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Milne: Owner Evans Very Aware of "Rift"
Sunday, 11th Feb 2018 11:57

Blues MD Ian Milne says owner Marcus Evans is “very aware” of the ongoing “rift” between supporters and manager Mick McCarthy. Milne also confirmed that Town have received no interest from Barnsley regarding McCarthy, despite the Blues boss remaining some bookies’ favourite for the vacancy at his hometown club where he started his playing career.

“No, we haven’t had any contact from Barnsley. We’ll get that one cleared up straight away,” Milne told Saturday’s Life’s a Pitch on BBC Radio Suffolk (1hr 45mins 30secs)."

“I understand [he’s still favourite for the job with some bookies so] someone is clearly putting a lot of money on, but I talked with the owner and he’s confirmed that it’s all speculation. No official approach.”

McCarthy, who is out of contract in the summer, was again the subject of derogatory terrace chants during yesterday’s 0-0 home draw with Burton Albion - which had Portman Road's lowest league attendance for almost 20 years, 13,815 - and quizzed on what was put to him as the “rift” between fans and manager, Milne said owner Evans is conscious of the situation.

“Marcus is very aware of that,” he added. “The ‘rift’, it’s something he’s looking at. We’ve got to leave this to Mick and Marcus. They’re getting on very well, we’ve got games coming up and we’ve got to get behind [the team]. We’re 12th, we’ve got the points and I think that’s where everybody’s focus should be.”

Asked whether there would be any news on McCarthy’s future before the summer, Milne responded: “It may come before then, it all depends on what goes on. But I think both are equally focused.

“They’ve both said - and they’re being absolutely truthful - he has a contract to the end of the season, we’ve got a lot of matches, there’s lots still to play for and that’s what we should be focused on.

“And also, the squad’s behind that, the morale’s very good. I’m not trying to fob off your questions, there isn’t honestly anything there, it’s business as usual.”

Milne says if McCarthy, who said on Friday that there's a "good chance" that he will remain at Portman Road, were to depart at the end of the campaign Evans will have a way forward in mind.

“If that happens, it all depends on what happens at the end of the season,” he continued. “But, of course, Marcus will have a plan and he will discuss it with us.

“I think it’s very important that, should we get to the situation where we are looking for a new manager, it’s very important, and Marcus knows this, that it’s got to be the right manager for Ipswich and Suffolk.”

Prior to speaking to Life’s a Pitch, Milne attended a fans’ forum where McCarthy’s future was also discussed in addition to other topics.

“[It went] very well, very constructive ideas. We talked about things like season tickets which will come out in March and we’re looking at," he said.

“We’re also looking at new ideas we want to do in the stadium. You can’t stand still, we’ve got the FanZone here, which has worked out, but we’ve now got exploit that, hopefully do more things within the stadium as well, have more events here surrounding it. We’re working hard on those.”

Regarding season ticket renewal, this year’s total having been 15 per cent down on the previous campaign and now in the high 10,000s, he added: “That was brought up at the fans’ forum, they’ve come up with a number of ideas.

“It’s quite interesting, you have one person come up with an idea and someone else says they don’t think that’s going to work. It is difficult. There were certain good things we did this season and certain bad things.“

Milne conceded changing the age at which older fans are entitled to senior citizens’ concessions from 60 to 65 ahead of this season was an error.

“I agree with that one,” he admitted. “We’re looking at positive plans going forward and we’re coming up with those in March.

“We’ve had a discussion with Marcus, we’re having another one at the beginning of March where we’ll look at things in more detail. We’re all at one, we need to come out with a positive message on season tickets.”

He added: “It is a big commitment to the club [for fans to buy season tickets]. We try and offer the entertainment and all the rest of it, and at the end of the day that’s the important thing they want. Yes, I’m aware of the Mick McCarthy factor, and with players and [I have] my issues with some of the press we get.

“Look, we’ve listened to all those things and we are going to come up with something very positive.”

Also on Life’s a Pitch was midfielder Tom Adeyemi, who says he hopes to be back in first team action in March following his latest injury setback (1hr 38mins).

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iaintaylorx added 12:07 - Feb 11
“Look, we’ve listened to all those things and we are going to come up with something very positive.”


Northstandveteran added 12:11 - Feb 11
I really do struggle to understand why anyone would buy a season ticket to watch this. It's not as if you wouldn't get a seat otherwise. I can only assume it's people that have had the same seat for many years ( and that human nature dictates that we are creatures of habit ) or going to football every other Saturday is just ingrained in them.
Again, this isn't having a cheap pop at those that do go every game but surely, even as a season ticket holder, knowing what was likely to happen on the pitch, looking at the weather you must have thought twice about leaving the comfort of your home?

Having to go to every game.

GAZ1234 added 12:15 - Feb 11
Usual rubbish coming out of his mouth
The only things that can get me to apply for my season ticket back are....
Get rib of MM ...... easy
Replace him with a manager who gets his team to play football
(Big ask judging by ME's past record)
For me this is a football issue not a financial one

bluehook added 12:15 - Feb 11
What use is Milne to this club?
He knows as much about what’s going on as Phil or Gav - and in truth probably less.
He’s a well remunerated halfwit.

Palestine added 12:16 - Feb 11
"There's still lots to play for..."

Er, what exactly?

bluejacko added 12:22 - Feb 11
Rift? More like a great chasm!

hadleighboyblue added 12:26 - Feb 11
If ME is aware of the rift , isn't it about time he acted . In any business , if your manager is losing you thousands of customers and upsetting those that are left , he has to go before the link between customers and company gets worse and the revenue gets any less .

