OUSTED Yorkshire MP and former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has a new leading role - as chairman of Norwich City Football Club.
Mr Balls, who lost his Morley and Outwood seat in May’s general election, tweeted: “My earliest ambition was to play for #NCFC - next best thing is to become Chairman. Great honour & privilege.”
The lifelong Canaries fan takes up the non-executive role as Chairman of the Board of Directors with immediate effect and will watch as the team take on Asta Villa with his fellow directors at Carrow Road on Monday.
Mr Balls, 48, was born in Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.
Since losing his Labour seat to Conservative Andrea Jenkyns, the husband of Yvette Cooper has returned to education, as a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a Visiting Professor at King’s College, London. He will be undertaking his role at Norwich City in an unpaid capacity, alongside his ongoing academic, commercial, charitable and media activities, a statement on the club’s website says.
Welcoming Mr Balls to the Board, City’s joint majority shareholders Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones said his vast economic knowledge and extensive experience with both the public and private sectors would be a huge asset for the Club.
They said: “We’re absolutely delighted to confirm that Ed Balls is the new Chairman of Norwich City.
“His economic know-how and experience, coupled with his passion for all things Norwich City, will be a major asset for the Board and we’re excited about working closely together with Ed, David McNally and the other Directors in this new era for the Club.
“Ed will work closely with all of us on the short, medium and long-term strategy to shape the future of this great football club.”
Mr Balls said: “It’s an honour and a privilege to be asked to join the Board of Directors at Norwich City as Chairman.
“From the moment my dad first took me to watch City from the terraces at Carrow Road in 1973, my earliest ambition was to play for the Club I loved. But the next best thing is to become Chairman of Norwich City, and do what I can off the pitch to help City succeed on the pitch.
“The Club’s immediate priority and focus is, of course, the retention of our hard-earned Premier League status, and the hard work of my fellow Directors and all of my colleagues at the Club means Norwich City is in great shape on and off the pitch going into 2016.
“With that foundation, the challenge for all of us at Norwich is to go from the up-and-down fortunes I have known since I was a boy to an era of sustained success, and I will be proud to play my part in that.”
Earlier this month it was revealed that Mr Balls, a keen cook, would face off against David Cameron’s wife Samantha in a celebrity version of the Great British Bake Off in aid of Sport Relief.