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New Joint-MDs Write
Wednesday, 20th Feb 2013 12:57

New joint-managing directors Ian Milne and Jonathan Symonds wrote a column in last night's match programme, which the club have given us permission to reproduce here.

Ever since we became directors of this club five years ago, and even more so now we have stepped into our new shoes, we have given much thought to the aim of a professional football club.

Of course, consistently winning matches, getting promoted and lifting trophies spring immediately to mind. But we want to achieve more than that.

We want to entertain, provide a great day out for all supporters young and old, promote participation in sport generally and especially in football at all levels. We want the club to play a noteworthy role in its community, assisting local business sponsors and providing employment in the area.

We have a glorious history that we cherish – 135 years of it since the club’s formation as Ipswich AFC. And now our fans, owner, players and staff challenge us to look to the future.

We have spent time with every department and area of the club. Together we are developing and launching various projects and ideas to promote a new culture centred on efficiency, generating new sources of income and generally adding value to the club and its activities.

This will reshape the way Ipswich Town does business and these changes will benefit our fans, our players and our employees which ultimately should improve performance on the pitch.

Where we can change things for the better quickly, then we must do so. One of our first areas of focus is to do more through the Internet. We can operate more economically by doing business online, such as ticket and shop sales. And we can reach old and new fans more quickly and effectively.

Another area where we have a lot of experience and expertise is hospitality and so we are reviewing all processes around the delivery of food and beverages to fans to improve our offering, efficiency and courtesy in these areas. Our public bars are spearheading this and more improvements are on the way.

We will look at every stage of a fan’s visit, be they home or away supporters, with a view to enhancing the quality of service and experience that the club provides. The supporters will want to come back for more Ipswich Town hospitality, cheer and entertainment. The club’s staff are committed to improving services throughout the stadium.

We relish the opportunity to take Ipswich Town forward and are committed to steering through the significant challenges still facing us. These challenges are not straightforward but with the support of the fans and the engagement of our employees we can realise the potential of this fine football club.

Photo: ITFC

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RetroBlue added 13:11 - Feb 20
Back room, ITFC Staff job losses looming ...ie using internet to contact with fan base, shop staff , ticketing staff going?
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cthulhu added 13:14 - Feb 20
To summarise: We're laying off some staff, and we're going to charge you more for what you already do, because it's "good for the club"....
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IpsRich added 13:20 - Feb 20
A comment on the footballing side might have been nice though gents. This customer offering you talk about is nothing if the football is crap and we're down in League 1 with 11,000 attendances.
Nothing on the academy or support for the manager either. It suggests their remit is not as broad as Clegg's in this regard. Perhaps Marcus has realised if you want a job doing, you do it yourself.
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Michael11 added 13:21 - Feb 20
Hopefully a fresh start is what was needed for this club. No Clegg, Jewell, Keane or anyone else to point the finger at now. We have a fantastic manager and hopefully a chairman that will fully back him this summer so hopefully good times will be back sooner rather than later!
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Scribble added 13:25 - Feb 20
First public article and I'm not impressed, what other club would give a statement like that? That's the sort of statement you'd expect to see from a high street chain.

No football knowledge at all, he didn't even mention football, it really is just a business to them not a club!
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reaper added 13:35 - Feb 20
Considering these guys have never had footballing experience I would be worried if they did start making drastic changes!

Their job is the day to day running of the club, and they leave the footballing matters to the manager. Everyone complaining about this really needs to consider the alternatives...
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JWM added 13:36 - Feb 20
Its good to see that the Portman Road spin machine is still alive after Clegg's departure. How about coming up with and communicating to the fans a grand plan on how we get this once great football club out of the mess it's in! I don't care about the "Matchday experience" all I care about is Town winning games of football. For those of a certain age, can you ever have dreamed of the Cobbolds coming out with this corporate guff!
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Marshalls_Mullet added 13:37 - Feb 20
Short term measure! I see David Gill resigned from Utd today.

Soon to be appointed CEO of ITFC! Def info.
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Marshalls_Mullet added 13:42 - Feb 20
I agree with Reaper, the football side is not their main remit, that will be left to MM and ME.

Some fans seem to expect them to comment on the team changing formation and where MM's tactics are going wrong.

And also, if some staff lose their job due to technology, then I am afraid that is just the world we live in. Catch up.
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JWM added 13:46 - Feb 20
I would love to have a few pints of what your on Mullet!

How any one can get excited over a vague mission statement is beyond me!
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WarkOn added 14:16 - Feb 20
cthulu:

Spot on - perfect translation. Good to see some of us can see through the smokescreen.

Sad to see a once great club talking this corporate tosh – the spirit of Clegg is sadly still with us.

David Gill anyone?