Things are so fractured that the only way to turn things round is to change the manager and that needs to be done before sending out ST renewals . The whole club is stagnating and the relationship between club and customers is at an all time low .

shortmarine1969 added 12:31 - Feb 11
Who ever conducts these "interviews" should hang their head is inane drivel , why is this guy not pressed for answers , crowds will only decrease if MM stays..! and the club should either state he is staying or be activly looking now for the next manager...there is nothing to play for this season bar point,s..which we could have surmised at the very start of the season. Milne you are truly a useless mouthpiece as who ever does these reports..EADT & Evening star really need to ask the hard questions and not shy away.

arc added 12:31 - Feb 11
"We’ve got the points"—the points for what??

blue75 added 12:32 - Feb 11
Marcus and Mick are working on the relationship with the fans I believe that was the plan a year ago not working very well are they.

muccletonjoe added 12:34 - Feb 11
In other words its like saying - we know we are sliding into the abyss but we know what we are going to do when we get there.

Radlett_blue added 12:39 - Feb 11
Arc - we've got the points to ensure that we stay in this division for another season. That is the limit of the club's ambition.

Ipswichbusiness added 12:40 - Feb 11
Insofar as this points thing is concerned, strictly speaking he is correct. There are still 15 games to go, often one club comes with a late run and it could be us. Unfortunately, the way things are going that's about as likely as me winning the Lottery. We are showing no form, there are significant injuries and the top nine are all going well. The best that we can hope for is to be the best of the rest.

jas0999 added 12:43 - Feb 11
Is there anyone who actually believes a word this man says? The owner should have sacked McCarthy a year ago. It’s all utter rubbish. More spin from a once great club.

hampstead_blue added 12:43 - Feb 11
The fact they Milne has used the word "rift" means that they acknowledge that MM has lost the fans.

He may have the players, but as the fans pay the bills (well most of them) it is refreshing the leadership acknowledged our part in the decision making process.

Can the next Eddie Howe please step forward and apply please.

heathen66 added 12:43 - Feb 11
In all honesty, there has been a disconnect for a long while, However no one seems to be able or brave enough to reel Mick in.
We all know there unfortunately is only one real answer and the sooner this happens the better it will b for Not MM, Not ME, Not IM or even us will be best for ITFC and that is far more important than any individual(s).
We will see Mr Milne in the next 3-4 months to whether you are listening...or just paying lip service !!!

martin587 added 12:47 - Feb 11
Until the uncertainty at the club is resolved there will always be unrest,I'm afraid.It's a very sad state of affairs when we start talking about our club in this way.Our club has been in slow free fall for the last three seasons and very little has been done to rectify the problem.
Until the owner shows his face and explains to us,The Supporters of the club his intentions nothing will change.
Please don't leave it till the end of the season,we need answers now Mr.Evans.

barrystedmunds added 12:47 - Feb 11
I’ve just seen a thread on here entitled “Town v Burton “ highlights! Really????

Bert added 12:48 - Feb 11
I have a different take on this. Milne cannot be categorical about MM's future until the point comes in the season that Evans has made his mind up. I take more comfort from the words 'it has to be the right manager for Ipswich" because that signals for the first time that it is on the agenda. I have always believed that it will be in April that a decision is made and whilst MM continues to brave it out, the seeds have been sown. Evans cannot ignore the rift that MM has created or more to the point that the crowds next year will be around the 10,000 mark if MM stays. Personally I don't dislike MM but I do dislike his brand of football so I want him to go. At least Milne has admitted they got the over 60's price wrong !

runningout added 12:51 - Feb 11
if Barnsley were interested in employing MM, their staff would have spoke quietly to MM already to get a yes or no

black_shuck added 12:56 - Feb 11
The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be
a fool.

Bert added 12:59 - Feb 11
Sadly I have to agree with Northstandveteran that purchasing a season ticket has become a ritual but it won't be that way for much longer. Until the last few years, I purchased or helped to purchase 4 season tickets for my family. One has gone and two are unlikely to go next year. That leaves me so will I bother in future ? That depends on a number of factors but as I have said in an earlier post, the main one is whether MM is still here.

baxter7 added 13:04 - Feb 11
Come you fans show Evans how big the rift is by boycotting the Cardiff game or at least take placards with mcarthy out or do you all want another 15 games with that foul mouthed arrogant man still here

coolcat added 13:08 - Feb 11
I'm a season ticket holder and go to every game. I became a season ticket holder because I love the club, seeing live games, the community spirit & making friends. I'm an outdoor person, so don't mind bad weather - in fact prefer it. Not to everyone's liking but that's how I am. I travel from London to all the games. Meet very interesting ppl on my travels & love meeting the team after the game. Mick is very pleasant in person and I have a lot of time for him. He always spends longest with fans afterwards.

But I do have issues with the press and the way they manipulate statements which fuels comments from those who don't like him. It's consistently unbalanced and doesn't at all reflect the views across the whole of the fanbase . There will always be fans who like and don't like a manager. The press should reflect those who do so, more often.

liam88 added 13:11 - Feb 11
WE WANT HIM OUT NOW! Don't let it be "too little too late" but then again "better late than never". So in general he better be gone by the close season otherwise demonstrations and protests have to be on the agenda. Enough is enough!

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