Norwich City Academy investors set for promotion windfall
Written by Simon Austin — April 11, 2019
A GROUP of Norwich City fans and investors are set for a windfall if - as seems increasingly likely - the Canaries are promoted to the Premier League.
Daniel Farke’s men are seven points clear of third-placed Sheffield United with just five games of the campaign to go. If they are promoted, 735 people who bought the ‘Canaries Bond’ last March will receive a 25% bonus on their investment on September 30th this year.
That will be in addition to the 5% annual interest and additional 3% club credit - which can be spent on items like official merchandise and match tickets - they will get.
The Bond was issued last March by Tifosy, an equity crowd-funding platform set up by former Italy striker Gianluca Vialli and investment banker friend Fausto Zanetton, with the money raised ring-fenced for the redevelopment of the club’s Academy at Colney.
Investors were allowed to spend a minimum of £500, with no upper limit, and the £5 million maximum threshold was reached a day before the Bond was due to go on public release. A 25% bonus was to be payable on the club being promoted within five years of issue.
The Bond was not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, meaning investors could potentially lose all their money, but promotion would seemingly make it a win-win for everyone concerned. The idea was initially conceived by Tom Smith, the nephew of owners Delia Smith and husband Michael Wynn Jones, who had heard about Tifosy's work with Portsmouth and Stevenage.
With the money, the club has already installed new pitches at its Category 1 Academy, as well as a new irrigation system, cameras for analysis and floodlights.
A new main building, which will house a new gym, classrooms, physios room, changing rooms and offices, is due to be completed this summer and has just had a roof put on. A stand will also be installed next to the main Academy pitch.
Staff are due to move out of portable buildings and into the main building in time for the start of next season.