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Tenth Anniversary of Evans Takeover
Sunday, 3rd Dec 2017 11:27

Today marks the 10th anniversary of confirmation that owner Marcus Evans would be taking control of Ipswich Town.

Speaking on December 3rd 2007, then-chairman David Sheepshanks hailed the news that Evans would be taking an 87.5 per cent stake in the Blues as “a massively important day” for the club, which had struggled in the years after coming out of its 2003 period of administration.

An EGM later in the month rubber-stamped the deal, which saw Evans pay £12 million for Town as well as £8 million for the club’s £32 million historical debt.

Evans has continued to inject cash into Town, around £6 million a year in recent seasons, in the form of loans, which has taken the club’s overall debt to more than £80 million - virtually all owed to him - a sum which almost certainly will never be repaid and is likely to be written off if he were ever to look to sell the Blues. Town’s accounts for the 2016/17 season will be released ahead of the PLC AGM on Monday 11th December.

Managing director Ian Milne says Evans, 54, still remains committed to Town and currently has no plans to move on.

“He’s still continuing. It is 10 years. It shows how much effort and money he’s put into the club,” Milne told BBC Radio Suffolk’s Life’s a Pitch on Saturday when asked about the anniversary.

“He was up here very recently, spent a lot of time with us and he loves being up here. He enjoys it, he comes and watches and long may it continue.”

Publicity-shy Evans’s aim was to quickly gain promotion back to the Premier League after his takeover and Milne admits errors have been made along the way, perhaps most notably the managerial appointments of Roy Keane and Paul Jewell.

“There must have been mistakes made if you haven’t gone up to the Premier League,” he added. “But there are a lot of other clubs who have spent a lot more money and haven’t gone up. At Derby, [owner] Mel Morris gets very frustrated with the money he’s spent on it recently and not gone up.

“It is tough, we’ve got a great manager, it’s getting in the right mixture of players, I’ve got Luke Chambers with me here, who is a great captain.

“But it is a mixture of things and, OK, you make your own luck by getting the right manager and right players, but there is also an element of luck and things going right with injuries and the rest of it. So it’s a mixture. But that’s football.”

Town are currently seventh, three points off the play-offs and Milne says the club’s frontmen have been the major factor in this season’s upturn with the Blues the second top scorers in the division on 35 behind leaders Wolves, who have scored 40.

“I think the strikers have made the big difference this season and long may it continue,” he said. “Joe Garner’s [out at the moment], David McGoldrick is going to be out for a few weeks but we do have the strike force now.”

Regarding McGoldrick, Milne says there are yet to be talks regarding the Ireland international’s contract, which is up at the end of the season.

“No, there haven’t been,” he added. “We’ll look at it during the transfer [window] and see where it goes from there.”

You can hear Milne and skipper Chambers speaking to Life's a Pitch here (from 1hr 29mins).

Photo: TWTD

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legoman added 11:40 - Dec 3
Yesterday was a great way to start the next ten years. Thanks for saving our club.

Gazelle added 11:56 - Dec 3
No argument with that one, he'll be earning interest on the debt but thank goodness he turned up when he did. So long as we can keep scoring goals with only 30% possession and we don't sell Bart the future looks bright once everyone is fit.

muccletonjoe added 12:03 - Dec 3
In my opinion we have survived and thrived inspite of him rather than because of him. Lets hope he gives us a couple of million to bolster the squad in january and give mick a chance of reaching the promised land. If we do make it i hope we learn the lessons of the scummers up the road and safeguard the club for the future.

brian_a_mul added 12:05 - Dec 3
Thank you Marcus for everything you have done for our club, one season back in premier will go a long way to repaying you back!

Bluetone added 13:17 - Dec 3
10 years in the wilderness how much longer?

