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Owner Evans Apologises to Fans
Sunday, 14th Apr 2019 13:33

Town owner Marcus Evans has apologised to Town fans in the wake of the Blues' relegation to League One and has outlined the plans for the future in a personal letter that will go out with season ticket renewals later this week, which has been published in part on the club website today.

Before I talk about the future, which I truly am positive about, I want to personally apologise to you for the position the club finds itself in at the moment. 

We tried something different at the start of the season. For one reason or another it didn’t work, and you will have your own views as to what went wrong, but clearly mistakes have been made and as owner, I have to take overall responsibility for that.

Now my responsibility is to take this great club forwards again. Paul Lambert, as our manager, is obviously a key part of that plan and whilst results on the pitch have not been as we would have hoped for, performances and entertainment levels have vastly improved and most importantly as the manager has had time to work with the players, most of whom will be the core of next year’s team, we have recently been competitive with the best teams in the Championship.

As our young team develops and improves, this foundation has to be encouraging to all of us as a positive indication that we are now going in the right direction. We will quite rightly expect this team to carry on with this competitiveness in the lower league next season.

These players, who are still learning the game at the highest levels, all need a significant run of matches to consolidate their position in the first team and whilst there is a place for one or two loans and players who can bring vital experience in the latter stages of their careers, the majority of the squad need to be younger players who will be improving week by week. 

Where we don’t have talent in the building that is ready for developing in a particular position and it’s clear that we need to invest to improve we will do so but we will not bring in anyone who blocks our own players’ development and we will ensure we give our young homegrown players a run of games.

They will make mistakes, but as long as they learn from those mistakes we will have a team that gets better and better. 

We need players on the pitch who are the future of Ipswich for the next five or six years, not just for one or two seasons, whose development our coaches can influence  and who are on the upward curve of their playing career.

Much of this was the plan for last summer however it didn’t work out the way we planned. In Paul Lambert and his team, we have a group of excellent coaches who are completely invested in the strategy. 

I cannot doubt the loyal support you have shown the club through thick and thin but now we need everyone’s support and togetherness more than ever. 

We are playing the attractive, entertaining football that I think you want to see. I certainly do. I have seen the players applauded off in many games this season, even after defeat, so I think that shows you are appreciating the way Paul is getting the team to play.

Of course, it’s about winning football matches though and that is something that we have to put right. 

Paul, our general manager of football operations, Lee O’Neill, and myself have had numerous meetings over the last four or five months to discuss the future direction of the club.

We are all united in the strong belief that our young players need to be given a pathway into the first-team and a chance to establish themselves at that level, not just a few games here or there but over a period of time.

Developing and nurturing our own players and giving them first-team opportunities are at the core of our focus going forward. They will need patience but it’s the way forward for Ipswich Town. I want you to witness the excitement of a team developing week in, week out and see this turning this into a winning formula.

We will still retain that balance of experienced players around them, of course. Players like Bart Bialkowski, Alan Judge, Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse will provide that guidance for our young players to progress.

As stated earlier it’s not our intention to bring in loan players in any numbers. We may have one or two but the plan is to provide that pathway for our young players, rather than use the loan market. 

I have become much more hands-on at the club since the turn of the year and that will continue. I’m not going to hide from the fact that these are challenging times at the club but sometimes out of adversity you become stronger. That is our aim.

I am also putting plans in place to take Ipswich Town deeper into the local community, working closer than ever before with schools, charities and local organisations. There will be more on that over the coming weeks.

I know Paul has been amazed and humbled as well by the backing he, personally, and the team have received from you the fans and he is determined to repay that support in the years ahead.

With Paul as our manager, we have the right man to take us forward. I will provide all the support I can to him but we need your continued fantastic support as well.

It seems strange to say this but we are not a club in crisis, we are once again already developing our community roots; we are financially stable; we have a proven management team intent on doing things going forwards in the Ipswich way and whilst the foundations have already been laid to move onwards and upwards  THE REAL FIGHTBACK STARTS NOW to get back into the Championship and then on from there.

General manager of football operations Lee O’Neill will be on Mark Murphy’s Radio Suffolk breakfast show on Monday morning from 8am talking about Town’s relegation and the Blues’ future.

