Land of dreams gets nearer

IPSWICH Town chairman David Sheepshanks was today joining other fans in coming down to earth after the rollercoaster match against Rotherham.But he was only allowing himself to think about the promised land of the Premiership "In my dreams" as he struggles to keep the club's feet on the ground.

IPSWICH Town chairman David Sheepshanks was today joining other fans in coming down to earth after the rollercoaster match against Rotherham.

But he was only allowing himself to think about the promised land of the Premiership "In my dreams" as he struggles to keep the club's feet on the ground.

He told The Evening Star: "It was like the match against Derby with some quite wonderful football and an exceptional performance by Darren Bent interspersed with some defensive lapses.

"Now we have five more matches and the future is in our hands - none of them will be easy as every team will have something to prove against us."

But the Town chairman is trying to keep his feet on the ground despite the potential goal of a Premiership place.

"I'm not allowing myself to think of that at the moment - well, only in my dreams - because we have to be focussed on the matter in hand here and now," he said.

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One group of people keeping a keen eye on Town's progress over the next few weeks will be the creditors who lost money when the club went into administration.

They were eventually paid 5p in the pound - but with a promise of further payments if the club returned to the Premiership before 2007.

Promotion could mean they are paid a further 5p in the pound, with a further 5p coming in the summer of 2006 if the club retains Premiership status.

Ipswich Council leader Liz Harsant is a season ticket holder - and knows the value that promotion would bring.

"They certainly made us sweat last night!" She said. "But the belief that we're going up seems to be coming back and that will be very good for the town."

It has been estimated that promotion could bring in £30 million to the club itself and a further £20 million to the local economy - giving Ipswich a £50 million boost.

One person who knows what it could bring to the town is former mayor Don Edwards who was first citizen when Town were promoted in 2000.

"It was marvellous for the town then and made everyone feel good - and it would be the same again if they go up this year.

"They're not making it easy for the fans - but I think we all have faith in them," he said.

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