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Marcus Evans Needs Our Support Not to Be Hounded Out
Written by FrimleyBlue on Monday, 7th Jan 2019 12:06

I started a thread on the TWTD Forum a few weeks ago about why I felt sorry for our owner. It was an interesting thread, a few agreed but there was a majority who continued the recent craze of ' Evans needs to go'.

Possibly, the majority may be right, however, whilst to a degree I understand this mindset, I also feel fans need to realise that if Marcus is openly looking to sell the club, it's not just the football side of the club he would need to sell to a prospective buyer, but also its 'customers'.

Imagine a buyer looking at the club from the outside, clearly there are issues within the club, Paul Lambert has pretty much confirmed this, as did Paul Hurst when he was here. But also the buyer will also be looking at the project and will have to think what they can do for the club should they be successful in obtaining the contract.

Firstly, we've seen and we all tend to agree that football has outgrown financially what Evans can afford to put in, I think that's clear. This isn't Marcus's fault, it's just the way it is and we have to get used to that fact.

But what he has done is try his best with his resources, what our fanbase are pretty much showing is a distinct lack of understanding on this part and for me I feel this can also scare off potential buyers.

An owner, putting in what he can to try and do best for the club and being hounded for doing so. An owner whose company is owed nearly £100 million, which will be written off, hounded for keeping the club afloat when realistically, football has outgrown ITFC.

We're not the only club to have had a rich history but go through a bad period, it happens to many clubs, but we need to stick together.

By supporting Evans as well as Lambert, you're showing potential new buyers that no matter what, this club and its support base will stick by each other. Not turn on next person in the firing line, first it was Mick McCarthy, then Hurst, Now Evans.

Evans has always gone for what he believes is right, in Mick we had a competitive yet boring football style. Fans demanded change, we got it. We wanted a young upcoming manager, we got it. Yet Evans is the one to blame for where we currently sit. It's a witch-hunt and it needs to stop.

ITFC have never been in a healthy financial position, and of course the collapse of ITV Digital and other issues made things even worse for us leading to 2003's administration.

For me it all started way back when the Premier League begun, and now you now have no choice but to either pay to be competitive or just float around as a football club but one local supporters continue to watch and I feel to many Town fans expect too much of our small club.

We won a few things, but for now, the long-term project is keeping ITFC working as a football club with its supporters. If this is in League One, so be it, but the hounding of the person keeping the club afloat needs to be switched into showing new potential buyers that the support base understands football finance and how ITFC just aren't big enough to mix with the big players any more.

What am I saying? Support everyone, players, manager, owner, tea lady. We're all in it together. We're ITFC who once won something, we could again, but in many many years to come IF the football finance bubble burst, but until then, just enjoy being a football club, with a history.

Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.

Steve_M added 12:29 - Jan 7
Afternoon Doctor Pangloss.

Evans ownership has been poor. It's not about money, the club could be much better run than it is on the same budget. There has never been a football strategy beyond getting the first-team manager to out-perform the budget. That leads to big changes when a new manager comes in, and the farce of last Summer where good Championship players were replaced with half a team of lower league signings. On their own perhaps most of those players might have stepped up, but collectively it was too much.

The very obvious state of the ground - North Stand roof, peeling paint on metalwork etc - is symptomatic of an owner cutting every corner but storing up longer-term problems as poor maintenance results in greater costs for the club.

In eleven years Evans has failed to communicate openly with fans, not even the tame local press (with the exception of one Patridgesque effort from Nigel Pickover). Where are the efforts to make use of Portman Road outside of match days, other clubs - Colchester for example - do a much better job of this bringing in additional revenue.

So, Evans should be criticised, questions need to be asked about his ownership and his exit strategy as he clearly wants to sell the club. They are particularly pertinent now with relegation very likely.

That said, I see little point in protests at matches whilst the season is still live. That will just create division in the stands when the team could really use our support.

md_blue added 12:34 - Jan 7
Well said. ME only sells the club if he gets something back for it and constantly taking shots at him on social media is not helpful. There are many, many worse people who could own the club (would you rather have a reclusive ME or Mike Ashley?). Football has changed out of all recognition in the past fifteen years and the days of a successful club being locally owned by one individual may have come and gone. Supporters do not need to always agree with how the owner conducts the business of the club and certainly on the back of the playoff season more investment may have helped. The gamble with Hurst, widely welcomed at the time, did not pay off. Now, ME must choose between giving a manager with a track record more cash (on top of what he has already given Hurst) in hopes of staying up or cutting his losses to prepare for League One. I think that further sniping at ME perhaps discourages him from doing what we want him to do (dig deeper). Financially, we are a small club but without ME we might not be a club at all.

RegencyBlue added 13:03 - Jan 7
You're entitled to your opinion but I disagree.

