HE might be on the verge of five years in charge at Portman Road.

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But Marcus Evans’ tenure as owner of Ipswich Town will only be defined by whether the club returns to the Premier League.

That is the view of Liz Edwards, chairman of the official supporters club, who believes Town fans should be thankful that Evans saved the club from a second administration when he bought the club in December 2007.

But Edwards admits Evans’ time has not been wholly favourable after a succession of managers, brought in by the reclusive owner, failed to return Premier League football to Portman Road.

She said: “Marcus Evans, without doubt, saved us from a second administration and his continued investment has ensured that we have not fallen out of the Championship. That is a record that many other, bigger clubs wish they could boast.

“In the end though, his ownership will be judged by progress up the league table, at least to being regular play-off contenders, but – ultimately – to promotion.”

On Monday, Evans will celebrate five years since his ownership, a 87.5% stake in the club, was ratified by an extraordinary general meeting.

Former Blues favourite David Wright today tells this newspaper of the excitement this generated in the dressing room – something wholeheartedly replicated on the terraces.

But his time has thus far been defined by a series of unsuccessful seasons, sacked managers and big wages spent for little reward.

It has not all been bad with Evans praised throughout his time in Suffolk for giving his managers time while also ploughing millions into the playing staff.

And Edwards is hopeful that in his latest manager, Mick McCarthy, there is hope of a corner being turned after 10 points from the last four matches has seen the Blues start to move away from the relegation zone.

Edwards added: “It seems that Marcus Evans had learned from previous disappointments – hiring Mick McCarthy is looking like an inspired piece of business.”

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