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Owner Evans Writes
Monday, 18th Feb 2013 21:02

Owner Marcus Evans wrote a column in Saturday’s matchday programme, which Town have given us permission to run in full. Evans discusses current developments at Portman Road, particularly focusing on the Financial Fair Play rules.

Ipswich is one of the clubs in the Championship that, based upon historic figures, has been spending in excess of the soon-to-be-introduced FFP rules. If this were to continue, the result would be potential transfer embargos and financial penalties with the monies redistributed to other clubs that are meeting the FFP rules.

The penalties associated with the FFP means we face challenges to reorganise the Club to ensure that we work within the new rules.

I am committed to ensuring the Club is, from a business perspective, as efficient as it can be whilst operating within the financial constraints of FFP and reducing non-playing costs to provide the most competitive possible playing budget for our manager to develop and strengthen the team.

We have a new manager, and with that comes different player requirements. Mick will need time to mould the team in his vision and I will be supporting him, as I have every other manager, to achieve eventual promotion to the Premier League.

FFP does not necessarily change our competitive position financially relative to other clubs or prevent us ensuring that we can support the manager’s requirements and there are a number of reasons why we will continue to be as competitive as most other clubs in attempting to secure promotion to the Premiership:

1. We have an Academy stronger than many and we will be aiming to bring talent through to the first team. Our Academy advantage over others will remain.

2. Clubs with historic smaller budgets than Ipswich will probably continue to have smaller budgets as many clubs are currently within the FFP requirements. Our reductions will still leave us in a better financial position than those clubs.

3. Over the last few years, each season there has been a new club or clubs spending hugely in a push for promotion. These clubs will no longer be able to do this without incurring significant penalties. It is therefore likely that these clubs will move their budgets more towards our levels.

4. Parachute clubs [relegated from the Premier League] will have the same financial advantage that comes with the parachute payments as they do now. However, they will also receive significant penalties should they overspend outside of those budgets.

Overall, if we ensure we meet the FFP rules, it should be to our advantage. For certain, all club’s player budgets and wages will be affected – though many fans will see reduced player wages across the board as a good thing, particularly if it creates a more secure financial standing for clubs throughout the country.

Securing promotion now is a harder task than it was five years ago. We currently have five clubs playing this season in the Championship with the benefit of a £48 million parachute payment which runs over four years. In 2009, the parachute payment was only £16 million over two years. However, a quick look at the top eight and bottom eight clubs in this week’s Championship table shows that parachute money is no guarantee of success.

We have all seen clubs on similar and lower budgets to that of Ipswich making a serious promotion challenge so the financial status of our Club compared to others cannot be used as any excuse for our failings of the past four seasons.

Going forwards, as we look to succeed where in the past we haven’t, the Club will continue to leave its managers free to manage without interference from the owner or the club board.

Our manager will continue to dictate football policy, he chooses the players and when new or existing players can be secured within budget, we will seek to reach agreement.

It’s worth noting that in the past, the only players we have not agreed terms with have tended to be those that did not make financial sense, either in terms of the annual wage or in the length of contractual commitments.

FFP will not change our position on this and I will continue to communicate closely with the manager as to what the Club can afford so his efforts and that of his team are not wasted on unrealistic targets.

In Mick, we are fortunate enough to have a highly experienced manager and someone whose skills and experience encompass all the roles a top manager needs to undertake, ie being a manager, a coach and a director of football all wrapped up into one. We are certainly lucky to have an individual who can and wants to take on these broad responsibilities.

Moving on to some management issues on the non-football side, Simon Clegg’s departure will enable me to work more closely with our loyal and hard-working team at Portman Road and along with Ian Milne and Jonathan Symonds I will be doing everything I can to ensure that the admin team provides the necessary support to ensure the most efficient environment for our manager and playing staff. At the top of my list when making any decision is ‘will this change enable the manager to be more focused on football matters and not drawn into other areas?’

I am also fully committed to working closely with the community and ensuring that we keep an open line of communication with our fans. The Club’s work with the community through the ITFC Charitable Trust will continue as it always has done. I will also ensure that our commitment to the Ipswich Academy remains.

I realise that Ipswich Town has a special place in the community, which differs from many other clubs and that Simon, and David [Sheepshanks] before him, were an important link with fans in receiving and taking account of their views.

Whilst I will not be undertaking similar commitments myself on a day-to-day basis, I will be assessing any void that has appeared through Simon’s departure over the course of the next few months, and should it be the case that this needs to be filled, I will be addressing that over the summer. That said, our manager will always have a lot to say!

There is still a long way to go before the end of this season and despite the fact that Mick’s record since he joined the Club, if multiplied over the course of a season would put us within the play-off places, there is still a lot to be done to ensure that we remain in this division and build over the summer to mount a strong promotion challenge next season.