Photo: ITFC

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Bluearmy_81 added 13:36 - Apr 14
Talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words. Tell em what they wanna hear.
New Facebook group 'Evans out of ITFC.'

BLUEBEAT added 13:38 - Apr 14
Did he really scream THE REAL FIGHTBACK STARTS NOW?!?!?! Absolute mentalist.

Edmundo added 13:43 - Apr 14
He's finally "got" the Ipswich way. What concerns me is how much damage we can't see and how that may surface as we rebuild and aim to, for the first time in 20 years, get a promotion season going.

Bluearmy_81 added 13:44 - Apr 14
And for those with possibly the safest, most cautious view ever "He keeps us going, we could be Bolton, without him we'd cease to exist", what was the last time a club our size folded due to an owner just walking?! It won't happen. It can't. Things do need to change though if we are going to progress, after 11 years anyone with half a brain can see that...

Bluearmy_81 added 13:45 - Apr 14
And for those cautious thinkers, stop setting the bar so low for ITFC FFS!!

StringerBell added 13:46 - Apr 14
More guff and spin from this joke of an owner. Just don’t believe the hollow words anymore.

Trac70 added 13:46 - Apr 14
Reading between the lines he means "very little if any investment and hope the youngsters come good". I don't trust this man at all. It's been said many times before TALK IS CHEAP!! Please prove me wrong Mr Evans.

thechangingman added 13:49 - Apr 14
Phew! That was a close one…

There I was, thinking things were as bad as they could possibly be, with my beloved football club. Then Marcus stepped in to assure me everything is, in fact, fine.

Whilst all around turns to ashes, isn’t it consoling to know that our absentee owner really cares, and is sorry for destroying everything we held dear.

Thanks again, Marcus, for reassuring us today. I don’t know where we’d be without you, although I am guessing it wouldn’t be staring down the barrel of The Worst Moment in our Club’s History.

I look forward to the next illustrious decade with you at the helm. There are certain to be many surprises ahead, but with you in charge, we can all rest assured that a True Blue, with the best intentions for the club, is steering our course.

With all my gratitude,
One of the turkeys who continually votes for Christmas.

shortmarine1969 added 13:52 - Apr 14
The bloke did not invest with - positive / money brought in - investment in the championship , with a shortfall of another 6-7 mil from TV money there is no way in hell he will put money in now , i see nothing but a protracted period in L1 , sincerely hope i wrong , but since PJ left he is simply not up for putting money in even when MM had us there or there about he sat on his wallet (may have been MM decision ???). I can see no bright future with ME as our owner.

midastouch added 13:53 - Apr 14
If he hadn't of said anything we'd of criticised him for staying silent. Let's just see how it plays out next season. Look at how brilliant the fans were at the end of the game yesterday, see here: The players will have gone back into the dressing room afterwards moved by that I think and will give it their all to pay them back for sticking by them. A lot of teams would be calling for heads and singing "you're not fit to wear the shirt" and all sorts. Watch the vid, it's inspiring:
Hopefully Evans feels embarrassed at where we are at and has learned some valuable lessons and will go the extra mile to put things right. I'm by no means an Evans fan, I've been very critical on a lot of occasions in the past. But at least he has come out and said something rather than staying deadly silent. Let's try and stick together and see what happens next season. If we're lucky we might find League One a blessing in disguise. I don't pretend it's going to be easy but the aim should be at least the Play Offs next season. If Evans can get the ticket prices right we could become the all-important 12th man next season. COYB!!! I'm not defending Evans here but I'm hoping he's going to put right the wrongs of the last few seasons by going that extra yard. If he does and next season goes really well then hopefully relations between the owner and fans can become vastly improved.

Gilesy added 13:53 - Apr 14
Bluearmy - Rangers?

Who replaces him and do you suppose he's not already open to offers?

OwainG1992 added 13:55 - Apr 14
I just wanna everyone moans when he doesn't come out and speak.
He has basically taken ownership here and I like a lot of what hes said. But people don't give a sh*t.

dirtydingusmagee added 13:56 - Apr 14
somehow i missed this statement earlier, and thought ME had failed to acknowledge the fans, However having now read his statement i dont feel at all comforted ,impressed or hopeful of better things to come, just more of the same . Difficult times ahead.

howdonblue added 14:00 - Apr 14
The best apology would be to sell Evans !


