Please log in or register. Registered visitors get fewer ads.
Blog
Comment
Stick With It
at 10:00:07

Sorry my comment was not meant to be a criticism of you or your excellent blog - more a personal observation that people who have adopted Town as 'their' club since the sell out to Evans - and in reality since the Sheepshanks era have no real conncection with what the club used to be - which is why supporters of a certain age don't much like the way the club has been run at other people's expense for nigh on 20 years - first as a self-promotion vehicle and latterly as an opportunity to cash in on the olympics and an eye-watering profit opportunity IF Town can get promoted to the Prem.. In many ways Town's current position is down to serendipity rather than any magical formula for success. Town have had an unexpected significant cash injection with the crumbs left over from the MIngs, Webster and Clarke sell-ons. But that's what sell-on clauses are for and for now at least - onwards and upwards. I've also cynically wondered just what lies within the mysterious 'Marcus Evans Business Empire' given his appaling record at Town and the empty serviced office in Cambridge that was his 'Cambridge hub' at the time of the sell out. I'd be surprised if all his offshoots aren't run in the same way at continent's length rather than arms length. Maybe he has lucked upon a Lambo at all of them
Blog
Comment
Stick With It
at 11:22:17

I'm not sure it's fair to compare Evans' stewardship with that of the Cobbolds or even the much ridiculed Sheepy. They were indeed true custodians of the club. Evans is the owner, a very different kettle of fish, who set out his stall by marginalising the existing shareholders, many of whom had recently put in money to help keep the club going - and saddling the club with debt that didn't really exist as he had paid it off at a massive discount. It's only last year that the club faced a winding up order, which doesnt really hint at financial stability. The truth is nobody really knows how the club is being run. The Cobbolds were widely admired for their Old-Etonian charm and the way the club was run. Sheepshanks was widely admired for... well for being Sheepshanks. He gave the aura of 'being a fan' but those closer to the action could see the flagrant self-promotion and grasping ambition within the incompetent cloisters of the FA, whilst the club was steered full steam ahead on to the financial rocks. Evans has never pretended to be anything other than what he is. And whatever way you try and dress it up a despised ticket touting empire is not something that is, shall we say widely admired. Nor is an offshore tax avoider at a time of austerity that has seen real hardship destroy the lives of so many. To see Town transformed from a once-admired, overachieving small town football club to a somehat laughable 'offshore investment' is quite a steep decline and change of identity.' Having said tha tI'd take the roots of Town's financial ruin and status in the game back well before 2002 to the construction of the Pioneer Stand which was incredibly ill-advised at a time when Robson was leaving. And perhaps to the sad demise of John Cobbold who was the true DNA of the Town brand, as Sheepy might say. I'm sure nouveau supporters don't really care what the club once was and a few wins at a lower level with some improved PR has turned the corner, as always seemed likely. BUT until Town are back where they were when Lambo arrived, we'll not know if anything has improved other than the thin veneer of a feel-good factor and a promotion position that has to be maintained to the end of the season, not just the end of september.. Then it's back to being the poor relations of the second division again.
News
Comment
Portman Road an Asset of Community Value
at 08:46:33

Seems a tad pointless aand essentially hot air PR for both sides of this non-story. The council owns the ground which has restrictions on its use. They have already turned the asset strippers down when they tried to buy it. I dont recall much complaint from 'supporters' or publicity seekers when the asset strippers hoovered up the training ground and winged it offshore. The problem is more that when the ground was redeveloped in the good old days they didnt turn the pitch around so that the practice pitch could become part of the stadium. That was a big opportunity missed when the West Stand was ruinously redeveloped. The club eventually recovered from that self-imposed break-up of Robson's last side - but there is no way back from making the club insolvent to create a few thousand empty seats at either end of the ground.
News
Comment
Wark: Just Like One of Mine!
at 07:20:40

I saw John Wark make his debut as a 17 year old, out of position in central defence against the best team in the country. Nowadays he'd be farmed out on loan having seen a series of self-harming loans and short term duds lined up in his position. And therein lies the problem.
Blog
Comment
Football's Financial Crisis
at 09:08:17

