NEW Blues striker Aaron McLean has apologised after launching a scathing attack on Ipswich town centre.

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The 29-year-old signed for Ipswich on Friday, joining on loan from Championship rivals Hull City for the rest of the season.

But while out shopping yesterday with team-mate David McGoldrick – who also joined the Portman Road club on loan on Friday – the footballer took to social media website Twitter to describe his thoughts on the town.

The forward tweeted to his 15,000 followers: “Just walked round Ipswich shopping centre wiv [sic] #Mcgoldrick and to say the shops are dead is an understatement! London it is!!!”

In a series of further messages, which appear to have been subsequently deleted from his Twitter account, he also said Ipswich made Hull look like Oxford Street. His comments are all the more damning because Hull was voted as the worst place to live in the UK in a Channel 4 poll in 2005.

However, McLean later posted an apology on Twitter, saying: “Anyone taken offence to me saying the shops in Ipswich are rubbish I apologise.

“I’ve been coming to Ipswich for 10 years and my lil sis is from here so it’s banta [sic] wiv [sic] us. Please don’t take it the wrong way. Club wise it’s brilliant and I’m buzzing to be here.”

Councillor David Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, said: “He is clearly new to the town and is still finding his way around, but I would be more than happy to show him around the centre and show him all the great gems we have to offer.

“But I think he should be concentrating his efforts on the pitch.

“Like all town centres Ipswich is suffering because of the tough economic climate but we are working very hard to try to improve the situation.”

When McLean joined the Blues on a temporary basis, he said he was “delighted to be joining such a good club” – adding: “You never know what’s going to happen in the future.”

Meanwhile, Ipswich supporters were quick to reply to their new striker on Twitter.

@KesHawkins‏ offered some advice, saying “simply shop online and stop moaning then.”

‏@Kieron_Wegg warned McLean, “I am afraid you will have to get used to that!”, while @Pablobirdman tweeted McLean “welcome to the perils of clothes shopping in Ipswich. Thank god for Internet shopping!!”

Ipswich Central chief executive Paul Clement said: “I am sure Mr McLean would prefer I did not comment publicly on his footballing performances and therefore I am surprised that he has chosen to send these off-the-cuff comments publicly.”

Ipswich Town declined to comment.

What do you think? Was Town’s new striker wrong to criticise our town centre? Let us know by commenting below.




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