Lambert: 99.9 Per Cent Chance I'll Not Be Here After a Takeover
Saturday, 27th Feb 2021 18:41
Town boss Paul Lambert says it’s 99.9 per cent certain that he won’t be manager of the Blues if the US-backed takeover is confirmed.
News of the £30 million takeover of the Blues by the consortium emerged this week but with the club insisting yesterday that owner Marcus Evans is “not actively looking to sell”. Nevertheless, TWTD understands the deal is close to being done and Town could change hands within a matter of weeks.
Although Brett Johnson, a leading figure at Phoenix Rising and FC Tucson, has entered the spotlight having followed Town’s Twitter account in recent days, the Los Angeles-based business man is not the main driver behind the deal with former West Brom chief executive officer Mike O'Leary believed to be the leading figure. O'Leary is close to Bristol City chief executive Mark Ashton, a former board member at West Brom and one-time goalkeeper with the Baggies.
Former Portsmouth, Wigan and Chesterfield boss Paul Cook has been linked with the Portman Road hotseat currently filled by Lambert.
Asked what he knew about the takeover situation after today’s game, Lambert responded: “I’m aware of it. I have to be careful what I say as I know much as you guys, I guess the best person you have to ask is the owner of this club.
“He’s always said he’ll do the right thing for the football club and try and move it forward and [regarding] investment, it certainly needs it, without a shadow of a doubt. It certainly needs investment and help somewhere, where they’ll get it from I don’t know.
“It’s an incredible club, an incredible fanbase, 20-odd thousand people [coming to games] in this league, and Ipswich fans have been brilliant. It certainly needs that help on that side of it.
“Regarding whether I know much about it, not really, which you’ll probably think is a bit bizarre but I don’t.
“My own position? I’ve been in the game long enough to know the way things happen. What I do know about it is that when a takeover generally comes in, 99.9 per cent I’ll not be here, that’s what happens.
“If that happens, I’ve got no worry, no fear, no nothing. I’d wish everybody all the best and hopefully they can go on and do it.”
Asked whether if anything was imminently set to happen, today might have been his last game in charge, he joked: “When I came in this morning, Paul Cook was in the office up there! No, I’m only kidding.
“Listen, I don’t get involved with all of that. If you ask me if I think I’m going to be here when there’s a takeover, no, I don’t.”
Lambert, who was watched while he spoke to the media by first-team coach Matt Gill, who has been suggested as a potential caretaker boss if the manager were to move on before a new man was confirmed, met with Evans on Thursday in what’s believed to have been a frosty meeting and revealed they spoke again yesterday.
“Marcus is the one who has said he would sell it to somebody better or somebody who can invest,” he said.
“As I said before, 99 per cent of the time when a takeover takes place, I’m not here. But we have to wait and see.
“I’ve spoken to Marcus, I’ve spoken to [general manager of football operations] Lee [O’Neill], we had discussions on Thursday, discussions on Friday night. I’ve not been involved in too many situations where I’m talking on Friday night about other stuff, which I find quite bizarre, but there we go.”
Asked whether he’s got to deal with the here and now, he said: “That’s it, and we win. That’s the most important thing. The football club has got incredible support behind it, it certainly needs help.”
Quizzed later on him wanting to know the lie of the land should the takeover happen, he reiterated: “Ninety-nine per cent I won’t be here. When the takeover comes, it wouldn’t matter if I was sitting at the top of the table, 99 per cent normally the manager’s away. That’s football.”
Would he be disappointed by that? “No, that’s football. I’ve been in the game since I was 15 when I made my debut all those years ago at St Mirren. I’m 51 now.”
Wouldn’t it be a shame not to complete the project here? “You have to ask Marcus.”
Does it sound like anything is imminent? “I don’t know, ask him!”
When it was pointed out that Evans won’t speak to the media, Lambert added: “I wonder why he doesn’t speak to you! I don’t know, I’m going home for a nice beer, I think.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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