Interesting and thoughtful piece. Have you fully appreciated the irony of writing it from a Town supporter's stance of benefitting from reneging on £32 million debts, being run as an 'investment' by an offshore tax avoider - and dropping into the 3rd division with a wage structure simply unattainable for the division's resident clubs? The first point of order is probably a fit and proper person's test to stop chancers and criminals buying football clubs - but the horse has clearly bolted long ago on that one. However, it was always thus..... when you started watching, Man U was being run by Louis Edwards, he of top quality school meals fame - and the board rooms of England held many similarly unsavoury characters. Little has changed with russian 'businessmen', fake sheikhs and mysterious oriental billionaires of no known provenance being the latter day questionable owners attracted, like our own owner by easy money and poor/non-existant governance. The big difference is that Town are right in the middle of it this year with Bolton and Bury's travails. We even played Notts County on the brink of extinction - but nobody seemed to care - I'm not even sure our host's troubles were even mentioned in the local press. Interesting new Danish owners there - which shows even clubs with the most worrying futures canquickly see the mirage of a better future. Hope perhaps for Town after all.
Blog
Comment
Green’Un With Envy
at 17:03:05

jontysnut yes indeed. There was always the wierd and wonderful descrpitors like red-haired player x. Or the wonderfully evocative 'crisp tackle' (invariably by Derek Jefferson).
Blog
Comment
Heart of Darkness
at 09:23:21

There is slightly more to it than that I think. If you have been going for a while then you have a group of chums and family you sit with - and the allure of bargain renewal rates plus staying with the people you know had inflated the number of supporters in the ground despite the dire football on offer and disconnect with what the club had become . If you got out of the habit of going - then coming back is not far removed from a military operation - far removed from those far-off days of paying at the turnstile and pushing in to be with your mates. My view is that third division football is actually highly attractive - I've never seen Ipswich play in this division before and I have been a supporter since the mid-60s. There is also the fact that a few Ipswich players are now in the team and Evans has resisted (so far) Lambo's call for bodies. That is a massive positive too. IF Town are competitive in this league then it is only natural that crowds are bigger and more enthusiastic than they were after same old, same old dross in the second division. There is even some hope of upward momentum and team building for now. Though that may be a fantasy too far. If anything the Sunderland crowd was mildly disappointing - but it WAS in the holiday season when many supporters are sunning themselves elsewhere. As you say, what will attendances be like for 'proper third division games - answer pretty good as long as Lambo doesn't lose his way. To follow your Conrad analogy to its logical conclusion though you have to pay attention to the exploitation of the slave trade at the heart of the darkness - and Town are still under the thumb of oppression in that respect.
Blog
Comment
Ha'way the Draw – Sunderland Home Preview
at 08:04:55

Maybe you should include a weather section in future blogs - as this promises to make the mackem's journey a tad bracing - and will probably destroy the game as a spectacle. Sunderland are really a poor man's Newcastle, they've been pretty useless in everyone's living memory and Ross has a thankless task given the ludicrous over-expectation and large collection of overpaid rubbish he inherited. Personally I think he did pretty well last season given the hand he was dealt. But he will probably be gone by xmas unless he can magic an effective team from the dross. Tempting to highlught this as a season-defining game for both teams and managers. Whihc of course it won't be.
Blog
Comment
Full of Optimism and Hope, the League One Kick Off is Finally Here!
at 07:45:00

Finally here? Starting the football season half way through the first ashes test seems horribly early to me.
Blog
Comment
A Familiar Foe In Uncharted Waters – Burton Away Preview
at 11:04:09

Personally I think a visit to Burton with no real idea if Town can compete is an excellent example of how far we have fallen. It seems no time at all that I saw Burton at the Abbey in a non-league fixture. Since then Burton have made great strides to their glass ceiling while we have slowly wandered downwards. Might not be an easy introduction - and the following two fixtures look a tad challenging too.
News
Comment
New Judge Bid Rejected Report
at 11:02:06

Good bit of business for the owner. Judge isn't the player he was as shown by his inconsequential performances which saw him eventually marooned out wide. He wants to go - so he will go when the owner gets his offshore cash. Now all you have to do is fantasise that Huws will be fit which would make Judge an irrelevance anyway
Blog
Comment
How This Young Boy Fell In Love
at 09:03:54