For myself the thought that Evans is not right for this club is nothing new. At the start of his reign I was hopeful but the appointment of Clegg for blatantly non footballing reasons set the tone for what was to follow.

Evans is a chancer who thought he saw a way to make money out of us by buying up the then debt at a fraction of its face value, throwing in a few million to get us promoted, and then getting paid back in full. Once that blew up spectacularly in his face he hasn’t had a clue what to do with us since and has let the club drift.

I do not believe for one moment that any decision he has taken here was influenced by the fans. It may well be that what fans were asking for corresponded with his own personal agenda at points in time but that would have been coincidence and nothing more. What he has done is preside over relentless decline, first of all hiding behind FFP and then the much vaunted five point plan which is the bare minimum any club should be doing.

Our only hope to turn this around in my view is for him to sell up but he's going to have to write off the debt completely to get anyone interested. I cannot see any potential buyer being put off by fan unrest, quite the opposite in fact, because they could probably use it to drive a harder bargain.


prebbs007 added 13:08 - Jan 7
Sorry Frimley but you could not be more wrong in your assessment of Marcus Evans and his handling of ITFC.

Football has not outgrown Evans, it has outgrown what he wants out of it. Below is a list of wealth of Championship owners from last season and as you can see our esteemed owner has far more money than the owners of Derby, Forest (since changed) Brum, QPR, Sheff U, Hull, and multiple times more than Boro (whose two players we were apparently interested in but couldn't afford to buy or pay wages). So please do not tell me that football has outgrown our owner, we're not talking about winning the Champions League here, we're talking about trying to avoid third tier football in England !!!!! We apparently can't compete financially.... more like we WON'T compete financially because our owner only wants to use our beloved football club as a conduit to his tax affairs where he can offset large profits elsewhere in his business empire, it SUITS him for ITFC to lose money and that's why he funnels off profits from player sales and doesn't invest in replacements.

Wolves – Fosun International - £7bn
Fulham: Shahid Khan - £5.2bn
Bristol City: Steve Lansdown - £1.5bn
Sunderland – Ellis Short - £1bn
Aston Villa: Tony Xia - £990m
Cardiff City: Vincent Tan - £940m
Preston North End – Trevor Hemmings - £850m
Ipswich Town: Marcus Evans - £805m
Sheffield Wednesday – Deiphon Chansiri - £520m
Derby County: Mel Morris - £500m
Nottingham Forest – Evangelos Marinakis - £470m
Birmingham City: Paul Suen (Trillion Trophy Asia) - £450m
Queens Park Rangers – Tony Fernandes - £345m
Sheffield United – Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud - £260m
Hull City: Assem Allam - £250m
Middlesbrough: Steve Gibson - £195m
Millwall: John Berylson - £175m
Norwich City: Delia Smith and Michael Wynn-Jones - £23m

No ITFC fans should be in any doubt about our owners wealth but be assured he can choose to do whatever he wants with his money, that's his right, but for him to continually say he backs the football club is a complete fallacy. We are a one team town club who have zero local competition unlike Derby, Forest, QPR, Villa, Sheff U, Sheff W etc etc who all have local "rivals2 who aren't 40+ miles away.

Evans bought our club in the hope of a very quick profit and threw out a successful manager to bring in a complete pr!ck and when that failed pulled all his true backing. When we went top of the league at Brentford on boxing day that was the time to invest, now we are going to be playing below the top two divisions and with him as our owner I do not see a way back.

Sorry for the doom and gloom but we all need to wake up and see how this man has destroyed our club. The Cobbold family and Sir Alf & Sir Bobby will be crying into their halo's

ITFC forever

ElephantintheRoom added 13:59 - Jan 7
I am not sure you appreciate the reality of the situation. Are you a shareholder? The sell out was presented to shareholders as a private investment of a mysterious figure who had Town's best interests at heart. He wasn't there himself of course, which tells its own story. Tracking down Marcus Evans' East Anglian hub in Cambridge at the time led you to an empty serviced office, which again told its own story. HIs first action was to get rid of the financial staff - and insert an overseer who might have been good at digging latrines in the army, but was clearly briefed to make a financial killing in the Olympics. The fact that he was an utter incompetent again tells it own story. Saddling the club with debt from day 1, having paid it off was not entirely helpful either, as was issuing a high interest loan for the manager to buy expensive duds - something he had not been doing as Town rose to 6th place. Then as now, fine-tuning might have been better. Did he at any point know what he was doing? The five point plan, written after five years on the back of a fag packet? Try as I might I cannot think of one reason for Town fans to be anything but deeply suspicious and highly resentful of Marcus Evans. His businesses are somewhat unsavoury. HIs managerial appointments have been disastrous, and he has removed any support for the manager and club from within it, because Ipswich Town isn't a football club its a business run on the lines of an on-line touting business. I'm a shareholder and I still don't know where Ipswich Town Football Club now resides at the end of the paper trail. That in itself is appalling. I seem to remember FIFA questioning his fitness to be involved with football. But it IS his club and we gave it to him. I don't remember too many people coughing up to buy shares to save Sheepshanks' bacon when the club went belly up

prebbs007 added 14:00 - Jan 7
Apologies Steve M meant to vote + not - to your post I'm sorry !!

