Simon Clegg regrets Jordan Rhodes sale
10:30 06 February 2013
SIMON Clegg revealed his regret over the sale of Championship hot-shot Jordan Rhodes but has defended the Blues’ transfer policy, ahead of this weekend’s trip to Blackburn Rovers.
Clegg, who stepped down as chief executive at Portman Road yesterday after almost four years, had been at Ipswich for just a matter of months when then-manager Roy Keane deemed Rhodes surplus to requirements.
More than 100 league and cup goals later, Rhodes, who was sold an undisclosed six-figure fee, eventually rising to around £1.4m, is comfortably justifying his £8m summer transfer fee from Huddersfield to Blackburn, having already plundered 24 goals for his club and country this season.
Clegg left his role as Blues chief executive yesterday and admitted Rhodes’ success since leaving Portman Road was bittersweet.
“Hindsight is a wonderful thing and with the benefit of that, yes, we would have kept him,” said Clegg, who joined the club in April 2009.
“Jordan has done incredibly well in League One and the Championship since leaving Ipswich and I hope he looks back on his time at Ipswich with fond memories.
“But let’s be clear, ever since myself and Marcus (Evans) have arrived at the club, we have trusted in the judgement in the manager.”
The sale of Rhodes has since been compounded by the club’s failure to sign a number of transfer targets, including Brighton goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak and prolific Burnley striker, Charlie Austin.
While Clegg admitted mistakes had been made, he was also keen to defend the club’s transfer policy.
“We have achieved with the vast majority of our targets and that reflects in the 73 players we have signed during my time at the club,” he added.
“Some (signings) have been outside the financial wherewithal that we could afford and maybe some players came here using the club as a stalking horse to get a better deal somewhere else.
“The easy thing would be to point the finger at Marcus Evans and say that he has not invested but you can’t do that.
“There has been no lack of investment but for whatever reason, many of the players have not gelled in the way we needed and not played with consistency.
“I recognise as chief executive and chairman though that the fans need to vent their frustration on someone and I have been their focus.
“But that goes with the job.”