A fine effort. I remember that night well which effectively kick started the season. There have been many memorable Town gamesv Man U in my time. I think Denis Law got 6 goals in the first two Man U games I saw.... we often here about the 6-0 win, but rarely an even more memorable 2-7 which followed a 3-5. My more vivid memories are of David Best keeping out Booby Charlton single handedly only to be beaten by a Mick McNeil own goal and a stunning 4-1 in the sunshine with Frank Clarke and Jimmy Robertson in full flow and George Best playing as though hung over. I'm not sure that these are dark days just yet. Not many can remember 3rd division games at Portman Road and the season ahead has real novelty value (as long as the club can compete). Time will tell.
Blog
Comment
Fanstastic
at 13:04:32

armchaircritic I admire your optimism - and if truth be told, IF Lambert embraces the young players he has and injuries allow players to develop then yes, all could be relatively rosy. I'm hoping he will not be allowed to make any signings untilor even if contracted players are removed - which could be enormously beneifial in a poor man's Spurs sort of way. My mind keeps going back to January - and Lambert's disastrous short term signings. I'd even include Judge in that mix as he is surely in the way of a fit Dozzel and Bishop (if such a thing exists) - and ended last season marooned out wide anyway.. I honestly have no diea how Town will do.... anytthing between 3 and 16 will be 'in touch with the play offs' so you may well get your wish. I'll be happy with a season of consolidation!
Blog
Comment
Fanstastic
at 16:46:12

armchaircritic - i tend to agree - my one regret, if that is the right word from watching through the Robson era was that the club made no attempt to sign Peter Shilton - who went to Stoke and then Forest at a time when he would have transformed Town from nearly men to something very special. The fee would have been a problem as Robson's signings were always funded by outgoing players. Sivell was a glaring weakness that Robson never seemed anxious to address and Cooper was good - but nowhere near the best player in the team that Shllton would have been. The half-hearted attempt to sign Jennings was too little, too late. I'm not sure what the answer is to the current conundrum because the owner is clearly not here in a football club capacity - and is so utterly at odds with what the club used to stand for. Alas it is now his club to do with as he sees fit. For as long as Town have been part of 'The Marcus Evans Empire' I have been of the opinion that it is a waiting game for Evans to go belly-up on the assumption nobody knows what he is worth and it is probably a lot less than the blithe assumptions - then start again like Luton and Portsmouth. ('Sir' Alan Stanford had a habit of turning up to games in a hired helicopter and oozing the illusion of wealth for example - and the inept way Evans has run Town suggests his shadowy empire must be just as ineptly run. Wishful thinking probably. Other than that I just hope Town actually promote from within on the pitch and O'Neill has it in him to stand up for the academy and the football club. I'm sure they are trying to unseat as many of the contracted players as possibel, but as we already know from a previous disastrous relegation that is easier said than done. But I'd be more than happy if Town made no signings at all this summer based on Lambert's record to date. Assuming Town are in deep financial trouble (which they must be) I'suspect its a long haul to stabilise in division three and start to look up rather than down - unless the owner runs the club differently - and see no indication or reason for him to change.
Blog
Comment
Fanstastic
at 08:27:45

With all due respect the teams of the late 70s and early 80s were anything but underdogs - if anything they were serial underachievers. Every year was tipped by national pundits to be 'their' year - and alas it never was apart from the cup win which came about largely through a very streaky draw, if truth be told. Lots of songs of that era stick in my mind... 'we hate Nottingham Forest...' 'Oh I once asked Mr Bill Shankley....' and the oft conveniently forgotten Aye, Aye, Are Ay!! Ipswich Republican Army!' No mention of flat caps, rosettes and rattles either - nor school age Blue Arrow girls being sexually harassed at high volume on a weekly basis (presumably witnessed by their parents). But yes, those of a certain age grew up with a club to be proud of - and therein lies the difference. It's now a club for spivs and whilst the local bonhommie may be temporarily? on the up, I suspect Town are now one of the least liked teams in the league where they were once one of the most admired.
Blog
Comment
Eric Gates and the Great Escape
at 08:23:21

