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Lurking In The Shadows
Written by prickettboy3 on Monday, 22nd Oct 2012 12:35

I think it’s human nature to be just a little sceptical, maybe even afraid of things which hide away in dark places. As children we’re told of stories of bogey men and cupboard monsters, mainly as our parents telling us the stories find our fear amusing (I know that’s why I scare my kids) but from it we form the opinion that anybody or anything which isn’t prepared to be seen in the light of day isn’t to be trusted.

People found loitering in dark streets or who carry out their business when all others are nowhere to be seen are probably up to no good. Unfortunately for us, we have an owner in Marcus Evans who operates in such a way.

Until recently there were no pictures of him, he has never been heard from and his efforts to avoid society have seen T-shirts sold in their thousands claiming “I’m Marcus Evans” on them and had people questioning at one stage whether he actually existed at all or was just symbolic.

Yet despite all this we are asked, expected even, to trust him. For five years now we’ve not had so much as a letter through the post claiming to be from Marcus Evans, and his invisibility has been the source of much division amongst the fans. Some believe that he has the right to remain out of the limelight and others would appreciate a more sincere approach.

I side with the latter. This isn’t a belief or opinion I’ve recently formed in the aftermath of poor results on the pitch, it’s something I’ve been requesting for a number of years and the longer Mr Evans has evaded the camera’s the more suspicious I’ve become.

I accept that there’s a fine line between a fame hungry owner and an invisible one. Nobody wants a Dave Whelan, coming on the TV every five minutes and shouting their mouth off about any rumour surrounding their club, but at the same time the fans need to know who their club is being controlled by, especially when times get tough.

I’ve had some people tell me that if I had the millions he had then I wouldn’t want to be in front of the cameras either. Maybe not, but then if I didn’t want that I wouldn’t buy a football club residing in the fifth most watched league in the world, steeped in history with big expectations surrounding it.

Our club is struggling. Note I’ve said club, not team. The club has become unrecognisable over the past few years from the one it had been for 40 years prior. The Cobbold family and subsequent chairmen, including David Sheepshanks, worked tirelessly to create and maintain a family feeling at Ipswich.

It was this that separated us from so many other average clubs in the country. It is this that’s been misplaced, perhaps even lost and gone for good. It is this that is needed when a club and/or team is struggling. It is this Mr Evans needs to recreate. A feeling of unity.

For me, hiding behind Simon Clegg, or Cleggans as he’s now become known, is unacceptable at a time of confusion, fear and panic when questions need be answered directly. The result of not doing so is that the fans have turned on the CEO, unfairly perhaps if he is just the messenger and when we’ve received unsatisfactory answers from him we’ve turned on each other.

This sort of behaviour is something we’ve seen develop at other clubs over the years and we’ve berated their actions and wished failure upon their club as a result. Not because we dislike any of the clubs, but because supporters shouldn’t behave in such a disrespectful manner. We are becoming the very thing we’ve condemned in the past and I hold ME partly responsible for this by not coming out and addressing the problems personally.

I’m thankful for the millions of pounds Mr Evans has poured into my beloved Ipswich Town FC, without which we may well not even exist to be having these problems, and whilst lurking in the shadows himself can maybe be forgiven, luring our club into the shadows with him is not.

So Mr Evans, in the words of someone who will always remain more disliked than Paul Jewell is at the moment, I ask you… WHERE ARE YOU? LET’S BE ‘AVIN YOU.

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blues1 added 18:00 - Oct 22
good blog. you make some good points. while i agree it would be nice to still be "the family club" we were under the cobbolds, i think you have to realise that we live in a different time when finance is of paramount importance in football. football is run as a business nowadays and you have a choice. go with that to try to succeed or stay a homely club with no ambition for success. now that may be a bit simplistic a way of looking at it , but i really dont believe you can have the kind of club we had years ago. sad, but there you are. having said all that, i do think there could be a bit more sense of community about the club but it has to be run 1st & foremost as a business.

MichaelRockyLavelle added 18:32 - Oct 22
Couldn't put it better! How are we meant to unite properly through such tough times if there is no visible owner!?

BillBlue added 18:49 - Oct 22
Prickettboy3 100% right. I have been an ardent Town fan since the end of WW2 but even I, forever an optimist, am feeling isolated and doubtful of our future. The person whom you quote in your final paragraph, at least she has not dragged her club down to where Evans has dragged us. COYB

RegencyBlue added 19:04 - Oct 22
I know what you're saying but in all honesty its his decison making which concerns me and I'm guessing that would be just as bad whether he continues to hide in the shadows or does a song and dance routine on the pitch every half time!


TimmyH added 19:36 - Oct 22
Yeah you can't help feeling that the supporters are further away now than at any time from what really goes on financially or strategically at this once great club, sometimes I feel we are just fed a lot of hot air. Business before football.

deliasplums added 20:20 - Oct 22
Nice summation of where we are and by the sound and look of it how many of us feel.

alfromcol added 20:37 - Oct 22
The club and the supporters are crying out for leadership and it isn't there!

Come on ME give us some leadership.
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