Attanasio to increase shareholding in Norwich City

Published on: 02 October 2023

Delia Smith and husband Michael Wynn Jones oversaw Norwich's Championship title win in 2019

Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones will no longer be majority shareholders in Norwich City after Mark Attanasio's increased stake was approved.

The Milwaukee Brewers owner joined the Canaries board last September when the American bought 15.9% of the club.

His Norfolk FB Holdings group will acquire an additional 195,012 shares, bringing him level with the 40% of Smith and her husband.

The deal was ratified at a meeting of shareholders at Carrow Road on Monday.

Smith, her husband Wynn Jones and Attanasio were not present at the meeting at which which votes were cast on five resolutions, with others already having done so by proxy.

'Futureproofing the club'

A club statement said: "Norwich City can now confirm that each of the five resolutions were passed by the club's independent shareholders. The club will now move forward with the next steps in the process."

The changes are subject to English Football League approval.

And it is thought that an agreement exists which means Smith and Wynn Jones will remain in control of the day to day running of the club until at least January 2026.

Lorraine Taylor, of the Canaries' Trust supporters group, told BBC Radio Norfolk: "Delia and Michael are not going to be here forever, so Mark Attanasio getting involved is futureproofing the club.

"Delia and Michael seem to think Mark has the same values as them, so it's a really good thing going forward."

Last month, UK regulatory body the Takeover Panel agreed to waive a rule obliging Norfolk FB Holdings to make a mandatory offer to the holders of the remaining 20% of shares in the club, who include the Canaries Trust supporters' group.

Mark Attanasio has owned Major League Baseball team the Milwaukee Brewers since 2004

When Attanasio's initial purchase of former director Michael Foulger's stake was approved just over a year ago, Smith and Wynn Jones described his arrival as "a breath of fresh air".

They said in a statement at the time: "We care passionately about the football club and are confident that this will be right for all involved.

"Our club is being run excellently, so we don't expect any big changes. We look forward to collaborating with Mark and his team as they learn more about our club and we gain insights from their relevant expertise."

Norwich have been promoted to the Premier League five times during the Smith and Wynn Jones era, which began in 1996, but their longest spell in the top flight was three seasons.

Former head coach Daniel Farke guided The Canaries to promotion in both 2019 and 2021, but on both occasions they were relegated back to the Championship 12 months later.

Norwich are currently seventh in the table under Farke's fellow German David Wagner, who previously led Huddersfield Town to promotion from the Championship.

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