Five Point Protest Aims to Focus Frustrations
Tuesday, 10th Mar 2020 09:43
Supporters on Twitter will have seen tweets from a new fans' group called The Five Point Protest in recent days, organiser Mark Beck told TWTD what it’s all about.
The Marcus Evans tenure as Ipswich Town owner started with much expectation and promise, saving the club from the brink of administration, the injection of initial investment and the high profile appointment of manager Roy Keane brought a sense of optimism to Portman Road.
Sadly, apart from one brief season as promotion contenders, the bubble burst seemingly very quickly. A catalogue of failures both on and off the field saw our club stagnate whilst those around us improved and progressed.
The same reoccurring failures has left the club slumped in its lowest position since the 1950s. The Ipswich fanbase has been very tolerant of this plight, although with underlying frustrations throughout, but we cannot accept this situation we are facing any longer. Together, as a united fanbase, we need to offer some resistance and challenge to those responsible for running our great football club.
This is the birth of The Five Point Protest. A name derived in retaliation to our owner's former Five Point Plan launched in January 2017 during the Mick McCarthy era. A plan which seemingly feels like what we have now become accustomed to, a PR stunt aimed to appease our frustrations.
The aim of The Five Point Protest is to focus our frustrations as a fanbase and demand answers from those at the very top overseeing our sleepwalk into the unknown. There are a wide range of views and opinions as to where we feel our football club has faltered in recent years but we, as fans, should not be the ones asking these questions.
Ultimately, this is the responsibility of the owner of our football club and the many people who represent him. We have broken down some of the key frustrations to formulate the five points of our protest: Mentality, Ambition, Investment and Sustainability, Transfer Policy and Transparency.
We appreciate that this doesn't cover every frustration that we feel as a fanbase but the key thing to note is that the vast majority are frustrated, angry and heartbroken at the club's fall from grace. We are not expecting a return to the glory days of the late 70s and 80s. We are expecting a football club that we can be proud of, one that is run correctly with the best interests of its fans both present and future at heart.
We would like to point out that this is NOT a ‘Marcus Evans Out' protest. Most of us will be grateful for the club being saved by the intervention of Marcus Evans over a decade ago. Asking for our owner to leave without a buyer in hand leaves the club in considerable danger and simply isn't realistic at this time. However, as fans and paying customers we have every right to question when we feel that the club is heading in the wrong direction.
We have the right to challenge his commitment to our football club. I feel this is an important step that we need to take as a fanbase, one many clubs could learn from, in not feeling afraid to challenge our ownership in times of consistent and reoccurring failure. It is a common theme in countries on the continent and across the world, albeit different footballing cultures, but something we can take inspiration from.
A number of people have mentioned the absence of the current manager and his playing staff within our protest. Any action that we choose to take going forward will strive to have minimal impact on any match proceedings. We accept that the on-field staff, the past two seasons in particular, are a huge frustration and have contributed heavily to the failings of this football club.
At time of writing, the managerial position is very much hanging in the balance so we do not feel that it is appropriate to base a protest purely on this issue. Moreover, I feel that it is important to target the frustrations at those responsible for selecting, questioning and managing our current manager and his staff. Ultimately, the failings we have seen in previous managerial reigns are still plaguing our current manager and will continue to hamper managers in the future.
As a protest movement, we aim to respect and hear the views of all supporters regarding the issues we have pointed out as well as hear frustrations we may have missed. This is our football club and to launch a successful and constructive protest we must gather the most accurate viewpoint from our fanbase.
I ask all supporters to view this movement, whether on the TWTD site, social media or YouTube with an open mind. I appreciate and understand that this kind of movement won't be to everyone's taste and I cannot guarantee that our protest will work. However, we will strive to provide a well constructed and significant protest which aims to include as many fans as possible. We are aiming to deliver a protest, either static or a march, before one of our final home games this season.
The end goal for the protest would be to have an interview with Mr Evans in a neutral environment, answering questions from us as fans. I cannot promise or guarantee that we will get anywhere close to this and I have to admit that this protest movement will take time, patience and dedication in order for this to grow effectively. I am not prepared to make any promises at this date.
This fanbase has suffered far too many instances of overpromising and under-delivering in recent times. However, I and many others will work hard alongside our normal working lives to try and deliver a protest with the best intentions of bringing about positive change.
For those who don't know me. I am just a 25-year-old man who adores this football club and can't sit by any longer without trying to provoke some change by challenging those responsible for running our club.
I have featured heavily on the YouTube channel Ipswich Fanzone, who have been fundamental in the early stages of this campaign. Once again, I ask you to view this protest with an open mind and judge it on your own principles and feelings towards the football club that we love. I cannot do this without you.
I would like to thank all those who have registered their support to The Five Point Protest in its infancy. I would also like to thank TWTD and the other media platforms for sharing and for giving us the opportunity to further explain our protest. We will continue to provide updates to TWTD regarding any updates and progress. If you would like to join our mailing list then please email IpswichFanzone@gmail.com.
We are holding our Open Forum on Thursday 12th March at 7.30pm at Wiff Waff on the Ipswich Quayside. This is an open event for anyone interested, concerned or has any questions regarding The Five Point Protest. Anyone interested but unable to attend need not worry, an update will be provided to all issues raised.
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