Ed Balls’ 2015 has taken a turn for the better. The former Shadow Chancellor lost his House of Commons seat in May at the General Election, but has now secured a non-executive role at Norwich City Football Club as their new Chairman of the Board.
Balls, who served as MP for Morley and Outwood from 2010 after previously serving Normanton in West Yorkshire, has been a fan of the Canaries since he was a young boy.
It was announced today on the Premier League side’s official website that Norwich has elected Ed Balls to be their Chairman. He will take up the position with immediate effect in time for Norwich City’s clash with Aston Villa at Carrow Road tomorrow.
The Canaries’ joint majority shareholders Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones welcomed Balls warmly to the Board of Directors in their statement.
“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.”
Balls himself commented on Twitter at his pride in becoming an important part of his childhood team’s backroom staff, describing his appointment as a “great honour.”
Balls has been quiet since his disastrous election result earlier this year. The unseating of Balls was a major coup for the Conservative Party and served as the icing on the cake of a dreadful night for Labour, who also lost leader Ed Miliband when he resigned in the aftermath of his party’s defeat.
Not everyone was pleased to see Balls given such a senior role at Norwich City, with the Daily Star listing a series of highly critical online reactions to Balls being appointed. Twitter users questioned whether Balls could be trusted with the team’s money, and said a “lying politician” is not a good choice to run a football club.
There was, however, room for levity and positivity surrounding Ed Balls and his new job at Norwich City. The appointment of the former Cabinet minister allowed Twitter to resurrect the “Ed Balls Day” meme, which surfaced in 2011 when Balls accidentally tweeted his own name.
Ed Balls— Ed Balls (@edballs) April 28, 2011
April 28 now serves as an annual day of good-natured online mockery, with Twitter users either merely tweeting Ed Balls themselves or taking the meme further in often ridiculous fashion.
Balls will not be paid for his new role at Norwich City, but the post will allow him to continue his current charitable work as well as his academic position as a visiting professor at King’s College London. He is also a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in the USA.
Adding his own words to the official Norwich City statement, Ed Balls spoke of his pride once again and expressed a desire to guide the club into a continued Premier League position.
“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.”
[Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images]