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Bent: Something's Got to Change at Town, Fans Are Telling Me the Soul's Been Ripped Out of the Club
Tuesday, 16th Feb 2021 13:37

Former Blues striker Darren Bent says something’s got to change at Portman Road with fans telling him that “the soul’s been ripped out of the football club” and people he knows at Town also unhappy.

Independent supporters group Blue Action staged the protest at which a flare led to a small fire causing training to be interrupted for 10 minutes, a development which Bent feels is untypical of Town and its support.

“People are obviously not happy with the football that they’re seeing,” Bent said on talkSPORT. “Last season, they completely fell off, were in position to get promoted and it didn’t happen.

“And listen, Ipswich Town is a club which is close to my heart, I started there, I still look back at their results, I still speak to a number of people associated with the football club, and they’re clearly not happy.

“And we’re talking about people at this football club that are some of the nicest people you’d meet, they’re not people who are argumentative, all they want to do is see what’s best for Ipswich Town and Ipswich Town hopefully get themselves back promoted.

“And they feel like the core of the club is being ripped out, whether that’s the owner or the manager, they’re not happy. To be fair, they’re not happy with both.

“As I say, I still speak to a number of people there, the fact that we’re seeing flares and they’re having to suspend training, people are protesting, this is not something which is usually associated with Ipswich Town Football Club, that is for sure.

“There’s always been a nice relationship between the club and the supporters. Well now it’s gone completely sour.

“So, I think in order for this situation to get resolved something’s got to change because this can’t continue.”

He added: “I think right now, the number of Ipswich Town fans that I speak to, they’re basically saying that they feel like the soul’s been ripped out of the football club.

“And I think when people start using those sorts of words, it’s not very good at all. It’s not good and somehow something needs to change because this is a club that shouldn’t be sitting in League One, they’ve been down there for far too long.

“The fact that this is going on, they’ve had a couple of cracks at getting promoted and it hasn’t quite happened, is sad and obviously these are where people’s frustrations are coming in because for a club like Ipswich Town, flares and protests, this is not something that used to being seen.”

Asked what he thinks will change, whether owner Marcus Evans will sell up, he continued: “It doesn’t seem like it, it doesn’t seem he’s going anywhere. He seems to be quite friendly with Paul Lambert.

“The general consensus amongst supporters and the people associated with the club is that Lambert’s got to to go, that they’re not happy with him.

“That’s not just coming from supporters, that’s people associated with the football club. As I said, if you ever speak to some of these people that are involved with Ipswich Town Football Club, they’ve not got a bad word to say about anybody, and they’re not happy.

“When you start going to the core of a football club, all football clubs have got their mainstays that have been there for ages, that were there when I was there when I was a kid, even if I went back now the same people would be there, whether that’s security or whatever.

“And when those people are not happy, something’s got to change because that can’t continue. The worse it gets, the further and further Ipswich will keep going down, and that can’t happen. For a club that size in League One, that’s not good enough.”

Photo: Action Images

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Texastom added 13:41 - Feb 16
Well spoken, the more publicity and getting the message out there in the public domain the better.

Evans and Lambert just go.

MVBlue added 13:41 - Feb 16
Good to have some media shine a spotlight on the mess, cheers Darren. 10 wins will turn it round. But that won't happen. Listless.

Bluespeed added 13:45 - Feb 16
Spot on Darren! When just when will those at the top start listening ? This is not a small minority it’s affecting the county & beyond!!

north_stand77 added 13:46 - Feb 16
Well said Darren, thank you.

If only others would speak out too maybe Evans would do something to save our downfall. Its in his hands

osborne1nil added 13:47 - Feb 16
Very interesting comments from Darren Bent, especially people that he knows at the club that he is in contact with are not happy. Rumours of unhappy dressing room, staff, may not be that far off the truth.
The team is good enough to be promoted out of this league. The Manager and his tactics clearly aren't.

LimerickTractorBoy added 13:50 - Feb 16
Excellent Darren.

Thank you.

oldegold added 13:55 - Feb 16
Are you listening Evans ? Come out with a public statement..for God's sake man..you work in the business of communications..

MonkeyAlan added 13:56 - Feb 16
About time the national media got involved. Might make Evans wake up and see we aren't going to be taken for mugs. He might own the club but it's the supporters who are at the heart of it. Without them you have nothing. Evans would do well to remember that. He can't just ride rough shod over the history of this football club. The club is bigger than he ever will be. Silly little man.

Sixto6 added 14:01 - Feb 16
Such a sad situation

Unfortunately I can’t see Lambert being sacked this season. I would hope that there is some sort of clause in his stupidly long contract that is performance related ! - a significantly smaller payoff if we finish the season outside the payoffs/top 10.

There is still plenty of time to turn this season around and find some form to get promoted via the playoffs............ just not with this management I’m afraid !

Massive changes needed but good football club owners don’t grow on trees !

RegencyBlue added 14:04 - Feb 16
This is excellent!

Finally pressure is being brought to bear on the right target.

Evans out!

90z added 14:04 - Feb 16
Well said Darren, something needs to change now.
I cant believe there is fans that are still happy with all of this. The owner the manager and the way we play football. Getting worked up about a protest saying its disgusting if nothing is done nothing will change. Paul aint feeling no pressure with no fans at grounds!

