Quantcast
Please log in or register. Registered visitors get fewer ads.
Town Takeover Completed
Wednesday, 7th Apr 2021 11:13

Town have confirmed that owner Marcus Evans has sold the club to US-backed consortium Gamechanger 20 Ltd in a £40 million deal.

In a statement on the club site Evans outlined the details of the deal:

I have always said that, whilst not actively looking to sell, I would seriously consider an offer made to me by a credible party if it would invest in Ipswich Town in a way that provides secure long-term funding to help take our club forwards. For an offer to succeed the following boxes had to be ticked:-

An irrevocable commitment to fund not just the purchase of the football club, but also to support a long-term business plan to invest in the team, infrastructure, our fans’ experience, the academy and the club’s role in the wider community.

2) Security for the club’s employees, including a commitment to support the new manager

3) A fair treatment of the shareholders of ITFC PLC and ensuring that they are not left behind in any offer.

Following several months of detailed due diligence by both parties, to ensure this will be a ‘marriage made in heaven’, an agreement approved by the EFL was signed today and I am satisfied that the above conditions have been met.

A new company (Gamechanger 20 Ltd) has been formed specifically to purchase the club for which a very fair price has been agreed for all of my equity, and in addition a payment for property and purchasing some of the debt previously owed to the ME Group including the debts acquired at a discount by the ME Group when buying the club in 2007.


As part of the transaction, a portion of that historic debt has in effect been written off, leaving the club with a much smaller debt burden and with nearly all club debt owed to the new owners.

The new ultimate beneficial owner of the club is a US investment fund called ORG, which manage funds on behalf of a large US pension fund and will own 90 per cent of Gamechanger 20 Ltd. The ORG representative will be Ed Schwartz.

In addition to the pension fund investment in Gamechanger 20 Ltd (GC20) through ORG, there is additional investment in GC20 through the Three Lions fund. This is managed by three Americans – Brett Johnson, Berke Bakay and Mark Detmer, who will jointly own five per cent of GC20.


These three individuals will, alongside the new chairman, Mike O’Leary, formerly CEO at West Brom, oversee and manage the business. I will also keep a keen watchful eye on the club and will invest in the new company, owning five per cent of it.

However, I plan to divorce myself from any day-to-day responsibilities and get back to following the Town as a highly interested, passionate and vested fan.

The exact format of the transaction means that the pension fund will be the majority owner of the company that owns the club. The remaining shares are owned by small shareholders, many of whom are supporters.

The new company is obliged to make an offer to buy the shares of Ipswich Town PLC for the same par value at which I have sold my own equity, therefore providing a potential exit for the club’s army of small shareholders.

A key factor in reaching my decision to support the investment by a pension fund is the basic principle around which any such fund needs to invest. It has to see a return on its investment, and that return in all likelihood can only be achieved by way of promotion to the Premier League.

The fund has deep pockets, but by the nature of a pension fund will be fiscally responsible in the use of those funds. In order to meet its investment responsibilities, it will need to invest to secure Premier League status, and it has already committed to making substantial investment in both the club’s playing squad and infrastructure.

I had always wanted to take the club myself to the Premier League and sadly, for too short a window, at one time this had seemed possible. However, as important to me as my ambition for the club was, if it didn’t work out I wanted to leave the club in not only a more secure financial position than the perilous state in which I found it, but with ownership that provides triple A financial backing alongside a community ethos.


I believe I have found this and I look forward to cheering the team on every week as we work our way back to where we all want to be.

COYB

Marcus

As TWTD previously reported, it's understood the pension fund involved is from a US state's fire and police services.

Gamechanger 20 Ltd also issued a statement via new chairman Mke O'Leary.

He said: “We want our first remarks on completion of this takeover to be words of thanks to Marcus Evans. We have been discussing this sale with him for more than a year, and throughout the negotiations his love for the club has shone through.

“He is a true supporter and all of us at Gamechanger 20 are extremely grateful that he has chosen to put his trust in us. 


“Marcus has invested considerable money, time and energy in Ipswich Town. His decision to waive much of the club’s outstanding debt is one that deserves the gratitude of every single Ipswich Town fan." 


O'Leary has previous board level experience in the UK football industry with both West Brom and Oxford, and more widely with FTSE and AIM-listed organisations.



Brett Johnson said on behalf of the Three Lions: "We are humbled and excited to be investing in Ipswich Town, one of the finest clubs in the history of English football. 


"We are proud of our success on and off the pitch at Phoenix Rising and are committed to restoring ITFC to its former glory. To this end, the first priority is promotion to the Championship and the management team will be given additional funds to strengthen the playing squad.

“The Three Lions have considerable experience in commerce and marketing and in the medium-term plan to increase revenue at the club, but the short-term priority has to be the playing side, and we are committed to improving that, all the way from the academy to the first team.”

As previously reported, the directors of Gamechanger 20 Ltd are O’Leary, Johnson, Schwartz, Bakay and Detmer. A UK-based CEO is set to be appointed soon.

