Ipswich returns to the back pages

WHAT a week! The last seven days at Portman Road have arguably been more eventful than the entire season which preceded them.

WHAT a week!

The last seven days at Portman Road have arguably been more eventful than the entire season which preceded them.

After Ipswich triumphed in the East Anglian derby, Derek Bowden was replaced by Simon Clegg as chief executive, and Jim Magilton and John Gorman were sacked.

Finally, just when supporters thought the drama had concluded, owner Marcus Evans announced the shock appointment of Roy Keane as manager.


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Prior to Sunday's East Anglian derby, there was little to suggest the club would undergo such a seismic transformation in such a short space of time.

Little did we know that by Thursday morning, Ipswich Town and its new manager would be the lead story on Planet Football.

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Like him or loathe him, Keane's arrival has certainly provided a significant boost to Blues fans' flagging morale.

As the 2008/09 season was rumbling to a dull and dismal conclusion, a wave of pessimism had washed over the club - a negativity which would surely have impacted on season ticket sales.

At the first count, ticket office bosses revealed only 7,000 renewal applications had been received - around half the volume sold a year earlier.

However, the Keane effect has galvanised supporters. Indeed, early indications suggest that, despite the economic downturn, attendances may well increase and so too could shirt sales and merchandising profits.

Since relegation nearly seven years ago, the attention of the national media has rarely focussed on modest Ipswich Town - but it certainly will now.

What is clear is that a week which promised to be fairly ordinary has become a period of defining change in the club's history.

Liz Edwards, chairman of the Ipswich Town Supporters Club, said: “The changes we have seen at ITFC are the biggest since the club turned professional in 1936.”

What's your take on the last week at Portman Road? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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