a cash-fuelled tilt at the Premiership.

Mr Cullum sparked a storm on Monday he revealed he had made a £20m offer to invest in new players to push for promotion - but he wanted to become the new majority shareholder as part of any deal.


You may also want to watch:


Yesterday, City hit back by saying the £20m for players would have to be topped up to “a minimum of £56m” to make any deal viable - including £16m for the shares, £16m to pay off a15-year loan and £4m to settle loans made to the club by directors.

Last night, fans were growing impatient, and called for an end to the “megaphone diplomacy” of the last two days.

Most Read

Ian Gibson, Norwich City season ticket holder and Norwich North MP, said: “It's time to talk. The fans want to move on.

“We really admire all the work Delia and Michael have done, but now is the time to talk turkey with someone who says he is prepared to invest at a level that would develop a team worthy of the Premiership.

“We still haven't got a decent team in place for next season, and we shouldn't be getting caught up in silly games between individuals.”

And Kathy Blake, secretary of Norwich City Independent Supporters' Association, said: “Something needs to be done.

“It's almost childish the way things are being done.

“They won't get anywhere until they open up a dialogue.”

“They're all grown ups with the best interests of the club at heart. They need to put any animosity aside and talk to each other.”

Norman Lamb, MP for North Norfolk, said: “The potential investment is tantalising. It inevitably excites supporters enormously. There's got to be a deal that's fair to everyone but megaphone diplomacy isn't the best way to do a deal.

“I hope with goodwill on both sides a deal could be done. Talking to each other should be a priority, and time is of the essence with the new season coming.”

Mr Cullum said that at the end of last year he offered £5m to pay for players to get the Canaries out of last season's relegation fight - and £15m to buy players for this season to press for the Premiership.

The executive chairman of Towergate Partnership, who is estimated to be worth £1.7bn, wanted his input to guarantee he became the new majority shareholder - taking over from Delia and her husband Michael Wynn Jones.

But talks broke down as the two sides' valuation of the club was believed to be poles apart.

Despite having no contact with the club for six months, Mr Cullum said the offer was “still on the table”.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter