Mick McCarthy has suffered 'unwarranted personal abuse', says Ipswich Town's managing director
PUBLISHED: 21:37 11 December 2017 | UPDATED: 22:30 11 December 2017
Ipswich Town's managing director last night criticised the "unwarranted personal abuse" suffered by manager Mick McCarthy and players from fans and the media this season.
At the club’s annual general meeting tonight, where it was announced season ticket sales have fallen and debts have risen, Ian Milne defended owner Marcus Evans’ investment and engagement in the club.
Town are now in their 16th successive season in the second tier. McCarthy, who in five seasons has reached the play-offs once, has faced criticism for Town’s playing style in spite of a limited budget.
The Blues are currently ninth in the table. McCarthy was not at the meeting, and was instead scouting next opponents Reading. Speaking to about 50 fans in the Sir Bobby Robson Suite at the ground, Mr Milne said: “I thank the manager, staff, and players for their continued hard work and commitment to make the club successful (despite) the totally unwarranted personal abuse from (some) fans and certain sections of the media against Mick McCarthy and some players.
“We continue to tightly control the finances of the club to allow Marcus Evans to invest in the club at the levels he currently does to remain competitive on the field.”
When asked by a fan if Mr Evans will ever attend an AGM, Mr Milne said he would “pass on the invitation” but said “he prefers to remain like he is”.
“He is extremely interested in the club,” he added.
Roger Finbow, chairman of Ipswich Town PLC, said: “We are incredibly lucky (Mr Evans) doesn’t grandstand, seek the limelight, or choose the team himself... what you have is someone who does not regard the club as own little plaything.”
One fan was critical of being asked to move seats for next month’s home game against Leeds United. Providing more away seats in the Cobbold Stand ends the risk of away fans infiltrating home sections, Mr Milne said. One fan said the club was letting in more of “some of the worst behaved fans in the country”.
Other fans expressed anger after the club changed the season ticket age category for senior concessions from over-60s to over-65s. Mr Milne apologised for those affected, but one said: “You need to get fans back to Portman Road. Fans like myself (aged 62) are not coming. The decision was a disaster. You need to lower prices, whether you like it or not.”