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Norwich City made a welcomed return to the Premier League this season after a great campaign in the Championship, and apart from being great news for Canaries supporters, this is expected to be even better for local businesses over the coming twelve months.

Sharing in Success

According to top economists, the simple fact of promotion could be worth as much as £170m to the club itself – four times what it received in the Championship last season. A lot of this money will be filtered through the club into the local area. This happens in various ways.

First, there are the wages that the players will receive, boosted from last year, as well as the wages for new players they will be bringing in. These wages will be spent on property in the local area, as well as car dealerships, furniture stores and more. This is a massive cash injection that will have a significant impact.

As well as player wages, this extra Premier League money will also be spent on more staff, as well as services and facilities in the local area. Caterers, cleaners, fitness staff, press – all of these will be required by the club at a higher level, creating more jobs or outsourcing to local businesses that will benefit.

These are the direct impacts of a cash injection from gaining promotion. The club will benefit financially and this will be felt across the city and wider region. However, there are many indirect benefits that will also be felt around Norwich.

Spotlight on the city

The most obvious area in which this will happen is tourism. The increased visibility of the club, through exposure in high level games, will attract attention. The city will feature on TV segments and gain increased exposure among the millions of football fans in the UK and hundreds of millions of followers around the world. This is the kind of advertising and ‘brand recognition’ that money can’t buy directly.

Tourism is the biggest industry in Norwich by far, generating revenues of more than £3bn a year. Of course, there are many reasons to visit the city outside of football but this extra attention will only add to the draw and appeal of the city and visitor numbers are sure to increase.

Clare Millar, from Visit Norwich, said: ‘It’s a huge boost for Norwich. It will benefit in terms of increased tourism spend and possibly even business people wanting to tie-in meetings with a visit to the Premier League’s newest club.’ She added: ‘We expect it will bring people to Norwich who have never been before.’

Positive perception

The Premier League is the most watched sporting league in the world. In every continent on the planet it is watched by tens of millions of people and is growing in popularity in the US and China. There is strong evidence that shows that having a Premier League football club is good for business.

Andy Newman is the managing director of Newman Associates PR, a local firm. Speaking about the promotion in the EDP, he said: ‘There is good evidence that having a Premier League football team leads to increased applications for places at a city’s universities, assists businesses to widen their reach and it will certainly boost Norwich’s position as an important tourism destination.’

He went on to say: ‘Perception of a city is so important and there is considerable evidence that cities with a Premier League football team tend to be thought of as “premier league” themselves – more cosmopolitan, more dynamic and a better place to do business.’

This is another key point. Having a team in the top flight comes with a psychological benefit. The rest of the country starts to associate Norwich with being a top-flight city, capable of sporting achievements and attracting some of the biggest names in the sport. It all helps to build an image of the city as one that is thriving in the modern world.

Unrivalled atmosphere

Then, of course, there is the added bonus of the match days themselves. The Championship is a very well supported league, and away fans come in large numbers, but there’s no disputing the fact that teams like Liverpool, Manchester United and Newcastle come with a larger travelling support than teams like Wigan, Millwall and Rotherham.

This means increased revenues on match days and more money spent in local accommodation, hospitality and shops. Also, by playing these bigger games on a more regular basis, it will attract more attention from local fans. Norwich City supporters are pretty loyal and the ground has been mostly full throughout this season, but the extra boost from playing the biggest teams in the country will be felt around the city. Even outside the stadium, televised games will create more interest in pubs and bars.

Congratulations Canaries

So, the whole team here at Together Accounting would like to offer our congratulations to Daniel Farke and the Norwich City team. It was an outstanding achievement by the whole club and one that was not necessarily expected. Of course, playing against the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City next season is not going to be easy, and it’s going to be a new challenge to stay in the Premier League. But Norwich belongs in the top flight of English football, just as it does in the upper echelons of British cities.

Whatever happens next season, the local economy and population will benefit from the efforts of the team and we’re looking forward to some big fixtures and the attention of the world being on the city. Sport can have a big impact on the lives of everyday people and over the next twelve months we’re about to see exactly how important it can be.

Photo courtesy of Michael Button, used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

As the owner and founder of the business, I am responsible for overseeing a range of key activities. These include managing client relationships, spearheading new business development, and crafting the company's development and strategic plans.

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