Jonnosdreadlocks added 14:00 - Apr 14
FFS, there is only so much money he has to put into the club, he didnt take us into administration. People were not lining up to buy the club when he took over nor are they today. Yes, he's made some bad choices not sacking MM soon enough, employing a big name in Keane, employing Clegg, Hurst, wow hindsight is easy. The amount of time we have been in the championship meant it was a case of law of averages that we would get out eventually unfortunately it was south rather than north! Back PL, buy two decent strikers and another CB and we will be in top 3 next season.

braveblue added 14:00 - Apr 14
Platitudes. Get out if our club. You have failed. The main reason for failure is you and your awful decisions.

Bluearmy_81 added 14:06 - Apr 14
Gilesy, why is he including the debt in the price when he's stated he never wants it back off? No-one will buy at the current price. He needs to make the price realist or we are stuck together forever. My suspicion is he's more comfortable with this than we are.

Lord_Mac added 14:09 - Apr 14
It's been the case for a while that the only way (unless we attract the attention of a foreign multi-billionaire) to run this club is with a business model that involves developing and building local talent through the academy, and selling enough of it to make it financially viable, whilst using the rest in the first team, rather than sending it out on loan to other clubs, while loanees and discards from other clubs occupy our first team places.

Whether that's enough to challenge for and sustain a Championship place remains to be seen, but I'd rather see that than watch the Chalobahs of this world keep our youngsters out of the team. Nothing against him by the way, but how does this add value to our players? How has this aided the development of Bishop, Downes, Dozzell, Nydam etc?

Evans has tried overspending with profligate managers and underspending with frugal managers, so maybe third time lucky!

It may be that the amount of money in UK football may be at its peak - too many competing subscription services and an economy which is close to recession, making it less attractive to foreign investors, so this may be the way forward in future seasons.


BluedanW added 14:13 - Apr 14
So our great plan to get back to the championship is to hope our home grown players can be developed into great players. So carrying on down the road of non investment. League 2. Theres only one way this club is going and it's not back to the championship until Evan's has gone.

oldelsworthyfan added 14:17 - Apr 14
Here we are, back where Alf Ramsey found us, all those 63 years ago.
If only Evans could find the passion for the club that the Cobbolds had then.
For a start, Evans could start by watching every single home game.

Northstandveteran added 14:29 - Apr 14
The one point that stuck out for me was his comment about financial stability.
Whether you love him or loathe him, whether you blame Evans or not, if he continues to put £15million a year into the club, just to keep it ticking over remember, that should come as a positive.


pennblue added 14:35 - Apr 14
So basically he is not going to invest anything further so it is all down to the youths

I am not Convinced they are good enough

TimmyH added 14:38 - Apr 14
NSV - does he put £15M in a year? - where does that figure come from?, I know operating losses are around £6M but then he continually sells players for some payback.
As a few others have said talk is cheap and seems like he is wholly now relying on the younger players with a mix of more experienced players pulling us out of the mire so more or less forget about ME delving into his pocket anymore.

Saxonblue74 added 14:38 - Apr 14
A dose of reallity needed here. We are not, and have not been since the early 80's, a big football club. Unfortunately our years of being distinctly average coincided with years of vast riches on offer in the premier league. Teams who have enjoyed just the odd year or two in the top flight over the past decade or so havd left the likes of us behind. ME doesn't want to sell and nobody wants to buy, therefore the only way through this is to stick together and push us back up the leagues. Evans out facebook page? We're not 10 year olds! So many calling for our youth to be given their opportunity, now they have it yet still calling for major investment? We have the backbone of a squad capable of competing in thd championship, let alone lge1. As many have said, add a proven goalscorer or two and we're the real deal. Not forgetting we still have Freddie ans Lankester to come back. Plenty of doom mongers on here will shout me down but personally I'm with Evans and Lambert, the future is indeed bright.

Saxonblue74 added 14:41 - Apr 14
A few have chosen to ignore a significant section of this article. ME states that if we are lacking in areas that we don't have up and coming talent in he will invest.

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