rugbytomc added 14:04 - Jan 7
FrimleyBlue - unfortunately because Evans has been such a reclusive non communicative owner, you're just guessing at what he's done and why he's done it. Like the table of owners wealth above, I'm sure you can point to just as many teams whom after a takeover have appointed a recognised football person to help run the club - be it as a Director of Football or MD role etc etc - Evans has done neither. As mentioned he appointed Clegg for non footballing reason and its anyone's guess why he appointed Ian Milne because he (in his own words when quizzed on anything ITFC) "doesn't know" anything!
At least the Hull owner has come out and said he wants to sell the club because he's not allowed to call them Hull Tigers. We can guess at what's going on but have no idea if Evans wants to sell at all and if so - is it because he's bored of the project or has lost too much money on it? Or does he want to keep the club and to what end - to make us successful because he's not bored of the project or because he just wants us to exist for other reasons (that I won't write as i'm not writing anything libelous!)
So we have no idea what our owner wants to do which means we have no idea what will happen to our club.

You are right in saying "we" wanted McCarthy gone and replaced with a younger manager which "we" got in the summer. But with a straight face tell me Donacien was worth £750k to warm the bench and Jackson worth £1.6m and Nolan and Nsiala worth a combined £1.1m? Evans ratified those deals - how does that make footballing sense when he gave Mick nothing to spend in 5 years?!

Stato added 15:16 - Jan 7
A lot of nonsense is spoken about Evans on both sides of the argument.

He has actually said the club is up for sale but at the right price which is his right. Our losses reduce his tax liability they don't eliminate it so lets expel that myth. He does have to put money into the club each season and isnt raking off transfer fees so lets eliminate that myth too. He keeps a low profile but thats better than some show off who just wants constant media attention. Calling Evans a ticket tout on this site is not helpful and that just shouldn't happen. Keep that sort of talk for the pub but don't put it on here as just gives Phil a headache he doesn't need.

On the flip side Evans has told us himself that he knew little about Ipswich when he bought us which is less than ideal for me and I'd prefer an owner from the local community. The ground is looking tired and needs investment. The current squad isn't fit for purpose. Home crowds have been on steady decline under Evans. There is much to criticise about his ownership and apparent lack of ownership but our budget is well documented to be about average for the championship so its wrong to say that we are bottom of the table for financial reasons. Evans doesn't have anything to do with transfer policy other than doing the deal and he doesn't train the players or pick the match day squad.

Lots of us hated the McCarthy style of football and demanded change. Lots of us thought Hurst was the answer. I was in both camps. Lots of you but not me are thrilled with Lambert so why is Evans to blame for any of the team management and squad performance.

For me the sooner Evans sells the better but while he remains lets get our facts right. He is a very wealthy guy who bought us expecting to make a (quick) profit. It hasn't worked out for him or us but in the meantime lets be fair about what he has done wrong as in some respects he has been very unlucky as I thought Roy Keane was a really ambitious appointment at the time and although I never wanted hoof ball Mick there is no doubt he was another 'big' name.

Now we are in a total mess and league 1 beckons. The budget takes a 10 million hit ( from memory) at that level so more challenges lie ahead but I remember the Bobby Robson side being dismantled to fund the debts from ground development so the truth is there always has been a budget and there always will be therefore its not so much a new owner we need but a gifted manager who outperforms his budget


frantblue added 17:20 - Jan 7
Sorry to disagree with the original blog. But Mr Evans does need to go.

Not just for the lack of the investment but also the pure lack of leadership he has shown and no commitment to the ethos and ethics of the club.

As a comparison for all of Mr sheepshanks and Mr Kerr's faults they led the club with the fans at there heart. They built the crowds up( even after relegation the 1st time) they invested in players and the manager. But they were and hope still are fans.

Evans has never been a fan it has always been business and he has managed it as such each under performing manager changed for the next. A bit like middle managers in a hard sell sales company that don't hot there department sales goals.

But the fan base is also at fault. At one time the club. Had 23k in Season ticket sales and with in 2 yrs of the relegation they declined dramatically, even with Joe royal then magilton giving us the football we wanted at the time.

