Fans welcome new role for Sheepshanks

IPSWICH Town supporters' representatives today welcomed chairman David Sheepshanks' removal from power.

IPSWICH Town supporters' representatives today welcomed chairman David Sheepshanks' removal from power.

The 55-year-old will, as of July 1, be relieved of his executive responsibilities and salary, leaving him as a club figurehead.

Carl Day, chairman of Ipswich Town 1st, the club's supporters' trust, said the decision made good business sense.

“The trust has been on record questioning how the club can justify having a full time chief executive and chairman,” he said. “We have never understood it.

“It seems the Marcus Evans regime has recognised that the points we were making were spot on.

“It makes more sense to have a chief executive running the business. How can you have a chief executive who reports to a chairman who reports to an owner?

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“Only Derek Bowden and Jim Magilton will be answerable to the owner and that's how it should be.”

Sheepshanks has been chairman at Portman Road since 1995, when he succeeded John Kerr, and oversaw promotion in 2000 and relegation two years later, with administration following soon after.

Mr Day said the old-Etonian's time in office had divided opinion.

“David Sheepshanks is probably one of the most popular chairmen and one of the most disliked, too,” he said.

“A lot of people have been very loyal to him, but there are some who have not. That applies to members of the trust, too.”

Mr Day described chief executive Derek Bowden as “one of the best things to happen to Ipswich Town”, adding: “Hopefully, he will now have the freedom to use his ability.”

Liz Edwards, chairwoman of Ipswich Town Supporters Club, said she believed most supporters would be pleased Sheepshanks remained, albeit in a new capacity, at Portman Road.

“He represents a continuity that is a key part of Ipswich's heritage,” she said.

“After the financial crisis that followed our relegation in 2002, Mr Sheepshanks committed that he would not step down until the club was restored to a sound financial condition.

“He did admit that, with hindsight, some things would have been done differently, but has seen the job through. As a club, we enjoy respect throughout football, and David Sheepshanks has played a key role in that.”

How do you rate Sheepshanks' performance as chairman? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

DAVID Sheepshanks and two other FA top brass were made to travel to Trinidad separately from the England players and coaching staff.

It was reported that spaces on the flight usually reserved for Sheepshanks, Stoke City's Peter Coates, and Sheffield United's Terry Robinson were instead handed to Fabio Capello's team chef, kit man, physios and video operators.

The decision meant the trio could not carry out their ambassadorial duties, like being met off the England plane by CONCACAF chief Jack Warner.

The FA blamed the move on the size of the squad and the fact that their usual, larger charter jet was unavailable.

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