Delia has put £11m into City
PUBLISHED: 13:55 24 March 2009 | UPDATED: 13:27 03 July 2010
DELIA Smith has revealed some of the secrets from behind the throne at Carrow Road - and says we may not have seen the last of her "Let's be 'aving you" rallying calls.
DELIA Smith has revealed some of the secrets from behind the throne at Carrow Road - and says we may not have seen the last of her “Let's be 'aving you” rallying calls.
City's joint majority shareholder estimates that she and husband Michael Wynn Jones have pumped around £11m into Norwich City - and that they never expected to get a financial return on their investment.
But she insists it's not about the money, or the football - it's about the fans.
In an interview for Radio Four's Women's Hour, broadcast yesterday, Delia explained the fascination with all things Norwich City that has cost the couple a sizeable fortune.
“I think to date it could be 11,” she said when asked how many millions she and her husband have spent. And she stressed they felt it was millions well spent.
“It wasn't all given in one go, it was sort of trickles and trickles and trickles,” she said. “But we knew we would never see any of that money again. And we are looking that straight in the eye and not bothering, because it is only money - and it isn't just the game, it's the whole community aspect of it and the supporter aspect of it.
“I think probably I have fallen in love with the supporters just as much as I have with the game and therefore it's kind of for them, really.”
It was the City faithful who witnessed her now world-famous half-time exhortations a little over four years ago, when the Canaries were playing a Premier League home game against Manchester City.
Delia amazed a crowd of more than 24,000 - and a live TV audience - when she appeared on the pitch, microphone in hand, in an attempt to get more vocal backing from the home supporters.
“I went up at half-time and I said, 'could you put something on the scoreboard from me to just say, come on, you know? They said, 'no, it would take too long',” she explained.
“So then I said, 'could we just do it on the loudspeaker? And they said, 'no, because it is on the other side of the building . . . the only way you can really do this is if you go out on the pitch with a microphone', which I did. But I forgot - because I do forget, I'm getting really old now - that Sky were there. I just don't know why, I just didn't connect, and suddenly in the middle of it I just saw the camera and thought, 'oh my God'.
“But I don't regret it and I might do it again one day. Maybe that did a little bit for me and my boring image.”
Delia has been that footballing rarity - a woman in the board room - since November, 1996, when the history of the club changed forever. But she admitted that the presence of a woman still created suspicion, even at Carrow Road.
“Oh yes. I think if you are a woman in football I think you are not taken seriously,” she said. “I can say things sometimes at a board meeting and they are all sort of clicking their pens and looking the other way at the floor and I know that that's because I'm female.
“Sometimes I just sort of challenge and say well why do we have to do that, I don't see why?”