Wonderful stuff - thank you. Rose-timted memories of favourite players stay with you for ever - mine are of Danny Hegan and John O'Rourke from an earlier time at a similar age. Before saturation TV coverage even great players were rarely captured on TV - no Town fan will haveen George Best play well - and Denis Law only once. As a fellow member of the Eric Gates Appreciation Society, you should perhaps have made mention of his penchant for artful diving (cheating in modern parlance) or running away home (twice?) because Robson wouldn't pick him. I think we all owe a great debt to Eric's polar opposite brother Bill, a towering, granite-hewn centre half with Boro who had a stern word with Robson - which may well have made Robson see sense (and the blindingly obvious!)
Blog
Comment
The Unfair Football Finances and a Fairer and More Sustainable Alternative
at 18:19:02

Your top six includes three teams that have been relegated recently - Spurs, Man United and Man City. Granted before the current TV excesses - but their 'size' gave them huge advantages out of all proportion to better run clubs at the time. The only way 'fans' can stop the ever-growing gap in TV revenue is to stop buying overpriced TV packages. Even that strategy, which is already happening in this country to a certain extent is dwarfed by the growth in global TV sales. The Premier League is a global league with global players and a global fan base. There is no way TV revenue will go to rubbish clubs other than as sops - and in reality there is no commercial reason why it should. Creating an elite is the best way to improve standards. Ironically salvation may be on the imminenet horizon as UEFA are being coerced into expanding the 'champions league' (final this year between two teams who haven't been champions this century). This will, if it has not already done so, create a european league with no relegation. So the league will shortly be without your big six anyway - and you'll get your wish of rubbish clubs getting more money for being rubbish.
News
Comment
Evans Joint-174th in Rich List
at 13:21:55

Plenty of comments on his alleged wealth coming from 'assets' but what 'assets' does he have? Most of his businesses are services with staff paid on commission. This result-based remuneration is what he tried to put into place at Portman Road with disastrous results. His businesses are somewhat opaque. This time last year the ludicrous ST Rich List quoted the only growth in his empire came from his football club - in other words he'd cooked the books on transfer values. Clearly the man is not exactly poor but his wealth is smoke and mirrors
Blog
Comment
This is Where I Came In
at 09:23:01

Wonderful stuff - had me reaching for my rose-tinted specs. You started watching a few couple of years before me - but I remember travelling to Ipswich in a goods wagon, watching Laramie and Rawhide whilst waiting for the Green 'unto drop through the letterbox and seeing players cycling to the ground. Town had an identity back then and alas it is long gone. It's difficult to get as misty eyed over the future when the club is based in an unknown tax haven rather than deep roots in the Tolly Cobbold brewery. I'm not sure fans are permanent - they come and go - and always have done. There were thirteen thousand back then and thirty thousand in the ground for some cup epics in the Robson era - and nowadays? Nobody knows because of the obsession with season tickets and the strange practice of counting empty seats as paying spectators. But until someone 'in the Far East on business' cottons on to the fact that most fans have no desire or ability to go to every game I think crowds will continue to decline whilst matchday tickets are so expensive and parking is so difficult. As another blog points out the Sir Alf miracle can indeed be replicated elsewhere in just as unlikely circumstances. But only at a football club. Has any club gone down and prospered under predatory (or being charitable, utterly clueless) ownership? I dont think so.
Blog
Comment
League One, Leicester and the Long, Long Wait
at 13:51:36

A good read - but is it realistic thinking any recovery is possible under the current ownership? Ever since taken over, Town have been an income stream, not a football club. Leicester had the advantage of owners interested in the well-being of the club AND the community. Town have neither. Lambert has also shown no ability to compete in a very poor division - and his January signings were madness personified, which gives little confidence he will do any better if he is still around in the close season. You also say Town have not been chaotic under Evans - but they have been a rudderless farce, allowing (ill-chosen) manager after manager to chop and change with no strategy or vision. Unless things change radically and quickly, Town will continue their now accelerating decline. I'd argue that the Burley years were a brief blip in a long drawn out decline dating back to the construction of the Pioneer Stand - and ultimately the death of the club's DNA - John Cobbold.
Please log in to use all the site's facilities

ElephantintheRoom


Site Scores

Forum Votes: -79
Comment Votes: 20
Prediction League: 0
TOTAL: -59
About Us Contact Us Terms & Conditions Privacy Cookies Advertising
© TWTD 1995-2019