|Marcus: Thanks For the Cash But You Need to Speak|
Written by TimS on Sunday, 6th Jan 2019 18:57
It is starting to go beyond funny now and what is making it even worse that I seem to be meeting Norwich fans that wish to rub it in, but I have got nothing to say in return.
Even this morning, I met a woman who said that she was a Norwich fan who stated that Carrow Road collapsed into laughter when the Accrington result came in yesterday afternoon.
Am I the only person who was not shocked that Town have now exited from this year's FA Cup? If I was a Norwich fan, I would probably have laughed too.
I am also surely not the only person who has family north of the border of Diss who met together over the recent Christmas break. Usually my uncle (Norwich fan) wishes to engage with a bit of East Anglia football banter and he tried this time but I had nothing to give back.
I look at my beloved Ipswich with no real assets, no real hope for the future, stagnating and seemingly about to crash out of the Championship with nothing but a big hole of comment from the club's senior leadership ie Evans. And I am supposed to just shrug my shoulders and say that's football?
The state of Ipswich Town Football Club is becoming a topic that is on the toxic family discussion list alongside Brexit. Coming back from Norfolk last Sunday, I was in discussion with my Dad driving down a deserted Norwich Road wondering whether Evans should go. I want him to go. My Dad felt that it was not his fault but we both agreed that Evans needs to do something to arrest this slide.
We thanked him for his cash but there needs to be something said by Evans. He needs to subject himself to some sort of scrutiny in a interview in our local media, not an in-house PR job by Town's PR department but there are so many questions that need to be asked. The black hole of communication is just creating more anxiety, more disquiet, and will do nothing to quell the misery felt by hopefully everyone connected with Ipswich Town Football Club.
When you live away from Ipswich, your relationship with the club is different to those born in the IP postcode. For you locally-based fans, you catch the word on the street which is often stronger than the reports in the media or the complaints on the message boards.
Back in Ipswich over Christmas, I sensed that the whole town was drifting. All very nice to see new paving slabs in the Cornhill and a bright and bushy Christmas tree but the town seemed to be dying. So different to when I was in my early 20s when Town in the Premiership (yes it did happen) brought a buzz around the place.
I really worry that if Town do get relegated to League One, it will further tear the heart out of the town and I honestly don't know where we and the club would go from there.
Maybe Ipswich will go like Coventry. I lived in Leamington Spa for three years and used to watch Town at the Ricoh Arena. I worked with many Coventry City fans who would talk with misty-eyed excitement about their 1987 FA Cup final but now look to their club with surpressed anger wondering whether it was the same club where Houchin, Regis, Bennett and Ogrizovic plied their trade.
My Dad is of the generation who can remember the days of Mariner, Gates, Hunter and Burley and the 1978 FA Cup final. He wonders whether it is the same club where he spent too many nights and Saturdays in the 60s and 70s. I don't bother asking where we should go to a game now - it would be an insult to those happy memories.
Some people say that Marcus Evans saved the club. I do not know whether that is the case, but if this is true, then I will be eternally grateful but those responsibilities do not stop there.
Like it or not, by being the owner of the local football club, I would argue that Evans also has a responsibility to speak and directly engage with the fans. The club is in the mire at the moment. I do not subscribe to the idea that if we get relegated, we are such a 'massive' club that it will be merely a season before we are back in the Championship.
As I stood in the hall of my uncle's house near Diss, I could not say anything in response to my uncle's jibes. Evans needs to give me some words and hope to speak.If there is nothing that he can say then I suggest that he steps aside for someone that can give me a story to tell.
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