Cook: When It Starts Happening They’ll Come Back in Their Droves
Thursday, 29th Apr 2021 11:09
Boss Paul Cook admits that supporters, currently considering whether to buy season tickets for 2021/22, are probably currently “totally bored” with the Blues but says he’s up for the challenge of getting them to “come back in their droves”.
Town released their season ticket prices and refund options for this campaign yesterday with the mood currently a mix of frustration and negativity regarding matters on the field but positivity regarding the changes off it with Cook having replace Paul Lambert as manager and the new ownership having been welcomed after the stagnation of recent years under Marcus Evans.
Asked what he’d say to fans in two minds about renewing their seat - Town have just under 9,000 season ticket holders this season - Cook responded: “The first I’d say is you never walk away from your football club, that’s for sure. One hundred per cent, you never, ever walk away from your football club.
“You don’t support football clubs for a reason, you support football clubs because it’s ingrained in you from being a young kid, through your mum, your dad, your grandparents. And the history of a football club will always shine through.
“For us, our history, success is too long ago. Unfortunately for us, [because of that] we sort of miss out on generations of supporters.
“My job, and it doesn’t look like I’m doing it very well at the minute, is to bring good days back to this football club, it’s to bring Portman Road back to a place where people want to come and watch an exciting brand of football that they historically have seen years ago.
“Unfortunately, what we serve up at the minute is absolutely not good enough. Nowhere near. If I’m an Ipswich fan today, I’m sure my words won’t touch them where they really should because if I was one of those fans I would be thinking what they’re thinking, but I know, by the time we sign a player or two and the exits come in the summer, what they’ll see.
“The new owners will come in like a breath of fresh air and all of a sudden we might see people smiling a little bit again, and that’s the way forward for us.”
Is it important to get younger fans engaged particularly? “It’s a tough one, isn’t it? Because you can historically go to watch with your dad, your mum, grandparents and you want to see your team do well, that’s the brutal truth.
“Like Liverpool fans, they had a generation of not seeing the team win the league. And within that you can lose supporters.
“We know how strong Ipswich Town’s fanbase is but at the minute they’re tired of us and they’re probably tired of listening to me.
“So somewhere along the line they just want to see action. If we were playing a game tomorrow at Portman Road to be promoted, how many people would be in the stadium? How many do you think? It would be full.
“The reality for us is that they’re bored with the lack of [success, with] what they’ve seen, totally bored.
“My job, the staff’s job and that of the players’ going forward - and as you can imagine that’s something where you’ll have to watch this space - will be a challenge to bring them back into that stadium. I’m sure when it starts happening they’ll come back in their droves.”
Cook says he’s looking forward to being at Portman Road with 20,000-plus supporters in it next season.
“One hundred per cent,” he said. “Today we’re in a period of pain and we’ve got to go through that period, it’s football, it’s sport.
“As a person, and I’m not going to criticise the group of people, the group of players we have in the building, I’m not going to do that, I won’t be drawn to that.
“Sport’s about winning and being competitive and giving everything you’ve got to be successful. They’re traits that we lack dramatically in our club today. We won’t lack them tomorrow.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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