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The Swinging Sixty
at 17:01:46

Good read.

Small correction: Forest were promoted in 3rd place. Town are the only ones to win the Second Division followed by the First Division.
News
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Cook Talks to Blue Action Following Banner Protest Against Owner
at 17:41:44

Those who are still supportive of Evans, please ask yourselves why. How can you ignore the fact that he has taken the club from a position of challenging for promotion to the Premier League to a middling League One club? The worst position for this club since 1953! If he is not responsible for it, who is? He appoints the managers, nobody else has a say in that decision. He extends the contracts of managers he considers have done a good job. Did Lambert deserve a 5 years contract? Should Lambert have been sacked in the Summer? There are so many reasons to be disappointed with the last 13 years as a Town supporter, but not many to be positive unfortunately.
News
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Lambert: U18s Made Youth Cup Tie a Fight
at 13:19:38

Watched the whole game. It wasn't fight that was missing in the first half, but very similar to the first team in many games against well organised sides, they stood off and failed to mark opponents, meaning that any pressing was futile, giving the opposition all the time they wanted to work the ball through our ranks. Fulham were very good at it.

Second half, we trusted our defence to cope, pushed the midfield and attackers up the field, pressed higher, got tackles in, made interceptions, and played in the opponents half of the pitch. The defence was key, as we effectively stopped everything higher up the pitch. At times, Gibbs was able to play in and around our central striker, giving the Fulham central defenders less time on the ball. Conversely, we had more time to create and in more dangerous areas, something that was non-existent in the first half.

Whoever called those changes, helped turn that game for us.
News
Comment
O'Neill: Fightback Starts Now
at 11:10:13

ArnieM, please don't write such lies, especially when you really do not know what you are talking about.

It is far fairer to say that Marcus Evans puts as little into this football club as he can get away with, but he is certainly NOT encumbererd by FFP rules. He would have had to inject £30m more than he actualy did in the last 3 years to come anywhere near to breaking FFP rules!

The real problem with Marcus Evans is not necessarily how little cash he injects, but his poor decision making. We desperately need an experienced MD and DoF to make the better decisions for him.
News
Comment
Town and Canaries Could Face FA Action for Bust-Up
at 06:35:49

Phil, I think their member of staff was not Riemer, but Ed Wooten, GK Coach. At least, that is who was standing neaxt to Domagalla, when Lambert confornted him and then Chambers grabbed him and marched him away.
News
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Chambers: New Manager Has Already Created a Buzz
at 17:18:45

There is only so much a new manager can change. Putting round pegs in round holes and selecting the best 11 obviously, playing a system and giving instructions that the players are capable of easily understanding, improving confidence and the general working atmosphere, doing his homework on the oppositioon to exploit their weaknesses and counter their strengths.

What he clearly can not change is players that are simply not good enough or are injured, and that is where supporters have to support him and the team and show great patience. He can work miracles with what he has, but at the very least until January he should get a free pass.
News
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Chambers: We Want the Manager Here Next Season, Simple as That
at 18:24:38

I am afraid that you, Luke, and our manager miss the point when you state that winning is what is important. Winning only becomes important if you actually achieve something at the end of it, i.e. play-offs/promotion. Otherwise, you are playing to entertain and to make the fans proud to be associated with you and the club. Fans can feel proud of a good, entertaining, attacking performance, even in defeat. There are not many, as far as I know, who are proud of the defensive, attritional, hit and hope football endured over recent seasons. Supporters have voted with their feet, and the club we love is slowly dying.
News
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Free Coach Travel for Forest Game for Fans Who Were at Lincoln
at 16:11:28

Haven't they suffered enough?
News
Comment
Clubs Agree to Amend FFP Rules
at 14:59:46

Another step towards Premier League 2 anyone?
News
Comment
Clubs Agree to Amend FFP Rules
at 11:37:30

=>PimsOclock - You are correct about players today. Their greed is only amplified by parasitical agents. However, I believe that you are being a tad unfair on singingtheblues.

