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|Dear Martin Samuel...|
Elephant - I'm just going to respond to one of the points you make. "The supporters have to take the lions share of the blame". I'm a supporter and I'm not taking any of it. "Supporters" are not an amorphous mass, there are different supporters with different views, lumping everyone in together is nonsense. And Mick says he left because he felt he had had his time. he has said this repeatedly.
As for Accrington - you can think whatever you want of them, but I'm massively proud that we have a fanbase which results in 1,200 (or whatever it was) fans travelling all that distance, no trains for part of the journey, the Saturday after New year, freezing cold, when history told us we'd probably lose. Amazing support.
|Dear Martin Samuel...|
I have. I've emailed it to Samuel. Let's see if he responds.
|Town Announce ÂŁ5.2m Pre-Tax Loss|
Peteswindon - these figures are for last season, the 12 months to last June. So they include the salaries of Waghorn and Garner, who presumably were on decent money given that we got them for such small transfer fees.
|Hurst: Spirit in the Camp Extremely Good|
Mullet - your point about him being too openis an interesting one. Our last manager was criticised by some for being too opaque, insisting that he should be trusted and refusing to discuss certain things. Personally, I donâ€™t feel the need to know everything and am Willing to accept that the manager will always know more than any of us do. But Hurstâ€™s openness of really refreshing, I think. He doesnâ€™t treat us (or the players) like kids and is willing to explain the thinking behind his decision making. I canâ€™t see what is wrong with that.
|Town Topic: Memories of The Beat|
When I first started going to matches at Portman Road with my dad in 1976/77, Beattie was already a legend, but the injuries had started too. I saw him a few times and he was just a huge presence, he had everything - pace, strength, subtlety, he could head, tackle, shoot, pass and dribble as well as anyone he shared a pitch with. He just dominated games.
The seasons I started going more regularly, the injuries had set in and he had become a bit part player - Beattie and Osman had started to take over, Beattie was out for long periods, but his legend lived on.
I remember vividly being driven across through Essex into Suffolk to Portman Road for the UEFA Cup match vs Bohemians Prague in 1980, we were hearing that Beattie might be on the bench and he was. There was such a buzz around the ground, as he hadnâ€™t played much over the previous year or two. And then he came on.
We got a free kick just outside the box, Thijssen passed it a yard to the left and, with what my memory tells me was his first touch, Beattie struck the ball. We stood on the old terrace which filled the gap between the old north stand and the west stand, below the floodlight pylon, and it was one of those strikes which stay with you, directly behind the flight of the ball as it flew into the top left hand corner of the net. One of the most memorable goals Iâ€™d ever seen and still is.
In recent years, Beat had been a common presence around Portman Road. How many of us have pictures with him? Hundreds and thousands, Iâ€™m sure.
Today, a player as good as Beattie would probably earn more in a month than he did in his entire career. We all know that football didnâ€™t make him a rich man, work was difficult because he spent much of his recent years caring for his wife who has MS. But he never seemed bitter, always welcomed the attention he received on match days and was so giving of his time, to sign programmes, have photos taken and generally talk about football.
He symbolises in many ways what is great about our club. He came from many miles away, became a great player, won matches and trophies under one of Englandâ€™s great managers in some legendary years for the club, and then stayed in the area, attending matches, mixing with fans. Like so many others, I have pictures and programmes signed by him, a couple of pictures with him, I can remember chats with him.
I will miss seeing him around Portman Road. RIP Beat.
|Time To Simply Enjoy Being Ipswich Town|
Loved this. Great read, thanks. I agree with you, I think. I've always loved the trip to Portman Road and to away matches. Unlike many, I liked Mick as a man (I met him once, spoke to him once more on the phone) and he was always a gent and willing to spend some time. His football, like his transfer dealings, were over cautious, that's all. And I have more positive memories than negative ones of Mick's time - Brentford away on Boxing Day, Rotherham away, Charlton away, Barnsley at home last season, Leeds at home twice, Middlesbrough at home etc etc. But now we have Paul Hurst and he seems trying to shape a new team, also hardworking, but with a bit more ambition, energy and attacking intent. Of course it's nerve-wracking at the moment, but I can see what the plan is. It may be a bit of a roller coaster ride, but at least it is a new ride...
|Redknapp Keen on Town Job|
Ha ha! I had to laugh at this. Of course, the best bit about this story is the revelation by Harry that he hasn't yet had a call from Marcus. Lets hope it stays that way...
|Adidas Expected to Continue as Kit Supplier|
Does this mean a deal hasn't been done? When are we going to finalise a kit deal then? I thought these things (including kit designs etc? were organised months in advance... Very odd situation, if this is correct.
|How Mick McCarthy Accelerated His Own Departure|
Really excellent piece Harry. One thing which you donâ€™t really allude to, but which I also think is behind Mickâ€™s deteriorating relationship with the fans, is in another side of the team ethic he tries to build. Mickâ€™s teams are all for one, one for all, all in it together - world weary cliches, but very true about him and his squad. And when youâ€™re that kind of squad, with that â€śwe win together, we lose togetherâ€ť attitude, it must come as some shock when a fanbase turns in on them in the way that some have.
|Police Praise Fans After Derby|
The club should ask the police, why were the away fans kept in a cramped and crowded area of the ground for 20-25 minutes after the game - and then allowed the Home fans to gather directly next to where the away fans were directed post match. This caused a flash point which could easily have been avoided if the home fans had been stopped from coming around the east stand, by being directed towards the north end of the ground. It was nuts.
In contrast, when the budgies (and other big away gatherings) come to Portman Rd, they take precedent and are funnelled away towards the station before the SBR stand can empty.
|McCarthy Expects Club to Exercise Contract Options|
The issue is going to be whether the owner believes we could be drawn into a relegation battle, presumably? Could these options include wage increases for the respective players too? We obviously wouldnâ€™t want to get saddled with excessive wages which would make it more difficult to offload certain players, in the event of relegation, would we?
|'Gay Footballers? No, the Fans Wouldn't Have It'|
Brilliant blog. And I totally agree - I can't imagine any of our players having any problem with a gay player. And anyone who did would quickly be admonished, or ostracized by the rest of the team/squad.
I know plenty of gay football fans (including one or two Town ones) and it's simply not an issue among us and their other friends.
And I dare say that the first gay footballers would be widely admired by fans, both their own and opposing fans - I dare say they'd get a few cheers and rounds of applause, even among away fans.
|Bronze For the Price of Gold|
PS. Not criticising your work btw - good work!! Just highlighting that not a lot can be deduced from the relative prices of one section of seating.
|Bronze For the Price of Gold|
Always like some stats work, but there's a few things I would say to this:
* one seat is not particularly representative. It would be interesting to see a league table of different options - high on the side, low behind the goals etc, to provide comparison.
* geography can have an impact - many of those around the ÂŁ400 and below mark are in Yorkshire and the North West, where there is a lot of competition from other clubs, plus arguably a lower standard of living.
* recent history - the lower STs among the likes of Burton, Rotherham, Brentford are likely because they have traditional spent much of their time in lower divisions over the past 5-10 years.
We have relatively high prices for this position in the ground because Suffolk is a relatively affluent area (with a fair number of high net worth individuals), we continue to operate on a Prem cost/price base. I'd be interested to see what increases have been implemented by these clubs over the past 10-15 years and whether our season ticket prices have kept pace with inflation since 2002 when we first came down to the Championship. By guess is that they haven't.
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