IPSWICH Town chairman David Sheepshanks today hailed the club's extra weapon in Sunday's battle for a play-off spot.With the team just four wins away from the promised land of the Premiership, Mr Sheepshanks said the crowd would play a vital part in the battle against Cardiff on Saturday.
IPSWICH Town chairman David Sheepshanks today hailed the club's extra weapon in Sunday's battle for a play-off spot.
With the team just four wins away from the promised land of the Premiership, Mr Sheepshanks said the crowd would play a vital part in the battle against Cardiff on Saturday.
"Over the last few weeks, really for the first time since the ground was completed, we have all really noticed the impact of the crowd.
"The noise has been deafening at times, and it really gives the team a massive lift on the field," he said.
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"It's becoming like it use to be - like an extra player on the pitch."
But despite the importance for the club of a return to the Premiership, all its focus is clearly on Sunday's match.
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"At the moment we aren't looking beyond that at all - not so far as the team is concerned," said Mr Sheepshanks.
"Of course behind the scenes, in departments like ticketing and marketing, we are drawing up plans - it would be irresponsible not to.
"But all our efforts are currently focussed on Sunday and the job we have to do against Cardiff."
And if the club is promoted, it will bring a financial windfall to the club - and the wider community.
Creditors who lost money when the club went into administration would get an extra 5p in the pound payment.
And Mr Sheepshanks explained the difference in television money.
"When a Premiership match is televised, each club gets £600,000. When a Nationwide League match is televised, the home club gets £60,000 and the away team £10,000.
"We only got £10,000 at Sheffield on Friday - we're very grateful for that but it does show the difference in finances between the two leagues," he said.
Sunday's match is being televised live by Sky - but that hasn't put off the fans who want to see it in the flesh.
So far 27,000 seats have been sold with only 600 unrestricted view seats remaining for Town fans.
A victory will assure Town a place in the play-offs, anything less than that and they would need to rely on other results - and a loss would almost certainly condemn the club to another year in the Nationwide League.
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Opinion - see page 4