Yes, there is a clear dig here at Keane's tendency to swap and change his team, and at his man-management skills, but I believe the blogger has (rightly) picked up on something deeper. We as fans (our society in general, especially in the UK, being far more US- and media-influenced) are more short termist than previously, and at ITFC, certainly since the involvement of Evans, but possibly even before under Sheepy, have joined the hire and fire brigade. Putting your manager under time pressure leads to short termism, and the cycles that are referred to in the blog. The foundations of the club are easily forgotten, and quick fixes are sought, fixes which invariably fail, hence your reaction of the blog being somewhat pessimistic.

I used to laugh at the likes of Man City and Wolves for failing to see the error of their own judgements again and again during the 70s and 80s, swapping managers, who in turn bought heavily and generally failed because they hadn't considered that a successful team needs time to grow together, to develop a system of play and an understanding between individuals. It isn't just about money, although that obviously plays a more prominent role then previously.

That said, PJ has a hell of a job on his hands building a new team. We need to be extremely patient and supportive, and hope that ME can do likewise. The first signs of success are already there for me. Not on the field, but off it. PJ seems to realise that a good scouting network is necessary, but he also seems to realise the benefit of viewing as many potential signings as possible himself.

On the field, he has already shown some positives, e.g. consistency in team selections, but success will not happen overnight for PJ. I expect that it will take him at least 2 seasons, to get "his" team together, playing his system, and to a standard good enough to challenge. He clearly knows that he is expected to do it quicker, and has already tried to dampen expectations. We would all love it to heppen in the coming season, but realistically it won't. Next Summer, PJ will hopefully be in a position that he only needs the odd addition or two to his team/squad, and we can start to get a challenge going for 2012/13.

Paradoxically, his downfall could well be that he is forced into thinking too short term at ITFC, when the opposite is what brought us success under the regimes of Sir Bobby and George Burley.

That is the crux of the matter, will PJ being given sufficient time by the fans and ME?

Sorry, I'll get off my soap box now!

News
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Clubs Agree to Amend FFP Rules
at 10:47:13

Not sure about any of that, Guth.

I think Tuesday's result was more a case of good tactics from Town versus poor tactics from Arse, mixed with a bit of professional pride from the Town players and positive support from the crowd.

Tactics. Arse threw too many men forwards too often in search of a goal, especially i the second half, similar to England v Germany in the World Cup, and Ipswich used the counter (or as Fabregas prefers, the long ball forward) to punish them. I suspect that Wenger will be ready for us in the second leg and we will not have such an easy ride.

It would not surprise me in the slightest if we lose against Millwall because Millwall will play more cautiously than Arse, but more fundamentally, it is unlikely that Jewell will be able to quickly overcome some of the problems that Keane left him with, such as weak full backs, a lack of attacking midfield options, and a goal scorer. He can try to improve what we have got, and get Civelli playing again soon. Hopefully, he and McCarthy can bring the best out of the numerous forwards at the club, but the quicker fix would be to buy what we are missing.

One of the other major issues that I had with Keane was his constant team selection tinkering. To get the best out of a group of players, a manager needs to pick his best 11 and stick with them for the majority of games, limiting changes as much as possible.

Of course, Jewell will be able to lift morale, but there is far more to it, IMHO.
News
Comment
Clubs Agree to Amend FFP Rules
at 11:25:41

MGB - you concentrate an awful lot on our income and debt levels and comparisons with other clubs. All well and good, up to a point, but it doesn't tell the whole story, does it?

Our P&L has showed that we could not afford our outgoings, i.e. pay the players and service the debt, out of our income levels in any of the seasons from 2003 to 2006. Losses were being recorded, despite the non-payment of interest and repayment holidays on the NU and Barclays debt and repayment holidays on the BoS debt, and also after significant income generated from player sales! Those losses were being financed by share issues, directors' loan notes and the arrangements with our lenders. There were only so many sources of cash available to the club to finance the playing activities: fans, directors, creditors had all made their contributions. Players were being sold and cheaper versions being signed.

Under your scenario, i.e. the club could live within in it's means, how would we have paid back any of the debt? How would we have bought any players? What if we didn't get another "Darren Bent" to flog every other season? What if our lenders lost patience , if they hadn't already? What if attendence levels started to fall further? Cutting the player budgets would have helped, but I suspect that even that would not have been enough financially, and then there are the risks of relegation, where the subsequent loss of income would have killed us.

