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Milne: Manager Search Well Under Way But Be Patient With Us
Tuesday, 3rd Apr 2018 11:56

Town managing director Ian Milne says the search for a successor to departing boss Mick McCarthy is well under way but has asked for patience as Blues owner Marcus Evans finds the right man for the job.

McCarthy met with Evans on Wednesday when they agreed that the current Town manager will move on when his contract comes to an end in the summer, the club announcing his impending exit, along with that of assistant Terry Connor, the following morning.

“They made the decision between them to go their own way,” Milne told BBC Radio Suffolk’s Life’s a Pitch on Monday prior to the Millwall match. “Mick’s going to see out his contract and that’s the way it is.

“At the moment we can’t comment on these issues, refer to the recent press release we sent out [on Thursday]. There will be future announcements as and when they become available.

“In the meantime we have a number of matches to play before the end of the season, so let’s get behind the club, the manager and the team, that’s very important.

“These are important decisions for the club and we need time so fans have to be patient with us. We’ll come out as soon as we can with the right announcements. I’m sure the majority of fans will understand our position on this.”

Milne agreed that the appointment is one of the most important of Evans’s 10 years at Town.

“It is. It’s a case of who’s available,” he added. “It is important for the club and for all of us to here to make the right decisions and we’ve got to give him time to make those decisions.”

He says the search is well and truly on - “Yes, it is” - but wouldn’t be drawn into outlining a precise timetable and whether the identity of the new man will be made public before the end of the season or in the summer.

“It all depends on how the search goes,” Milne continued. “[Marcus] wants to make a decision as soon as he possibly can.

“That’s all I can say at the moment because it’s a search like any other search. When you’re looking somebody you want to get the right person and it’s a case of making the right decision, something not to be rushed.”

When Evans has made previous managerial appointments he has sought advice from figures throughout the game, Harry Redknapp famously among them, and Milne expects he will similarly be sounding people out this time around.

“I’m sure he’s talking to all his footballing friends, acquaintances, agents and what have you,” he said.

Will senior Town figures such as George Burley - who was in the directors’ box yesterday - and Terry Butcher be among those he speaks to?

“I can’t say precisely who he’s going to talk to, I don’t know all his list of contacts,” the MD continued. “But I think anybody he feels is relevant who can give some ideas.”

Asked whether the new man might be handed an increased budget following his appointment, Milne said: “We’ve got to wait for Marcus’s announcement on that and the future strategy going forward.”

Milne confirmed that Evans, who we understand is currently on holiday in Barbados, is set to do an on-camera interview with the club’s iFollow service, the first time the Blues’ owner will have made a public appearance since taking over at Town just over a decade ago.

“He’s promised to do that, that was in the announcement, so I wait with interest on that as well,” he said.

Does that interview indicate that Evans will have more of a public profile in the future? “I’m sure he’s going to spell that out in the strategy going forward.”

Quizzed on the decision to keep McCarthy in charge for the final eight games rather than appointing a caretaker-boss, Milne said: “All I can say is that there were discussions between Mick and Marcus and that was the decision they came to. I don’t know any more than that.”

He added: “It’s business as usual to the end of his contract and, including myself, we have to be patient.”

Milne says the aim will be to appoint a unifying figure after a fractious couple of years under McCarthy.

“We don’t want anybody to be a disunifying person,” he added. “Going back to the matches for the rest of the season, I think we owe it to the players to get behind them, they work very, very hard week in, week out and they’re going to be very professional in that and I think we should all give them our backing and continue to do so.

“We’ve got a great skipper in Luke Chambers and we’ve got to help him as much as possible, get behind him.”

Prior to the announcement that McCarthy would be leaving, the club revealed that season ticket prices would drop by 10 per cent for 2018/19, a move Milne says has received a positive response.

“I’ve had a lot of good feedback about the 10 per cent reduction,” he said. “[Fans] have said that’s fine, no grumbles at all about it, which is great, but they want to know where the club’s going in the future.”

Ideally the identity of the new manager will be known before the early bird deadline on April 30th but Milne says that won’t necessarily be the case as the most important thing is to get the appointment right.

“Marcus put in his announcement that that’s his intention, to try to get that announcement out. Bear with us,” he said.