Suffolkboy added 14:05 - Feb 16
Food for thought indeed ! We must , however , try to remain objective ,not get personal ,but focus on the functions of individuals and the. (NON) functionality of our footballing team and squad .
Always the best team is the happiest team ,who feel wanted ,at ease with the demands and engrossed enthusiastically in the short , medium and longer term tasks and objectives .
All teams need a leader and leadership ; not sure we’ve got any at ITFC right now !

OriginalMarkyP added 14:11 - Feb 16
The problem with this, and the reason that no one in football will take it too seriously is that everyone knows Darren and Lambert had a massive bust up and DB hates PL's guts. So whether what he's saying is the unvarnished truth or not, he'll be viewed as someone with an axe to grind.

BlueandTruesince82 added 14:16 - Feb 16
What a player.... id swap our entire squad to get peak Darren Bent in our side.

Great to see blue actions protect having an effect, a little less criticism a little more action from others and maybe we will see some action.

Speaking of which sign the petition. If everyone that looked took an extra moment to actually sign we would be looking at thousands rather than hundreds so if you haven't already plz sign


blue_enough added 14:33 - Feb 16
Glad to get someone speaking sense, rather than this media managed pap. We all know why Lambert is there. 5 Years! Yet another god awful decision, from a management team with very little football experience.
Evans' first hire should have been a very experience director of football with roots in Ipswich.

Horseboy added 14:36 - Feb 16
Hes not interested, a couple of cracks at promotion, hes obviously not interested either unless it suits his journalism career

Ipswichbusiness added 14:48 - Feb 16
I doubt whether Lambert will leave whilst promotion is still a mathematical possibility, not least because Mr Evans seems to give his managers a chance (Hurst excepted).

To my mind the situation is further complicated by the large number of player contracts expiring in the summer. Any incoming manager should have a proper opportunity to assess who he wants to retain, whilst the players will want some certainty before they re-sign.

therein61 added 14:54 - Feb 16
Well said Darren and very informative,
Rumours have been going around for far too long about unrest within the building and we need more people to come forward this will have more effect than flare throwing!!!
The club i love is going to hell in a handcart.

hadleighboyblue added 14:57 - Feb 16
Well said , Darren .

The most telling comment is " the soul has been ripped out of the club " , that's exactly how it feels .

And we have a manager that obviously doesn't want to be here , that is going to affect the morale in the dressing room .

PL is never going to turn this situation around , he wants out anyway

Bazza8564 added 15:25 - Feb 16
As much as I admire some of the sentiment and passion of fans who want to see Marcus Evans leave the club, the fact that he has in excess of £100m invested here makes this very difficult, and simply shouting Evans out remains as counter productive as ever. Who exactly is queuing up to buy him out? He's not the manager of a local Co-Op. Lets be realistic.

I'm not a great fan, but without him we would actually be completely bankrupt, let us not forget the mess Mr Sheepshanks got us into, and that followed 2 years in the premier. The owner is not the problem we need to be addressing.

The issues need separating out. When we compete on the pitch, see logic in the progression of the club and have faith in the team playing for the manager, our issues with Mr Evans will subside very quickly.

Sadly, Mr Lambert, after two years of going nowhere, simply has to be held accountable and be replaced, He has lost the fans, (not just those who brought shame yesterday with the flares), but all of us. This is a much bigger football club than League 1 12th position would indicate. Look what has happened with Leeds and Wolves, who sought out a number of leaders before finding the right mix. Mr Evans has to be brave. If we cant attract a decent manager in this climate with the opportunity to wake a sleeping giant I would be most surprised. Im not expecting a Lampard to want to come here, but I bet a Nigel Pearson would, and there are a number of people knocking about with an ability to win promotion. Howe, Bilic etc. This is a big club, not a Man U, but we are massive compared to Bournemouth and look what they achieved. Brighton too. lets get a decent manager and focus on him and the team, and the ownership debate will take care of itself.

BlueBlood90 added 15:26 - Feb 16
Nice one Benty.

Nice to see we are getting the coverage we deserve regarding this matter now. It sometimes takes drastic action to achieve what is required. Hopefully he's gone at full time tonight!

Cakeman added 15:29 - Feb 16
Very well said Darren. I would imagine there are many other ex players who are also pulling their hair out with our current plight.
Sadly I don’t see a massive change unless a new ownership is brought in. No matter about opinions of Marcus Evans, he has put a lot of money in. The problem as I see it is that he is not a football person. His success’ revolve around corporate hospitality which is really struggling in these Covid times so further investment is going to be minimal.
I think Paul Lambert has run his race but sacking him would only scratch the surface.
I never thought I would say this but the likes of Arrington, Peterborough and Brentford have got it spot on. Engagement with their fans and Chair people who actually make a difference and have their hearts firmly in their clubs and their communities.
What have we got? An owner who gets his messages conveyed by others who equally appear to
Be out of touch in the football World. We also have a Manager who appears to not want to engage with supporters at all. A club that reacts like a spoilt child when criticised by the local press and fan forums........oh dear oh dear, I really really hope we get over this little blip! Familiar repetitive boring words sounding familiar?

Spanishblueblood added 15:34 - Feb 16
All that will happen now is...Darren Bent will be banned from Portman Road! Get out of our club Evans and Lambert

Skip73 added 15:35 - Feb 16
MVBlue, Thats a bit pessimistic, 10 wins should be achievable, after all PL has got 4 years left on his contract in which to get them. Thats 2.5 wins per year on average, even he can get them, surely?

Nobbysnuts added 15:35 - Feb 16
Well said Darren....are you listening shambert???? Get out of our club you fraud....

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