Where ITFC is concerned, I dislike the expression "basket case" because it is open to mis-interpretation and evokes unfair emotional reaction. However, if you ask me whether we were in a healthy financial state or likely to be able to attain that status from internally generated funds pre-takeover, I would categorically answer that you would have to be a basket case to think that!

The End
News
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Clubs Agree to Amend FFP Rules
at 19:40:20

MBG - please read what I actually wrote. I am not particularly happy that we got to a position that we had to be taken over by ME, and was not particularly thrilled that a non-fan became the major investor. However, I still do not understand how it could have been avoided. You have also helped me understand how it would have been possible. How many CCC clubs had more debt than ITFC in 2006/7, and of these how many had no form of external funding (parachute money or "rich investors")? Figures would be appreciated.

BTW, Marcus Stewart and David Johnson were the next 2 in the list of most expensive signings by Burley. They both didn't do too badly for us, did they?
News
Comment
Clubs Agree to Amend FFP Rules
at 14:52:51

Having read that article, I am left wondering firstly, which is your main gripe and, secondly, why you have written so much but actually said very little.
You seem to be moaning variously about ticket prices, debt levels, the current poor league position, the club’s ownership structure (whatever that might mean), the “destruction of club culture” (whatever that might mean), and why “a proud club should be at the mercy of one man”.
Fact is, until the ME takeover, ITFC was sinking financially in order to stand still in footballing terms! Bottom line figures prove this. ITFC recorded net losses of £7.8m in 2003, £0.5m in 2004, £3.2m in 2005, and £2.7m in 2006, followed by a small net profit of £174,000 in 2007. How can you argue that we were not very, very deep in the mire financially? These results were made despite successive attempts to raise funds, via the share issues, the agreements with Norwich Union leading to the “shares for interest payments” swap, loans provided by a few of the directors, and significant income and cost reductions secured through player sales. During this period, we signed the likes of George Santos, Kevin Horlock and Darren Curry. Those players gave us a fighting chance in the Championship because of some fine management (many thanks to Joe Royle), but even the wages of that level of player could not be paid from our operational cashflows!
You want to contend that ITFC could have continued to tick along financially and still retain Championship status. If that’s your true opinion, what would the player wage (and transfer) budget have had to have been to allow ITFC to continue servicing the debt, forgetting repayments? Would the avoidance of a CCC relegation battle each year really have been possible, if paying peanuts for wages? I, personally, consider that we might have beaten our feathered friends into Div 3!
I, too, am unhappy about having an anonymous business man having total power, especially with the risk of him selling us on to whoever, if he gets us to the EPL. I would have preferred true Ipswich fans to have stumped up the necessary and be running the club. They had their chance, but failed to take it.
Your argument, no matter how many times you regurgitate it, does not convince me that the directors of ITFC had much choice than to seek an investor, like ME. Considering the lack of reasonable alternatives, I think that they did a fine job of structuring ME’s involvement to make it difficult for him to cut and run.
News
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Clubs Agree to Amend FFP Rules
at 20:51:54

There are many points that one could make in response to both what you wrote and the various replies to it, but one of the most poignant things is your lack of a clear argument of how the club would have been funded without a rich investor.

The fans?
They (20,000 or so) have never owned the club and when the club deperately needed them to stump up financially, the golden opportunity to own a large percentage of the club, only 3 thousand wanted it enough to dig deep. Using excuses like "not while Sheepshanks is still there" were laughable, conveniently ignoring the fact that with a majority vote you can install or remove anyone from office.

A rich benefactor?
The search by Sheepy etc was unsuccessful, and any real fan with assets was either already involved, but unable/unwilling to take their interest further (Bellingham, Beeston etc), or didn't seriously want to get involved. Don't forget that the club was kept relatively solvent by individuals buying debentures etc.

Alternatives?
To their merit, the Board managed to persuade NU to take an equity stake in lieu of the interest that the club could not pay. The club was not treading water, it was sinking. Not sure there were many workable alternatives. Don't buy your idea, i.e. that the club could have asked NU to halve the debt, the club paying the rest off via a bank loan. No bank would have touched ITFC. Even venture capital financiers would have shied away, as it was, and still is, an extremely risky proposition. ME may get a pay back, but he may well have to take a hugh loss.
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