“I don’t know if he’s going to name any successor [by that date] but I do believe there might be more on that announcement, we’ll have to wait and see. He’ll be coming out with it either before the early bird or after. It’s a search and you don’t want to rush it.”

You can listen to the full interview with Milne here.

Photo: TWTD

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FutureJackSted added 11:58 - Apr 3
Mick will leave tomorrow lunchtime.

Trust me, I'm from the future

alial added 11:59 - Apr 3
I know it isn't a popular choice with some but found this article on McClaren a good read.

The decision the club makes is going to be a difficult one. Yes, there is the exaggerated ideal of having someone young. I for one would like to see this happen. But, and it is a big but, I wouldn't mind someone coming in as a director to oversee the young manager who has experience in the division.

For argument sake... Lampard with Redknapp as a director of football. Good relationship between the 2.

In an ideal world, Mick and Town part ways now. It makes Footballing sense. It widens the divide between the Fans and the Club the longer it goes on. Ideally, we get someone in for the last few games who can assess the current situation and who can therefore make the changes before pre season. Rather than have someone start trying to alter the team etc from the start of pre season.

However, as I think the majority can now see, Evans treats the club as a business. He can't see the economic benefit of replacing him now. In business terms it would be completely inefficient.

I worry this is what football has become, a business. I keep telling myself it isn't, but it is all too obvious now.

Teams have gone to the Prem with a similar budget to ours. We tend to forget our wage bill is one of the highest in the division. If Evans doesn't want to invest any more, then we need someone who can actually coach the younger players. Similar to what McClaren has achieved.

bedsitfc added 12:05 - Apr 3
Futurejacksted- who isn't the next manager

MoscowBlueMule added 12:05 - Apr 3
As a business owner, I do find it incredibly odd, that the managing director and I repeat, the managing director!, is not part of the search and appears not to feature on any evaluation panel, preparation of shortlists etc. what does he actually do for his MD salary????

thechangingman added 12:06 - Apr 3
I can't help feeling a bit sorry for Milne here. His role is essentially being the monkey who speaks on behalf of the organ-grinder who's told him to speak for a while without saying anything whatsoever.


jayceee added 12:10 - Apr 3
I wonder if the vitriolic treatment of MM by the nasty minority will deter many candidates? I understood the criticism - just not the hate.

FutureJackSted added 12:12 - Apr 3
bedsitfc - Pep Guardiola

Currie10 added 12:15 - Apr 3

itfchorry added 12:17 - Apr 3
Milne Out

RRanger added 12:17 - Apr 3
I do think there is more good stuff football wise about Mclaren but I think the most important thing about any new manager here,at least initially, is that it is a popular appointment and I fear Steve Mclaren just carries too much baggage with the fans,ie he wouldn't be a popular choice with the majority of fans, although I suspect ,from what I've heard , the players would appreciate his coaching prowess. What he did with Twente in Holland was a remarkable achievement and if given a chance by the fans here and time by the players, he could be a very good appointment.

nineteenseventyeight added 12:18 - Apr 3
Milne.....youre a puppet!

Kitman added 12:23 - Apr 3
Speaking to 'Arry Redknapp again about it? This does not bode well....

Churchman75 added 12:24 - Apr 3
Ian Milne MD = Managing Director!!!!!!!!!
Mr Milne what do you actually do? You know feck all about feck all according to this interview..

Dont know who Marcus talks with? - surely should be your job as MD
Dont know contacts? - Surely your job as MD
Dont know about the convo between ME and MM? surely thats your job.

Im in charge of 20 branches in my business and over 120 employees and im ultimately accountable for the whole performance of my area in East Anglia, what are you accountable for Mr Milne? - i could do you job in my sleep!!!
No wonder we are such a mess, - Get out!!!


ajs83 added 12:24 - Apr 3
alial - You're correct in one front - football is a business, hence why Ipswich have been left behind in the last few seasons.
However, we don't have one of the highest wage bills - don't know where you read that - we have one of the lowest wage bills.
If the budget in the summer is the same as it was last summer, we will once again be one of the favourites to be relegated to League 1, regardless of who is manager.
I would like to see someone younger like Cowley/Hurst or if people are hell bent on entertaining football and lots of goals then Nathan Jones at Luton would be a very good shout.
Ultimately it comes down to finance and budget at the end of the day. Any potential new manager will want to know what the budget is before he puts pen to paper. Terry Butcher has eluded to this already.

