NORWICH City's search for fresh investment has drawn a blank but Alan Bowkett, the Norfolk club's chairman, has admitted Carrow Road's board could still bankroll a January spending spree.
Norwich, who visit Bramall Lane tomorrow, hired advisors Deloitte to help identify parties willing to shoulder the financial burden of a promotion campaign.
But Bowkett told shareholders earlier this week: "We've approached 52 potential investors around the world - in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, the Far East, the United States and, of course, the UK.
"We've had some expressions of interest but every time I asked the question 'could you please verify you have the funding?' no-one passed the test.
"We have searched throughout the world with the toughest advisers but there is no one out there with real money in their pockets.
"I would like to see the colour of someone's money before we do any deals and no one has shown us any."
Bowkett added: "We've taken a decision that we're going to be self-sufficient in funding. If we can find further investment then great but we are not depending on it."
United's own efforts to identify new income streams have also proved painfully slow despite being co-ordinated by Trevor Birch; one of football's most respected administrators and architect of Roman Abramovich's takeover of Chelsea in 2003.
Nevertheless, Norwich, who are just two points behind second placed Swansea, admit they could be tempted to take a gamble by handing manager Paul Lambert extra funds. Their current debt is an estimated 20.9 million but officials are hopeful they will soon report a trading profit.
"The reward is for one season in the Premiership you're guaranteed at least 90m," Bowkett said. "So you might take a risk and find some investment or create some more cash to support Paul Lambert because we're performing ahead of budget. We're realistic... a little more investment might secure the future."
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