If those 10000 were still there that extra 2.5/3m( probably more) would mean the club in a more financially stable position, one big sale a season To balance the books and provide transfer funds ( et Al cobbold/kerr/ sheepshanks era)

You can ask for patience I think the fans have been. Look else where even at man utd and you see protests and condemnation of owners who put business before the club and fans start a lot sooner to protest

cactusjack added 17:21 - Jan 7
Are you drunk??????

phantom added 17:36 - Jan 7
This poster sums up everything wrong with the fan base of itfc.
norwich fans couldnt cause this much damage to my club as evans and his lack of leadership has done.
All this rubbish about evans doing the right thing is laughable.
If evans had any ambition to the prem he should have given mcarthy fund that were needed in out playoff season.
Evans is a clueless melt his CEO appointments have been shocking including the current regime.
His choice of managers bar macarthy has been abismal.
And now we have a another manager and ex norwich manager whose record is now worse than hursts who is about to relegated the club.
You really couldnt make this up.
The sooner evans goes the better itfc will be in the furture because as things stands, relegation is a cert followed by job losses to those working around the club that probably on minmum wage.
But thats ok the snowflake prawnsandwich eating shareholders will continue to fund evans director boxes jist so they can feel important.
Has anyone actually thought ITFC as a club could suffer back to back relegation and even go under, NO to busy kissing directors backside.
ITFC is in my bloody for over 45 years will it be 50 im starting to think not.

frantblue added 18:03 - Jan 7
Sorry cactusjack didn't mean to vote down

TractorBoyOlly added 18:10 - Jan 7
Support! I'm sorry. My support for a multi-millionaire with no footballing knowledge, who has been in charge for 11 years is waning.

He appointed 2 awful managers and gave them far too much money.
Appointed another solid Championship manager but failed to back him.
Appointed a lower league manager who went mad on signing lower league players
Finally got the appointment right at the 5th time of asking which appears to be too little too late.

Don't tell me how to support my football club, I shall be going to Rotherham and cheering the players on whilst hoping for a financial miracle.

Draws_apoint_ added 22:34 - Jan 7
Frimley blue agree with your comments and balanced point of view and not joining in with the latest trends in all football supporters blame someone and demand sackinns with no alternative.

dirtydingusmagee added 11:07 - Jan 8
Even ex players, and our legends, have openly said that Evans's under investment has brought this on over the past few years.An owner ,with no football knowledge, no connection with fan base ,no real interest full stop ! and no desire to further invest , is only going to take the club one way, down ,and ITFC is in free fall , not just in league. Fans leaving in droves ,because they are fed up with everything ITFC under Evans. He has always been the invisible man , never around to answer questions, even his stooge Milne has disappeared , Lord only knows what he is doing for his nice little wage packet. Local rivalry will always bring out the worst in some people, and so Norwich get a lot of crap from Town supporters and vice versa, BUT they have always managed to fight back,and keep fans on board, with a truly ambitious and caring owner. Evans is the total opposite,and league positions is reflecting that .

blueboy1981 added 21:07 - Jan 11
Frimley - totally balanced view, maybe people will eventually get what they are asking for - and then be extremely disappointed with that ........ !!

'You can please some of the people, some of the time, but NEVER all of the people, all of the time'.
Never truer words spoken - equally so some, will never be capable of seeing beyond their own noses - as is the case here.


blueboy1981 added 21:13 - Jan 11
People who believe in 'be careful what you wish for' - may soon get exactly what they do not want.
The so called Supporters who continuously slate Evans, will eventually themselves be the ultimate cause of the total demise of the Club they are 'supposed' to love.

They don't con' me - I suppose you just have to accept that you cannot put it where it isn't, and never will be.
In so being, they will never see outside the matchbox !


rugbytomc added 09:11 - Jan 15
FrimleyBlue - You've obviously written this in support of the club rather than the support of one individual, the owner. I admire that. We're all Town fans here after all.
However - here you are, a fan, asking the fans to rally together and support everything and criticise no one. What does Marcus Evans have to say on all this? Has he come out saying he will give Lambert all that is needed to try and avoid relegation? That he wants us to stay up and do better next year? Has he said please lend me your support, this club means a lot to me and my family and I've made mistakes but desperately want us to do better?
Or has he said nothing, for 10-11 years? Aside from one meaningless recorded interview with staged questions?
It's very difficult to give him the support you're asking for on his behalf when he won't even ask for it himself

Bluearmy_81 added 16:26 - Jan 21
Needs our support?! No. He's damaged the club massively (see league table) and could end up putting us out of existence (no I'm not being overly dramatic.) The only support I would give that man is support leaving ITFC never to return.

ipswichone added 19:34 - Feb 1
marcus evans has done the bare minimum for the club.while other clubs have invested in new players,and grown as a club,ipswich has stagnated with no chance ever of getting in the premier league.his under funding will now see us travel down the league, with only loan players being his only help for a better anyone can feel sorry for evans beggars belief
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