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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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Seasider added 17:25 - Feb 11
No mention about the game I see Coolcat.You seem to like the day out,but meeting the team and the manager afterwards ???

You are obviously one of the inner circle which the majority of fans are not,however most of us peasants pay to be entertained over the 90minutes whilst you seem to put more store by the apres' footy.

Not sure if you have the time or the inclination to read peoples remarks on here,because I said that there used to be about ten of us;but yesterday for the first time in 40 years it was just me !

I am not sure if you have the ear of Mr Invisible Evans himself as well as Mick McCarthy;but if so perhaps you should mention that a lot of people would return as soon as your hero departed or didn't you realise that yesterday was lowest crowd for 20 years.What do you put that down to ?The the increased revenue would offset McCarthys pay off.

I think the press has been very fair,although it would seem that you feel there has been a bit of a witch hunt;or perhaps worse Trump fake news

Lightningboy added 17:31 - Feb 11
To think our idiot of an owner sacked Magilton the day after we beat Norwich (the last time we actually beat them) and when we were about 8th or 9th in the table AND playing attractive football.

Marcus Evans knows eff-all about the game,our club or what our supporters want or find acceptable..that’s what continues to worry me.

We have a lot of decent players but unfortunately a complete obstinate numpty in the control room - McCarthy is the equivalent of Homer Simpson being in charge of the nuclear plant.

BlueMachines added 18:00 - Feb 11
Coolcat. Those who like MM are becoming harder and harder to find hence why we hear less from them

woohoo added 18:05 - Feb 11
Whatever you think of Mick, the fact of the matter is that what is being served up on the pitch is not of sufficient quality to more than half fill PR.

That is the problem that the club has to address.

(Well, if they actually care, they do)

Carberry added 18:06 - Feb 11
'I'm not trying to fob off your questions.....but I have absolutely no idea what's going on.'

EwanD added 18:14 - Feb 11
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.
We’re looking at positive plans going forward and we’re coming up with those in March.
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.
Look, we’ve listened to all those things and we are going to come up with something very positive.”
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.”
Does anyone believe any of this??? One of the Clubs innovations this week, was to install a new barrier immediately in front of our Cobbold Stand seats preventing us from seeing the North Stand goal? Its all about listening to your customers, isnt it?

dukey44 added 18:17 - Feb 11
What does Milne actually do for Ipswich apart from...... haha don’t actually know apart from bum up Evans and Mick get on really great??? That helps the supporters and club because..... ? No idea

grubbyoik added 18:30 - Feb 11
Evans is a spineless, clueless tw#t..
Mcarthy is a one dimensional archaic manager..
Milne is pointless..

The sad thing is anything is better than this..

HackneyBlue added 19:28 - Feb 11
If i do not know who is in charge when ST renewals arrive i will not be renewing,we had 5 in our car 2 seasons ago ,we lost one and then another this season ,all 3 of us will NOT renew next season if this Shiite continues,its not a threat we have just come to our senses .

blythburgh_blue added 19:47 - Feb 11
Mick has run the club into a brick wall. The next manager will have a mountain to climb trying to rectify 5 years of McCarthy Magic. All the clubs that Mick has left are relegated shortly after.
Those that worry about "be careful what you wish for" are right. The club has built nothing in the last 5 years. We have 7 loanees in the squad. And an youth system that is short of players to fill teams.
We will pay the price for 5 years of standing still. It won't be the new managers fault. It will be the fault of the spineless Yorkshireman creeping out Portman road with the best part of £10m.

alfromcol added 19:53 - Feb 11
I've always thought that Milne said very little that was new in his previous statements. But reading between the lines of his latest statement MM is a dead man walking. The club can't say anymore at this stage than Milne has just said. Not at least until Evans has a good idea of who he wants to take over. He is very probably currently looking for his new man - he can't afford to get it wrong again. He has already had a hat-trick of failures so for the sake of everyone, the supporters particularly, he has to get it right this time around.

With season ticket renewal coming up, the club know that if it isn't clear that MM is going, hundreds more will not renew until it is. So a decision has to be/will be made before season tickets renewals go out. It is possible that the club could delay renewals going out for a month to get nearer to the end of the season, but this has all sorts of logistical problems.