As always, I am amazed and grateful at the ongoing support from the supporters of this fantastic club and I can assure all fans that I will be doing everything I can to ensure our success in the years ahead.

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chrisw2045 added 21:13 - Feb 18
Top Man Mr Evans!!
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minesapint added 21:14 - Feb 18
A lot of common sense. Clubs like Leicester are gambling on buying success while they still can, but if they don't go up this season they could be in the smelly stuff.
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Greektractor added 21:18 - Feb 18
Can't fault Evan on his approach to running our club. Fingers crossed next season it will start to fall in to place
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h32 added 21:22 - Feb 18
Can't say more than that - or expect more - to be fair.
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jas0999 added 21:27 - Feb 18
Will certainly mean many bargains in the summer, because even free transfers will be unable to hold out for ridiculous wages. In mick we now have a manager who in my opinion will be better placed to attract decent players, who don't want a fortune.
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Dozzells_Bobblehat added 21:39 - Feb 18
All sounds fair enough to me.
One very interesting quote "It’s worth noting that in the past, the only players we have not agreed terms with have tended to be those that did not make financial sense, either in terms of the annual wage or in the length of contractual commitments"
In other words those players were greedy b******s and wouldnt fit into the clubs wage policy.......all you Clegg haters taking note of that ??
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BlueBadger added 21:44 - Feb 18
He's just softening us up for the news that there'll be no money for Mick to spend. We are a laughing stock.
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itfc1981 added 21:51 - Feb 18
Heil Evans!
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Arthur added 21:55 - Feb 18
The guy with the £££s is level headed ... Up till Mick Mac his choice of mangers hasn't been great but thank God we don't have some of these hot heads gambling with finances or sacking managers every few games.

Keep the Faith Marcus .... and lets all prey for some good luck!!
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arc added 22:22 - Feb 18
I would rather progress through a strong academy than through some moneybags sugar daddy. That said, the parachute payments are a nonsense that make it very difficult for a team to break into the charmed circle . We need one year of the Premiership to set affairs in order.
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unbelievablue added 22:44 - Feb 18
wot a fecking joke man this club as gone to the dogs for feck sake get the cobbolds back onbord
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brendanh added 23:25 - Feb 18
This is rhubarb. We were doing just fine before ME came along, pushing for promotion in 07/08. We were out of the worst financial waters, and were gradually building a (largely home-grown) team on the back of 2005's youth cup win.
Then myopic ME came along and demanded promotion now. Out went Magic's good work, and in came legions of disinterested journeymen pros, with pedigree but no passion. Out went Jordan Rhodes and Liam Trotter, in came the likes of Tamas Priskin and Grant Leadbitter. Money was spent where it was not needed. Fast forward five years and he still hasn't learned. He's thrown a £1m bonus at MM to avoid relegation this season, where is Mick's incentive to build and bed in for the future? Even after all this time, we're seeing wholesale changes every summer, inevitable failure for a team to settle in early season, followed by loan after loan in a desperate bid to avoid relegation. Season after season the same vicious circle. Crowds have plumetted from 22,000 in 2007 to under 17,000 this season. ME's short-term strategy does not work at Ipswich
I like his words prioritising the academy, but he said the same thing when he arrived and then proceeded to bring in big-time Keane on a short-term "promotion now" contract, who of course didn't have time to wait for the likes of Rhodes. ME's words don't equal actions.
Ipswich have only ever, and will only ever thrive through player development. Both our own players and the under-appreciated (and hungry) from elsewhere.
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wickfordtractorboy added 00:33 - Feb 19
A really good read. Well done Mr. Evans. Speaks a lot of sense and by releasing this I do feel slightly better about having him at the helm. Whatever has clicked in his mind recently about needing to be more hands on I think can only be a good thing. Obviously there are still many issues to be addressed, but I think that we are a lot better off with him in charge than without.

