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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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Taricco_Fan added 13:14 - Feb 11
It's Evans' "way forward in mind" that really concerns me.

Edmundo added 13:15 - Feb 11
I agree with Baxterley it is time for direct action. We are not just customers who will head somewhere else for our footy, we support our CLUB. How about some ideas?

TimmyH added 13:21 - Feb 11
Milne is nothing but a puppet - he's just a PA for Evans and McCarthy, I think it's more of a case of Mick leading affairs, Evans holds him in high esteem for some strange reason as Evans knows little about Football. McCarthy could probably easily talk his way into staying if he wants, I can't see Evans sacking him or not wanting him to extend his contract.


StavangerBlue added 13:41 - Feb 11
Transfer window closed. The players brought in have not made a big difference to the squad. 0-0 to the bottom of the table side with little entertainment, chances or really anything of note to report in the whole game. Is this the club's ambition? Get out of cup competitions at the earliest opportunity and aim for a midtable finish year after year.

Season ticket sales will be down again.

therein61 added 13:41 - Feb 11
Just pay him up to the end of his contract and get rid that's all Mick is waiting for if he walks it would cost him money

Northstandveteran added 13:48 - Feb 11
There was a time I felt very much the same as your opening sentences and if you still get enjoyment from your adventures, very good luck to you.
I'm also sure that McCarthy is a decent bloke to chat to. Some of his interviews do make me chuckle (although I often disagree with him)
I was just curious to what would make anyone want to go to every game with the current standard of football on offer at present.
Thanks for an honest reply

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 13:50 - Feb 11
Mick is a safe pair of hands, but is that what we want any more? I think if Mick goes, the future of the club is very uncertain. It could go up (not that likely without investment), it could go down (evens), or it could stay more or less where it is (again, evens). But I'm not sure what happens afterwards is even the most important consideration now. Things have got to the point where a change, any change, is the only way to start re-building and hopefully win back some of the missing fans.

Cakeman added 13:56 - Feb 11
I am aligned with Northstandveteran and Bert. Going to matches is a habit and for wife and myself it used to be about enjoying a day out.
Not any more. The running of our club is shambolic. The Manager needs to go quickly. Milne is just doing his job but he is ineffective. Admitting they got it wrong with season ticket holders over the age of 60 is one thing but what will they do to about it?

Our players try their best usually although not yesterday because some were going through the motions. However apart from Bart are not good enough.

I long for the days when Royal and Magilton were here when we did have a sense of belonging as Sir Bobby advocated.
We had noy the best team but players who entertained. The likes of the buzzing Danny Haynes, Billy Clarke, Jon Walters and Alan Lee to name a few.

We also had people at the club like Mr Sheepshanks who had his critics but had the club at heart. Very different to what we have today.
I would take dropping down to div 2 if it meant we got back the sense of belonging.
The likes of Luton and Portsmouth are doing this very well.

dalinghooblue added 14:06 - Feb 11
"the players are into that and morale is very high" That did not appear to be the case against Burton. The current situation of not knowing what is happening at the end of the season must be having an effect on the players, together with the atmosphere at PR (only caused by the hierarchy at the club). Season ticket renewal must now be under consideration, and the 15 % figure of reductions this season could well represent the
percentage of the capacity of PR. After 60 years following 'The Town', I am very sad this situation has been allowed to arise. It must be sorted now rather than later.

warktheline added 14:09 - Feb 11
@tarricofan, your 10 words speak volumes ! Very disturbing !

cornishblu added 14:23 - Feb 11
Rift between MM and the fans .,,really??? is however just typical of the club that they don’t look at this even wider. A non existent owner who has never appeared to step in to remind those who work for him should always have the club at heart...the moment any manager uses the language that mick has done to his own supporters he should have been disciplined......the rift is wider.....manager, owner and CEO .
The season ticket issue is simple ....create a pricing structure that aims to see the ground 2/3 full at a minimum every home game , get rid of the manager , and connect more to the community . Football ownership is bizarre ....Marcus this is nit your club it is our’s you that should be listening ....supporters just want to believe they are valued and listened to....that’s the rift and those previously listed have done none of that .

TractorBoy666 added 14:26 - Feb 11
Northstandveteran - I am part of your first point in regards to wanting to keep my seat. Me and my dad have said many times if we didn't have good seats we'd have given them up ages ago and we are just about struggling to go for the past year or two. Most of my teen life i had been watching McCarthy football and it's honestly been the dullest period I've ever watched. The sooner he's gone the better, he's driving away so many fans and it's hard to watch!