I think reading between the lines, this is the nearest the club has come to saying MM is going to be replaced before next season starts. Whatever, anyone thinks of Milne, he knows exactly what the position is regarding all club matters, all that is, other than MM's team and substitutions on match days. But no one has any certain idea of what these will be!!!

I feel happier following Milne's update. Please don't anyone say " be careful what you wish for" after 2 seasons of mediocrity and the debacle of Saturday I have reached the stage of not really caring who takes over.

BraveDave added 19:54 - Feb 11
Nothing surprising here. Milne has no clout, and is just wheeled out to spin a bit of PR - unfortunately he is not very good at that. We can debate all day about whether 12th in the table is reasonable for a club like Ipswich, and whether McCarthy has done a good or bad job with resources, etc. But none of that really matters - the fans are disappearing in large numbers, and the only one who has the power to address that is Evans. I just cannot understand why he stays silent - forget personal opinions, it cannot do him any good to ignore what the fans are saying and doing. Booing the team doesn't bother him, but losing money certainly should. Those who want to protest should concentrate on Evans, not those he employs.

cat added 19:56 - Feb 11
Reading through coolcats post, I had to check I was still on TWTD and not strayed onto some dating website! Talk about self promotion (lol) thought I was losing my ‘nut’ there. Nothing personal my ‘feline’ nemesis, simply don’t agree with your post. I have thought on numerous occasions that the press have been more in McCarthy favour, reason for that is because if your emotionally attached to someone (I.e you know them personally) you tend to be a tad more understanding & sympathetic, something you appear to be aware of. 👌

BraveDave added 19:57 - Feb 11
Alcohol - I didn't initially read it like that, but I think you might have something there

BraveDave added 19:58 - Feb 11
Sorry Alfromcol - stupid spellchecker - no insult intended!

alfromcol added 20:42 - Feb 11
Alcohol, yes good idea might change my monica.

Westy added 21:20 - Feb 11
The lift is between the supporters and Club. The Club's PR is appalling.

warktheline added 21:24 - Feb 11
@coolcat! Wow your leisure days spent travelling to and from Portman Rd sound real ‘magical man!’ appear to have the ‘human touch’ as you mingle in and out of fellow ‘like minded’ fans! May I suggest a ‘magical mystery tour’ hosted by yours truly, i’ll be happy to drive the bus, but would also suggest you clearly prevent me from interacting with ‘cool’ people like yourself! It really wouldn’t be appropriate for me to ruin the ‘mind blowing atmosphere’ as we wade through the ‘glowing’ ( not growing ) crowds on route! Could we end the tour meeting ‘marvellous mick’ that would be cool meeting a cat like that!!!!

bobble added 21:28 - Feb 11
micks time is up, we are not moving forward under him anymore.
he topped us going down years ago, and not much else since..

blythburgh_blue added 22:02 - Feb 11
oh bobble what's happened have the drugs stopped working......

ScottCandage added 22:32 - Feb 11
Remember when Ipswich was everyone's second favorite club because we played fun football? That was cool...

coolcat added 23:04 - Feb 11
Thanks for that Northstandveteran. Just to clear it up to a few on here am not a personal friend of Mick's or part of any 'inner circle'. I'm a fan that goes to all the games, events, players award events, etc, so prob see Mick a lot more often then those who don't. I don't always speak to him, just encounter him more often and see how he is with people. Certainly isn't the way it's portrayed on social media/press, especially of late, hence my response to the above article.

the_beat added 23:11 - Feb 11
'The morale's very good' - well it damned well shouldn't be. The morale amongst the players and management should be as low as it is amongst the supporters. If it is that good then maybe they don't care enough.

black_shuck added 23:26 - Feb 11
“There’s no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune.”

algarvefan added 00:41 - Feb 12
I have to be honest here, Mick is a pretty gruff tough Northerner who is honest and takes no nonsense. I honestly think he's done the best he can with the tools he has been given and without the log list of injuries, has been unlucky this season. Had it not been for the injuries I think we would not be having this conversation.
Marcus Evans on the other hand is a tax exile living in Ireland, wanted by the Police in Brazil and doesn't give a feck about the club. You may ask where all the transfer money went for Mings et al and where the reinvestment has been? Where is the plan....where is the club going?
If you ask me we are angry with the wrong person here, I know Mick is not perfect but give the bloke a break. I know which one I would rather have a pint with!!!


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