Relegated Norwich put 2019-20 Covid impact at £12.7m, but still turn a profit

By David Owen

November 5 – Norwich City, the club known as the Canaries, managed to record a small profit in their brief return to the Premier League, in spite of finishing a distant last in the table.

The East Anglian outfit, controlled by celebrity chef Delia Smith and her husband, posted a pre-tax profit of £2.14 million for the 13 months to end-July 2020. This compared to a heavy loss of £39.4 million the previous year, when the club topped the second-tier Championship.

The Covid-19 pandemic took a toll: the impact on revenue was put at £10.2 million – made up of £7.1 million of broadcaster rebates and £3.1 million returned to season ticket-holders – and the overall impact at £12.7 million.

Nevertheless the boost to revenue provided by a season in the top flight was significant enough to yield a profit for a period in which most Premier League clubs are expected to lose money. Manchester United, the only other English top-flight team to have reported to date posted a pre-tax loss of more than £20 million.

Norwich’s turnover surged from £33.7 million to £119.4 million. Not surprisingly, broadcasting was mainly responsible – jumping from £9.35 million to £90.2 million. Sponsorship and advertising was also well up at £10.3 million, while catering edged ahead to £4.6 million.

Both commercial revenue and gate receipts, by contrast, were down – the former from £5.1 million to £3.9 million, and the latter from £9.7 million to £7.6 million.

Overall staff costs jumped, as one would expect, from £54.4 million to £88.9 million, with compensation for key management personnel rising from £2.74 million to £4.46 million.

Chief operating officer Ben Kensell said that the club was proud of its “robust and self-financed model”. This was “helping us sustain the club in this difficult and challenging financial climate”.

In recent months, the club has sold defenders Jamal Lewis and Ben Godfrey for fees believed to total around £40 million.

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