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By ESPN Staff
May 25, 2011

Canaries break season ticket records

Norwich have announced a record number of season tickets have been sold ahead of their return to the Premier League - and Canaries fans will face a scramble for remaining seats at Carrow Road.

Runners-up to QPR in the Championship, Norwich have capped sales at some 21,833, with more than 1,700 now on a waiting list.

Carrow Road's capacity will be increased slightly over the summer, but with Norwich obliged under Premier League rules to offer 10% of the 27,000 capacity to the away team, the club accept "availability of casual home tickets will be limited next season'', possibly as few as 1,500 on general sale.

Should the Canaries manage to stay up - which they failed to do under Nigel Worthington in 2004-05 - then plans are already in place to rebuild the main City Stand and so significantly increase overall capacity.

Paul Lambert has been promised all of the £37 million windfall from television income to help strengthen the squad as the Canaries look to avoid a swift return to the Championship.

The 41-year-old Scot - who has presided over back-to-back promotions since arriving in August 2009 with Norwich near the foot of League One - is understood to be keen on improving the spine of the side and has been linked with Leeds duo Robert Snodgrass and Bradley Johnson.

Newcastle goalkeeper Fraser Foster, who enjoyed a successful loan spell at Norwich in their League One campaign, and Manchester United's Belgian defender Ritchie De Laet are also reported targets.

Veteran striker Miroslav Klose is another said to be on Lambert's radar, the Norwich manager maintaining close ties in Germany from his time with Borussia Dortmund, where he won the 1997 Champions League.

The 32-year-old, who has scored 61 goals in 108 caps for Germany, is out of contract with Bayern Munich this summer, and could be tempted to the Premier League, but AC Milan and Valencia are also both watching developments.

Norwich are confident Lambert - a reported target for managerless West Ham - will soon agree an improved offer to his current rolling 12-month contract. The former Celtic midfielder was named LMA Championship Manager of the Year on Monday night, his second successive accolade voted for by his peers.

League Managers' Association chairman Howard Wilkinson is in no doubt the Scottish coach has a bright future.

Wilkinson said in the Eastern Daily Press: "It is not just how Paul has done it in getting back-to-back promotions, but the manner in which he has done it. If you look at his history he is obviously a very thoughtful, intelligent, methodical person.

"He seems to have an excellent temperament. I think that, clearly, when he was playing he was a student of the game and now he's an even bigger one. I think Paul will be around for a very long time.

"Put it this way, if you were trying to rate him out of 10 in terms of preparation, work ethic, commitment, understanding, temperament and everything else he is going to score highly.''

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