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AndrewPC added 14:33 - Feb 20
The scope of what these two MDs have to say is probably very tightly tied to the remit they have been given by ME. That seems to be:1/ using technology to reduce the costs of interacting with the "customers" (sorry, us Town fans), and 2/ what the consultants call "customer lifecycle management". The latter meaning,increased customer acquisition and retention at reduced per unit cost.

So there we have it. They will cut staff and increase automation for sales. They will seek to increase the "services" on offer over the website, and other Internet channels; as well as their quality so as to raise the average revenue per "user" (ARPU, as the mobile operators call it).

As we know, the money taken off the punters is still the major source of income.

They will not have, if this statement is the alpha and omega of their roles, any input to football management, the financials of which presumably will be the sole domain of ME.

May be I'm wrong but that is my take away from the above.
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HARRY10 added 14:39 - Feb 20
Or as spoken elsewhere -





"which ultimately should improve performance on the pitch"

note the word should

not will, but should

big difference, and not one of semantics either

they know it is just simply more cost cutting, more price increases and lower service - and stuff what goes on, on the pitch

turn in your grave Patrick and John - what has become of our once proud club ?



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Moscow_Blue added 14:46 - Feb 20
If this means leaving the football entirely to MM so much the better.
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JWM added 14:49 - Feb 20
Perhaps their time would be better spent going off to Spain or Germany to sell our services as a feeder club!
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MattinLondon added 15:12 - Feb 20
The supporters will want to come back for more Ipswich Town hospitality, cheer and entertainment. The club’s staff are committed to improving services throughout the stadium.

Call me old fashioned but I don't care about hospitality - I just want a team that can challenge for promotion rather than the absolute dross we've been served since ME takeover.
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spanish_archer added 15:25 - Feb 20
As a far away Ipswich supporter, I think they are talking sense to maximise revenue via the Internet.

Currently the online ITFC Shop is a joke.
I stopped my Ipswich Player subscription because I couldn't get commentary on my Mac
The website is just a template used by every other club
Where are the Smartphone apps from the club
You can get the ITFC programmes online but why haven't they put the programme into a smartphone app

I hope these guys succeed in maximising revenue so Mick can have more cash to play with.

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bohslegend added 15:32 - Feb 20
Ah yes, the old conspiracy theories back to the fore! We didnt like Clegg and we dont like these two. Basically what we're saying is we dont want our club run like a business. Who cares about the club being viable??!! We want only "real football people" running the club, not business men.
Lads, get a bit of cop on will you?!! If there are parts of the club that are inefficient or ineffective, they will cost money. If the money is being spent in these areas it will not be spent on the team. On the other hand, if the ugly business side of the club is being run efficiently, and we are not incurring unnecessary costs, the team and the football will benefit.
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bluefeast added 15:40 - Feb 20
Give them a chance chaps they a part of we support . Lets be positive or is that Suffolk thing of dull gloomy and miserable LOL
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HARRY10 added 15:50 - Feb 20
So after five years of being in control there are "parts of the club that are inefficient or ineffective". Really ? And how come they have just noticed them ? And why are they not simply being dealt with as you would expect any company to do - as an ongoing function of the running of the club ?

So why the need to make such announcements ?

Conspiracy theory, or just softening us up for more cuts ?

I suggest the latter, though some will not want it to be so simple and will come out with it being 'conspiracy theories' and such like. On past form, however, the evidence is very much on more cuts.

ps what on earth is "get a bit of cop on will you ?"
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MattinLondon added 16:21 - Feb 20
Actually I sounded a bit grumpy on my earlier post - the very best of luck to the new fellas - really want them to succeed.
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jonnysuave added 16:40 - Feb 20
Surely we have to see this as new beginnings and not get so negative already. The club has been through a really awful time in the last 10 years or so. That's a quarter of my prime football fandom wasted.

We should think of ourselves as addicts. We hit rock bottom, sought some help and are taking recovery one day at a time... With a picture of Roy kane on the dartboard.
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jonnysuave added 16:41 - Feb 20
Or should that be Roy Keane...
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HARRY10 added 16:57 - Feb 20
How is it a new beginning. These chaps have been here for somewhile now. Why wasn't this supposed 'efficiency' drive carried out under Clegg ?

They were on the board overseeing the running of the club. So any inefficencies were down to them. Hardly a new beginning, more a continuation of the old cost cutting which saw Clegg leave and undoubtedly see other go as well.

Planning for survival (just) not success.
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onlybluesandhorses added 17:29 - Feb 20
Crucially this is the two new blokes, Chelsea fans and with no previous knowledge of the Club clearly, save for a week since appointed, deciding that the Club needs a new culture and that they are the ones to define it. This is just them marking out the Club as theirs and with no care for anyone else such as the fans or the local community and no suggestion that either might be consulted. Yes it is much as you would behave towards a widgets subsidiary. The fans are described as customers who need to buy more fizzy drinks and burgers. Typically off the field staff numbers have been cut but the article says that income has to be maximised .
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