Rain

Rain

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 6°C

Search

Marcus Evans rescued Ipswich Town from a ‘big hole’ says Simon Clegg

PUBLISHED: 14:58 19 December 2012

Marcus Evans has been in charge at Ipswich for five years

Marcus Evans has been in charge at Ipswich for five years

Archant

MARCUS Evans thought “throwing money” at Ipswich Town would all-but guarantee Premier League football.

But the fact the reclusive businessman bought the Blues in the first place saved them from a “big hole” five years ago.

That is the viewpoint of Town chief executive Simon Clegg, the public face of the football club with Evans having no intention of moving away from his private persona.

Both in terms of how to run a football club and how you achieve success on the pitch, Evans has been on a steep learning curve with too many managers in his five years – Jim Magilton, Roy Keane and Paul Jewell at the helm.

But the appointment of Mick McCarthy has returned the feel-good factor around Portman Road and shown off Evans’ continued ability to attract big-name bosses.

Clegg said: “I think it was the case that he thought throwing money at the team would lead to Premier League football.

“For instance, Roy said he wanted this player, this is how much it is going to cost, Marcus gets the cheque book out and writes the figures.

“But he has learnt you can’t buy success. Obviously you need good players, we have to be competitive, but success is not totally linked with the amount of money you spend.”

After buying the club in December 2007, the closest Town have got to the Premier League was, ironically, under the manager Evans inherited – Jim Magilton leading Town to 8th and 9th. Keane’s only full season at Portman Road saw them finish 15th, while Jewell achieved only 13th and 15th.

Summing up the situation, Clegg said: “I don’t think you can put your finger on what has gone wrong. If you could put your finger on it, we would have got it right with Paul – and Jim and Roy before that.

“We have never put a timeframe (on promotion) as we didn’t want to box ourselves into a corner. But I continue to believe this will be a Premier League club in years to come.”

Evans’ buy-out was confirmed almost five years after Ipswich Town entered administration – a crucial move to prevent further financial problems, according to Clegg.

He explained: “One could speculate what would have happened had Marcus Evans not come in and bought the club when he did.

“Financially, the organisation was in a big hole, let’s be very clear about that.

“He has made a significant investment and backed his managers.”

Long-serving defender Tommy Smith admits the tears were flowing when he said goodbye to his Ipswich Town team mates having today completed his move to MLS side Colorado Rapids.

Ipswich Town remain 12th in the Championship table following Saturday’s dire 1-1 draw at lowly Bolton Wanderers.

Martyn Waghorn knows he and his team-mates must rediscover their clinical side and begin to put together winning runs if they are maintain any kind of play-off push.

Former Ipswich Town player Georges Santos joined Andy Warren for a special edition of the Kings of Anglia Podcast.

Joe Garner turned home to finish off a superb Ipswich Town move as the Blues rescued a draw at Bolton.

Town fan Karl Fuller looks back at Town’s draw at Bolton and why one of Mick McCarthy’s after-match comments was not needed

The answer to the question Mick McCarthy posed after his side’s 1-1 draw at Bolton is undoubtedly ‘no’.

Terry Hunt says a feeling of togetherness between fans and the club appears a million miles away at Portman Road right now.

Player watch: It’s fair to say Ipswich Town’s two Friday signings split opinion when they were unveiled.

Ipswich Town drew a scrappy Championship match 1-1 at Bolton Wanderers this afternoon. STUART WATSON gives his snap observations.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24