Northstandveteran added 14:40 - Feb 11

I don't know who I feel the most pity for?

Those of us that have seen the good times Robson (the very end of his term admittedly) Lyall, Royle,Burley eras and are now in complete dismay by what is going on, or the younger generation that have never known what a great experience it is going to a stadium full of expectation, excitement and atmosphere?

Even the Duncan period was better than this!
Plus at £4 a match you didn't feel like you were being ripped off even after a loss!

Taricco_Fan added 14:59 - Feb 11
I was born when we won the UEFA cup so wasn't around for all the great times. Nevertheless, the club is soaked in so much history that it's difficult for younger fans not to appreciate where the club has been and where it should be. For a rural town to have a club with such a prestigious history and a 30,000 stadium is evidence of how exceptionally well run and supported the club once was.

It's really saddening to see the club run into the ground under Marcus Evans. I just hope a serious investor comes along to take us forward.


bluehook added 14:59 - Feb 11
“We’ve got the points”??
What points?
It’s only one point for a draw you numbnut.

johnno added 15:02 - Feb 11
Come on everybody does one result against Narwich really have any significance to the long term future of this fast declining club we need action and it’s not happening so it’s up to us supporters who still go to games to demonstrate our thoughts to this has been act now whatever if we show a great divide between us as MM then it’s got to be addressed

dukey44 added 15:24 - Feb 11
Hahaha seriously does this man know anything about our Club??? Basically we are a joke of a team run by someone who knows jack about football I can’t stop chuckling!! Evans knows the rift but is doing JACK ABOUT CHANGING IT!!!

marco007 added 15:30 - Feb 11
2 goals in 6 games....that's entertainment!!

MicksZzzTactics added 16:36 - Feb 11


Mark added 16:58 - Feb 11
Yesterday felt like a bit of a turning point. MM seemed relaxed after the Sunderland win and he may have been thinking his contract renewal was likely if we beat Burton and perhaps got a draw at Norwich. However instead we were so poor the lowest league crowd for 20 years were signing anti MM songs before half-time, as we were outpassed by the team bottom of the league on a losing run. It now feels very unlikely MM can stay, and interesting to note IM's comments about "it's got to be the right manager for Ipswich".

Yes, MM might be a safe pair of hands, but how safe for the club is it if attendances and income fall and fall? We could appoint another safe pair of hands if ME chose to, but a safe pair of hands who plays passing football which the fans can enjoy.

We are in no illusions about getting promoted, but we want to enjoy watching the football at Portman Road. Who can honestly say they are enjoying it at the moment?!

Craig1878 added 17:06 - Feb 11
I have to agree with 99% of everything that's been said regarding the state of the club. Significant investment should have been made the year we scraped into the playoffs, top on boxing day and flying. FFP rules were an easy cop out as other teams without parachute payments have taken a chance and its paid off, Bournemouth springs to mind. MM has to go and go now weather that be barnsley or the dole Que. ME needs to decide what path he wants to take, full commitment or sell to someone who will give it their all. This once great club which s currently on life support needs a new lease of life and quickly because eventually instead of the premier league its going to be league 1. Sir Bobby will be turnihg in his grave.

prebbs007 added 17:08 - Feb 11
Lowest cried for 20 years. Season ticket sales will be below 10k with this berk as manager. As for you Milne. What do you actually do ???????????

blueboy1981 added 17:13 - Feb 11
......... there is no other choice left in getting the message across - other than to stay away.

Terribly unfortunate - but the Ice just isn't cracking, and that must prove that apart from dedicated supporters, the people who should care about the Club - JUST ARE NOT.

blueboy1981 added 17:21 - Feb 11
....... mid table Championship mediocrity is the limit and ambition of the Club - it fits well with Evans requirements from such. Otherwise MM would have long been sent on his way.

The tipping point will be a crucial crowd figure point - and where in Football would a Manager be allowed to get away with such non respect for Supporters (the paying public) ?.

jabberjackson added 17:23 - Feb 11
How exciting would it be to hear we have brokered a deal with Lincoln city to take the Cowley brothers from the start of next season
How fantastic for morale

How disappointing if we hear that Mick is staying and the Cowleys are going to Reading
We need to take a chance on someone fresh, much as Leeds have done
And we need to sort ti sooner than later

That will get people getting their cheque books out for a season ticket...surely

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