Town gets helping hand from Norwich
IPSWICH Town could be set to get a helping hand to write off up to £20million of its debts from the city which is its arch enemy.Insurance giant Norwich Union is poised to write off a massive amount of Town's outstanding liabilities, causing fury among Canaries fans.
IPSWICH Town could be set to get a helping hand to write off up to £20million of its debts from the city which is its arch enemy.
Insurance giant Norwich Union is poised to write off a massive amount of Town's outstanding liabilities, causing fury among Canaries fans.
The insurer, which is based in Norwich, has always refused to help bankroll its local club and for years its mantra was it would not invest in clubs or individuals.
However, The Evening Star's sister paper in Norwich - the Evening News, has discovered the insurance firm is now ready to turn its back on millions of pounds as Ipswich broker a deal to pull the club out of a financial black hole.
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Ipswich has a £33million debt, of which Norwich Union is owed £25million after it was invested in Ipswich Town by Morley Fund Management, another company owned by NU's parent group Aviva. Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland are owed a further £8million.
It is understood Norwich Union is locked in talks with bosses at Portman Road to sell the debt on to a consortium at just a fraction of its value - effectively kissing goodbye to up to £20million and the goodwill of many Norwich City fans.
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Roy Blower, chairman of the Norwich City Independent Supporters Association, said: “Many people who have got policies with Norwich Union will not be happy. Shareholders will also not be happy if they write off that kind of money.
“It has always been a disappointment to me personally that somebody with such a strong brand name as Norwich Union has not been involved with their local club.
“I would like to see Norwich Union involved with Norwich City and I regret that they are assisting our rivals.”
Ipswich borrowed the money for a period of 25 years back in 2001 when the club was in the Premiership.
It is thought Ipswich is in debt to the tune of £36m in total and made a loss of £3m in the last financial year. Apart from the three major lenders all other creditors have been satisfied under the Company Voluntary Arrangement stuck between the club and those it owed money to in 2003.
A spokeswoman for Norwich Union said it nothing to say on the matter.
Morley Fund Management refused to comment.
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