Fans' finance boosts club

IPSWICH Town fans are putting their own money behind transfer deals for top players – by saving it.The Portman Road football club has announced it has received £3.

IPSWICH Town fans are putting their own money behind transfer deals for top players - by saving it.

The Portman Road football club has announced it has received £3.6million from Britannia Building Society for accounts opened by 15,500 Town fans.

The money has been spent on new signings like recent arrivals Darren Currie and David Unsworth and on youth development.

Britannia has revealed that the arrangement is the largest of its type, with more Town fans opening a savings account to support their club than anywhere else in the country.


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"We are, as a club, delighted that nearly 15-and-a-half thousand fans have shown their support for the Ipswich Town team by opening the Britannia Save and Support Accounts, which has enabled us to develop the team into the side currently sitting top of the Coca-Cola Championship," an Ipswich Town spokeswoman said.

During the six years of the partnership between Britannia, which sponsors a stand at the Portman Road ground, and ITFC the club has received a commission from the building society every time a customer opens an Ipswich Town Savings Account or a Young Blues Savers Account.

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Each year the amount the club earns from the accounts has been increasing and this week it received a cheque for £740,556 for the commission from accounts during 2004. That came on the back of a cheque for £534,000 from Britannia in 2003.

Much of the money has gone toward developing future players for the club.

The success of that work was illustrated in Ipswich Town's 2-0 victory over Brentford in a Carling Cup fixture in August last year when nine current or past academy players made the team.

"The club benefits from a commission from Britannia, at a rate which is linked to the Bank of England interest rates so it fluctuates," the ITFC spokeswoman said.

She added: "The money which our fantastic Britannia Save and Support Account holders raise for the club is ploughed back into the development of the team.

"This has enabled us to bring on the young talent of our academy, as well as giving us the ability to consider and bring in new players."

Weblink: www.britannia.co.uk/itfc

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