Cakeman added 13:57 - Dec 3
Where did that ten years go? It seems like only a short time ago that there was a huge buzz and much excitement going round the terraces with this news. Significant money was initially invested which sadly fell on stone ground. Poor management by Keane and Jewell are now affecting us today with our owner tightly cautious of wasting more money.
That said he continues to stump up a lot of money which ten years ago would have been a very significant amount. Because we missed the promotion boat and other clubs are now spending ridiculous amounts on players we have been somewhat left behind.
I think the target of reaching the Premier league is now several steps too far. We can just about hold our own in the Championship and as long as we play entertaining football like we did yesterday then that won’t be too bad.
Unfortunately we would need a lot more money to get out of the Championship now.

pragmatic added 14:33 - Dec 3
Not only put in 6 mill to merely “turn the lights on” also investing heavily in academy funding yes the cynics May say why buy a football club if you won’t invest but his business acumen & letting the manager manage goes a long way to our survival as a club, good thing we don’t have to rely on a section so called “ supporters” who knock the club at every opportunity!!!

yungblue added 15:55 - Dec 3
Too many fans knock Evans. He saved the club, he continues to keep the club going every year, not many people on this planet would continuesly have a spare 6/7 MILLION that they would be willing to give to Ipswich.
I’m addition to that he has the plan to invest in youth players. Financially, that is the only way we will get superstars at Ipswich. And the evidence is now showing:
Ben Knight

ipswich4life added 17:02 - Dec 3
Cant belive people are thanking him lol some people really are happy with any old s**t

Hiltzkooler added 17:53 - Dec 3
Yes ipswich4life, and it is toxic cynics with similar, uniformed opinions that are perpetuating a point of view that is devoid of factual nous... I certainly don’t see a queue of wealthy benefactors itching to pile in six million a year plus, (and no he doesn’t get interest, check the annual reports)....he may well have it as a tax benefit but it is still six million pounds that is the life blood of itfc’s existence...if you are going to have an opinion at least apraise yourself of the facts, not supposition...

ipswich4life added 18:34 - Dec 3
HIltzkooler sorry i forget evans was the only rich person interested in buying a football club...6 mill wow how lucky we are bring on another 10 years off crap overpriced midtable football

kozmik added 18:38 - Dec 3
Some money to shore up the defence in January would be good, other positions are starting to look pretty good (injuries notwithstanding)

Hiltzkooler added 18:53 - Dec 3
Ipswich4life, your business acumen and commercial awareness knows no bounds, I bow before it...the bovine stature of your opinion seemingly limitless....just like the queue of millionaire benefactors waiting to anoint itfc with should be grateful for what one does have...pint half full and all that

Mark added 19:33 - Dec 3
To think we were told it is "not if but when" we get promoted when Evans took over, you have to say it has been a disappointing 10 years. Just one finish in the top six, and last season being the lowest finish for 58 years. The appointments of Keane was a disaster and despite Jewell improving us for a bit, he also turned into a big failure. McCarthy has stabilised the club on a tight budget but over the years our support has fallen away.

That said, this season is proving really enjoyable and I am hoping some fans will return if we continue entertaining and scoring goals. Evans investment year-on-year may yet give us the upper hand over Norwich whose parachute money stops after this season. If we can continue to improve as they decline, I will be a happy supporter.

MVBlue added 20:23 - Dec 3
Fair enough hes helped us along but please take your name of the shirt Evans. We're not a plaything and you seem happy enough being away from publicly talking about the club so get in a sponsor..

BlueandTruesince82 added 21:11 - Dec 3
Actuality Evans was the only guy with the cash. Sullivan and Gold came sniffing too late.

