Detmer: O'Leary and Ashton Key to Executing Our Vision For Town
Wednesday, 12th May 2021 15:41
New Blues co-owner Mark Detmer says the involvement of chairman Mike O’Leary and incoming CEO Mark Ashton are vital to executing their vision for Town.
Detmer, speaking to TWTD and Blue Monday in the first podcast of what will be an ongoing collaboration, says O’Leary was their ideal partner given his knowledge of the game over here and played a crucial role in the takeover.
“On our many trips to the UK, we were introduced to Mike O’Leary and Mike O’Leary’s role was paramount to the success of the acquisition of Ipswich.
“Mike was working tirelessly, his background as you know is at West Brom, he had the pedigree of running a Premier League club before.
“He’s been in private equity and he’s handled mergers and acquisitions and his skillset was exactly what we were looking for in having a partner locally with the experience and knowledge and the ability to execute our plan to acquire the club, Ipswich Town Football Club.
“Then Mark Ashton was exactly who we were looking for as a trusted advisor, as a president/CEO of the club.
“I think those two were really big keys for us. It’s not just about being US investors and coming over and buying the club, it’s about how we execute our vision for that club and we needed them as much as they needed us and wanted us to be partners.”
The structure of the club since the takeover sees Gamechanger 20 Ltd own 87.5 per cent of Ipswich Town Football Club Company Ltd with the other 12.5 per cent remaining in the hands of the PLC, the shareholding from the pre-Marcus Evans era.
The Three Lions - Detmer, Brett Johnson and Berke Bakay - own five per cent of Gamechanger 20 and Ohio-based investment fund ORG 90 per cent on behalf of Arizona’s Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) with former owner Evans retaining a five per cent stake.
O’Leary, Detmer, Johnson and Bakay are directors of Gamechanger, while Ipswich Town Football Club Company Ltd’s directors are now Bakay, O’Leary and long-serving financial director Mark Andrews.
Detmer says there’s constant communication across the Atlantic: “I don’t know if you’ve served on many boards, but this board is clearly not hostile. We’re aligned in our vision and in our mission in order to get the club back up to where it belongs in its former glory.
“Our interactions have been phenomenal, we candidly text and send messages and set up calls. We all like each other, which makes it a lot more fun, and I think that may end up translating into the success of the club.
“I’ve sat on boards that don’t function well and in organisations in general. It doesn’t just have to be a board where the people aren’t aligned or they don’t see things in a similar way and the results get muddled and it’s not what anyone would hope for and people get frustrated, you hit the wrong direction.
“This board is not like that at all. This board, we have people that are very genuine, they work tirelessly, we’re all considering the amount of time, energy and money we want to contribute for the success of the club.”
He added: “We interact quite frequently, especially right now, as you can imagine. The emails are practically daily. And we have a number of calls.
“The best news for us, and what gives all of us comfort on the board, is Mark Ashton’s leadership. He is phenomenal at what he does and in his vision for the club and [recruiting] the right people to see that vision through, so we sleep well at night knowing that Mark Ashton’s there at the helm.”
Photo: Blue Monday
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