LesTibbetsbrokenleg added 12:26 - Apr 3
"He'll be coming out with it either before the early bird or after"
Thanks for stating the bleeding obvious, what other time is there?

peteswindon added 12:29 - Apr 3
LOL its going to be McLaren no one else is dumb enough to come here.

Len_Brennan added 12:31 - Apr 3
If the new manager is due to be announced before the early bird deadline, he is unlikely to be the unifying figure Milne suggests is being sought. The currently available managers are not a bunch that would inspire universal delight among the fans.
As the plan had been to keep MM in place until the end of the season, it seems reasonable to assumne that we will be having a caretaker in place until the summer (when MM inevitably leaves today or tomorrow), after which currently serving managers at lower level clubs could come into the equation.
I like the thoughts of us targeting Hurst (as apposed to merrigoround suggestions like McLaren, Pardew or some other other hard to stomach option). If Shrewsbury just miss out on automatic promotion to Blackburn & Wigan, and then lose out in the lottery of the playoffs, he would become a very viable prospect for a Championship club looking to improve its playing style, despite a comparably low transfer budget at this level. Even if they go up, he may feel he has taken them as far as they can go and look to move on to a (traditionally) bigger club.
I think such an appointment would be worth waiting a few weeks for; if informal backchannelling indicate a possible interest of course.

blueboy1981 added 12:34 - Apr 3
Burley and a good young ambitious Manager would fit the bill perfectly - let's get a bit of previous ITFC Pedigree back into the Club.

On another note Mr Milne - please remind Mr Evans that if he doesn't soon invest in the pitch at Portman Road, we will be playing on nothing much better than a ploughed field.

Now that is something that could put people off coming here - not conducive to playing the beautiful game on that's for sure.

Whatever happened to the lush green velvet Portman Road that SOME of us can remember ?? - and don't lets here the 'stands' being blamed - that's absolute ROLLOCKS.

Northstandveteran added 12:34 - Apr 3
It would appear the club are listening to the fans and taking on their concerns.
They are, I'm sure aware of the current disillusionment about the owner and management.
A step in the right direction regarding ticket price reduction and realistically, no rush for a new manager. I for one am very happy that they are not going to make a knee jerk reaction.
Good to hear that Evans is going to be making a statement as well.
Everything would appear to be going to plan.
All the club have to do now is learn a little Dutch.
Maurice Steijn's blue and orange army!
Plus we have favoured an orange away kit on occasion.

blueboy1981 added 12:35 - Apr 3
........ 'hear' - should read.

blueboy1981 added 12:37 - Apr 3
....... Northstandveteran - I like that idea - sound suggestion that.

alial added 12:38 - Apr 3
ajs83 - agree with your points.

Admittedly - info was a little sketchy.

Have heard that Cowley's contract has been drawn up by a friend... just didn't want to start the rumour mill...

Only thing with Cowley is that he does have a similar style to Mick. But who knows on a different budget. That being said... Would Mick have done better with a budget? Probably.

Would like to see McClaren come in as a coach. I believe he will get the best out of the younger lads.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 12:38 - Apr 3
I wouldn't listen too closely to 'Arry if I were you, Marcus! I reckon a panel of 20 fans would come up with a better solution. A piece of advice: disregard anyone whose name begins with "Mc" or "P."

naa added 12:44 - Apr 3
alial - last I heard we had the 18th highest wage bill in the division. Not sure where you got your info from.

You could therefore argue that Mick has over-achieved in his time with us quite drastically. I also doubt too many clubs with similar wage bills have got into the play-offs.

However, I'm not here to defend Mick, I'm happy he's going. Monday's game showed how much fun football can be and is something that's been far too lacking in recent years.

But any expectation that we should by rights be challenging for the play-offs is, in my opinion, incorrect.

I would say that we do actually have a pretty decent squad (especially if everyone was fit) but again, this is mostly down to Mick again.

naa added 12:49 - Apr 3
Talk of Cowley worries me a lot. Mick did well here if you look at his finances and results but he got hounded out because of his playing style. Why on earth would we want to replace him with someone who plays the same way?

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