Bristol City chief executive Mark Ashton has been strongly linked with the same role at Town and Robins head of operations/club secretary Luke Werhun is also believed to be wanted by the new set-up. However, there is no confirmation that either will be leaving Ashton Gate.

News of the deal first emerged at the end of February but negotiations stalled during March and looked to be drifting. However, negotiations have continued and were concluded in the last few days with posts indicating that the takeover was done having circulated on the TWTD Forum over the weekend.

As well as his five per cent stake in Gamechanger 20 Ltd, we understand as per previous TWTD reports, that Evans, who has had 30 to 40 offers for the club during his time at Town, will keep a section of the Bent Lane training ground which is currently unused. This area, sometimes referred to as 'wasteland', has long been ear-marked for development.

Fans will welcome the changes at Portman Road with the Evans era having seen the club drop into League One for the first time since the 1950s.

Protests by independent supporters group Blue Action had become more frequent in recent weeks with Town having had another disappointing season and the Blues struggling to stay in the play-off hunt despite the recent appointment of new manager Paul Cook.


Photo: Matchday Images



Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.



unknown100 added 11:14 - Apr 7
Wahoooooooooooo 😆😆😆😆
16

JackSted added 11:15 - Apr 7
Never thought I'd see the day!! brb gonna cry
16

bringmeaKuqi added 11:15 - Apr 7
I must be dreaming
8

SnowyBlue added 11:16 - Apr 7
GET THE F**K IN!!!!
10

sharpshooter added 11:16 - Apr 7
Get in........!!
9

Ipswich_Sniffer added 11:16 - Apr 7
Now you will see how bad things can really get....national league here we come
-76

StringerBell added 11:16 - Apr 7
Get in - please let happier days lie ahead.
17

Daz added 11:17 - Apr 7
Hopefully this is will be a good thing and not Evans last bad choice
12

Kulturarv added 11:17 - Apr 7
Finally! Champagne! Hip Hip Hurray!
10

Pencilpete added 11:17 - Apr 7
Right all the poison and negativity is gone, let's get behind the new manager, new owners and get our club back to where we belong
67

chappie added 11:17 - Apr 7
Wow. I did think it was still a strong possibility as things went a bit quiet but the reality of it is pretty astounding. This could be a HUGE turning point for all things ITFC and will get the crowds and supporters right back behind the team

I was never an ME hater but his time had ran its course.

Onwards and upwards..... COYB!!!!
17

Sixto6 added 11:17 - Apr 7
Hopefully they can get the ITFC heart beating again !
COYB
14

itfcserbia added 11:18 - Apr 7
So will now some possible bonus promise make these players kick a bit harder, run a bit faster or shot on goal for a change?
Here's to better times ahead!
6

NicRams added 11:20 - Apr 7
Great news but, and I know I’ll get a lot of hate for this, I think a thank you to Marcus Evans in part is due. He saved us at the start, he tries his best (I know it wasn’t good enough in the end) and has hopefully done what is best for the club. I’m not happy with where we were but in truth, again especially at the start, it could and indeed would have been a lot worse without him. His era is over so let’s look forward instead of slating him. Let’s start trying to be a bit more positive for a change.
177

TractorRoyNo1 added 11:20 - Apr 7
Thank you Marcus, hopefully it will work out well for all parties.
71

blueinscotland added 11:21 - Apr 7
Fantastic news. The statement makes for really pleasant reading: they’ve explicitly made it clear they will give significant financial support. Fair play to Evans too for writing off much of the debt. Genuinely the most positive I’ve felt about Town in a long, long time.
47

90z added 11:21 - Apr 7
Exciting times ahead ! COYB!!!
10

victorywilhappen added 11:22 - Apr 7
Wednesday it was.
9

Juggsy added 11:22 - Apr 7
Today is a good day! 🎉🎉🎉
7

RaymondovicBlue added 11:23 - Apr 7
Investment in playing squad sufficient to get to Premier league? I'll vote for that 👍😎👍

Thank you ME for your investment and for giving up your right to the clubs debt. We would have died without you but now we need more... And you've found that buyer..... COYB indeed 😎
97

ShropshireBluenago09 added 11:24 - Apr 7
Well we’ve got what we wished for, let’s hope this is a positive step
5

MidlandsBlue92 added 11:24 - Apr 7
Superb news! Looking forward to seeing the funds available for PC to make the signings required in the summer!

Must be said, fair play to Marcus Evans. Sold at the right time, and it looks like to the right people too. Thank you for writing off the debt and giving us a chance of a better start next season!
48

SpiritOfJohn added 11:24 - Apr 7
Yesterday Man City posted a £126M loss - I wouldn't want my pension fund invested in a football club. I hope they know what they are doing.
26

Ipstones added 11:24 - Apr 7
Now Please Please get our football club back where it should be in all areas ! Time for Change!
4

KenHancocksBoot added 11:24 - Apr 7
Excellent news at last! The free ride is over!
2


You need to login in order to post your comments

Blogs 278 bloggers

Ipswich Town Polls

About Us Contact Us Terms & Conditions Privacy Cookies Advertising
© TWTD 1995-2021