Onwards and upwards, ITFC

ps work is allowing me to make it to the game tomorrow, happy days! UTT
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R_LAMB3 added 00:42 - Feb 19
Dont sound like someone ready to sell the club to me.
Like i said in one of my earlier posts he will give Mick money to build his own team in the summer and i think he is looking to get into the premier league.
Dont forget Mick has done it with two other championship teams and i for one believe he will do it with Ipswich Town.
Mark my words in Mick McCarthy we have a very good Manager and i think he will turn out to be one of the top Managers for Town the same as the likes of the great Bobby Robson and Alf Ramsey who both went on to Manage England and recieved Knighthoods.
Who else could have got so many points out of load of loan players and a bunch of other players with not much talent between them.
I dread to think where we would be now if Jewell was still the Manager.
But going back to mr evans there is no way he will sell the club at the moment because he know with a Manager like Mick Ipswich Town are going places.
Not only do we have Mick but we also have a very good assistant Manager and some top coaches and Mick has brought in some top scouts also to help him.
By the start of next season the majority of the players we have now will be gone and Mick will bring in his own team and we will be pushing for promotion next season.
Keep up the good work Mick.
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JimmyJazz added 08:06 - Feb 19
The one point I don't agree with is "We have an Academy stronger than many and we will be aiming to bring talent through to the first team".
I don't think our academy is strong - Kluq aside - and there's not much evidence of talent being given a chance
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kiwiblue added 08:56 - Feb 19
Well written and fair comments Marcus. Very pleased you are supporting the Blues.
The future is looking good.
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Marshalls_Mullet added 09:27 - Feb 19
Makes me laugh the way some people find a way to twist this as negative!!
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blueherts added 12:20 - Feb 19
Great - like I have said before - we have had a very sensible and business like way of dealing with transfers and finances - People need to live in the REAL WORLD not the REALITY TV world - there will be ALOT of clubs in the next few years in major Financial crisis - Too many overseas ( and British) owned clubs have gambled ( abit like Banks did) on success - great if it comes off but it is a Huge RISK/REWARD balance and those that dont make it will pay ultimate Financial sacrifice - clubs will go out of business
Town have refused to play the stupid Agent/Deal maker/ Player/ highest bidder game
FFP is here to stay and we have our house in order PLUS , and more importantly we have a Manager/Coach duo who are respected and will attract players to play for us at sensible salaries - eg Campbell - what he did at Hull pretty much sums him and the whole sorry 'player power' up - Just take a look at Forest , Leeds , Blackburn - added to that at the other end of things what is happening at Arsenal ( they spend all their money on their Execs and Manager) instead of players !!! crazy world of Football
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Tufty added 12:24 - Feb 19
Long term financial stability has to be a priority but financial growth only comes from the team making progress. Would any of the wingers on this site put their hard earned into this club - no.
Would they have the business nouse to run a football club - no.
Our job is to cheer the team on come hell or high water lets get on with it starting at 7.45pm
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Tufty added 12:24 - Feb 19
Long term financial stability has to be a priority but financial growth only comes from the team making progress. Would any of the wingers on this site put their hard earned into this club - no.
Would they have the business nouse to run a football club - no.
Our job is to cheer the team on come hell or high water lets get on with it starting at 7.45pm
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Doctor_Albran added 12:37 - Feb 19
I see there are a few trolls about today - got your negative marks boys, congrats, time for some self congratulation...?

On the whole ME talks alot of sense. Even his managerial errors were made for the right reasons - Keane had had success at Sunderland in a similar position and Jewell was a more experienced head and used to working on a shoestring - unfortunately these didn't pay off.

In McCarthy he has made an astute choice (we're not going to pay compo, so you can only take what's available at the time) and one that if we stay up which we should do, although it's not a given by any means, given a summer to get the team sorted we should be good to go in 2013/14.
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PinstripeBlue added 13:00 - Feb 19
What exactly has ME told us that we didnt already know? Very nice, well scripted, statement without really saying anything. Cleggy was not too bad at that kind of thing also!
Lots of chat about FPP and how he believes we and other clubs are dealing with it, without really putting names or figures to it.
One very important thing he missed, how much may be avaialable to MM in the summer (that would be nice to know).
Not being negative just saying what I see.
Come on ME tell us fans what we want to hear.


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lojd added 13:40 - Feb 19
I'm very happy with FPP. If this is greeted by Chairmen and owners the same way Mr Evans has, up and down the leagues, then English football has a bright future. Hopefully this will encourage players to show some loyalty to the clubs they play for, the only way they can earn more money is by playing in a higher league, not whichever club in the league they are already in has the biggest cheque book.

The championship has become all about the short term and is littered with clubs overstretching themselves financially to chase that dream of the premier league. New owners all seem to get over excited at the fact they are only one promotion away from playing in the PL, ME was probably guilty of this when he came to ITFC, but it's clear that his vision is now more long term.

I'm very encouraged by ME's interview, it is great to hear him talking about the academy and the community. It certainly isn't the sign of someone who is ready to throw the towel in like so many people have suggested.
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commuterblue added 11:53 - Feb 21
good sensible stuff. of course the biggest way to spend more money will be for attendences to increase. Less than 17,000 for Blackpool on Saturday. High attendances were what helped us splash out on Marcus Stewart.

A lot of the blame banded about above should be aimed at keane not evans. And rightly, the manager dictates player policy. I liked Trotter but not many others in NSL did. Equally Magic hasn't exactly set the managerial world alight elsewhere. And Keane wanted promotion in the first year not two, based on his first press conference - he may well not have wanted to have been tied down to a 3 year deal.
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