Gingerblues added 21:44 - Dec 3
I'm quite suprised by all the thanks marcus for saving our club nonsense. We were £30m in debt we're now more than £80m in debt. It seems he isn't even putting 6m a year if it just gets add to the debt. A debt I would suggest he benefits from. His under investment in the club is the reason we nearly got relegated the season MM came and Evans is luck MM can make a team work on very little money. Its easy to pin where we are on the manager (and he doesn't help himself) but Evans lack of investment is what holds us back.

tractorboybig added 06:38 - Dec 4
gingerblues till Marcus came along due to a crap chairman and board this club was on the verge of extinction.
Having said that his choice of managers has been abysmal and we are going nowhere.

bluearmy78 added 09:45 - Dec 4
I appreciate that Marcus puts in 6m a year & that the club are around 80m in debt, well here goes then....Marcus chuck in another 6m in the next transfer window & get in a bit more quality in defence, ideally a CB & a tasty prolific centre forward. If we reach the playoffs & get promoted through it we will be 160m better off & Marcus you will be 80m up!!! I know it's easy to say invest in more players but if we are going to be serious contenders we have to get in more quality & that costs!

cat added 10:02 - Dec 4
There are clearly pros and cons regarding M.E’s 10 years at the helm. You don’t buy a football club to make a profit, heard this many times from various chairman’s over the years. Best way to judge is by success, and that’s clearly been lacking.

Lightningboy added 11:19 - Dec 4
Gone well,hasn't it.

I just wonder how things would've gone without him?..if he hadn't perhaps been so eager to get rid of Magilton then i'm fairly certain Jim would've got us promoted given a few more seasons - rather than the 10 we've had of just bouncing around in no man's land playing awful football in the process.


grubbyoik added 11:29 - Dec 4
Evans is a business man... don’t ever think that he would rid us of our debt if we got promoted.. he would pay himself a nice tidy lump out of the promotion payment pot and the debt would remain.. he gets loads of tax breaks off the back off our club debt.. a debt that is only there be cause it suits him for it to be there..

BobbyBell added 11:46 - Dec 4
At least with us owing Evan 80 million our club is stable and the debt could be bought if Evans ever left. I'm in no way suggesting that he should go just stating that from our clubs point of view the debt could be bought. However Chelsea probably owe their owner somewhere near one billion and if ever he decided he's had enough who the hell could buy that debt?
Had Evans spent another 20 or 30 million and failed to achieve promotion we would be a lot less stable. Yes Evans does use our club's debt against his tax liability but he doesn't take silly risks. If we got to the premiership I personally believe that he would spend to try and keep us there but again he would not splash silly money.
Our last visit to the premier league cost us dearly as we spent big and the transfer market collapsed. It could collapse again just like any other commodity market.

RegencyBlue added 11:51 - Dec 4
Sorry but I don't buy the whole 'Evans is the new Messiah' thing!

Yes his money saved us at the time but saved us for what exactly? At the time the plan was obvious, throw in a few million to get to the Premier League and then get the debt, which he paid a minimal amount for, paid back in full. In short he hoped to make money short term out of a football club and it blew up spectacularly in his face.

Since then little ambition when it mattered and no obvious plan for the future other than the much vaunted 'five point plan' which, in my opinion, is nothing more than what any football club should be doing as a minimum anyway. Massive mistake in not going for CAT 1 Academy status when the system was first introduced as well.

Genuinely do not believe this club will progress in any meaningful way unless Evans sells up.


tractorintheloft added 12:28 - Dec 4
I think it's harsh to blame Sheepshanks for the collapse of ITV digital and the terrible season we had when we were in the UEFA cup. Having finished 5th the fans would have been up in arms if we hadn't secured our squad from the circling predators and invested for the European run. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. As for Evans, there's lots of talk on here about debt, tax etc... Yes he can offset the loss versus other parts of his business but £6m a year is still £6m a year. We all thought Roy Keane would be the ideal appointment (judging by the fans reaction on the last game of the season when he had just been brought in). But again with hindsight we all know the horrible truth about the Dark Lord and Ipswich not having the right colour kit. Shirt sponsorship is probably a neat trick re FFP, which we all know is a joke anyway. Give ME a break, lay off MM who continues to operate within a tight budget and support the team. Rant over.

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