No tears over E.ON's departure

AFTER E.ON's decision to pull out of Suffolk and close its Wherstead Park offices, there will be few tears shed over the news that this German-based company will no longer have its name polluting Ipswich Town shirts.

AFTER E.ON's decision to pull out of Suffolk and close its Wherstead Park offices, there will be few tears shed over the news that this German-based company will no longer have its name polluting Ipswich Town shirts.

A few months ago the news that the the company was not going to renew its sponsorship would have been a matter for concern at Portman Road.

But the news that investor Marcus Evans is preparing to invest millions in the club, coupled with E.ON's departure from the area has changed the outlook completely.

So far as Suffolk people are concerned, E.ON is now a tainted brand. It is a brand most Town fans don't want to be associated with. It is a brand fans don't want to advertise by having its name plastered all over their replica shirts.

With the football club on the up, it is now in a position to find a sponsor that is also on the up. It is able to look for a sponsor who is as commited to Ipswich and Suffolk as the club is itself.

Already names like Axa and Greene King have been mentioned. Many fans have fond memories of the days of the former Greene King sponsorship.

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And then, of course, there is another organisation which might like to use Ipswich Town shirts to boost its national and international profile - a company with thousands of employees operating in scores of countries.

Could it just be that Town's players next season will be running out with the name Marcus Evans on the front of their shirts?

WHEN Harold Wilson said a week is a long time in politics, did he have a crystal ball looking 40 years into the future at Gordon Brown's first autumn in 10 Downing Street?

Over the last two months Mr Brown has gone from being the man with the golden touch - dealing coolly with crises and preparing for victory in a snap general election - into the man for whom everything is going wrong.

After the problems with foot and mouth, the credit crisis and Northern Rock, and the disaster over the loss of sensitive data, he has now come under personal attack from former service chiefs over his lack of commitment to our troops.

Many people may have seen their concerted attacks yesterday as underhand - they waited until Mr Brown was on his way to a Commonwealth conference in Uganda before launching into him.

But there is no doubt many will see their attack as a sign that the present government has lost its way.

Political opinion polls currently give the Conservatives a substantial lead - but opinion remains volatile and many people have still to be convinced that the Tories would do any better than the present government.

These are testing times for Mr Brown and the government. How it emerges from the wave upon wave of crises over the next few months will determine the future course of this country in the run-up to an election in 2009 or 2010.

PETER Turtill's protest about blocking rights of way to allow the construction of Suffolk New College highlighted what he considered to be a genuine concern.

However if we are to progress as a society, there always needs to be some flexibility about rights of way - however ancient they may be.

If a suitable alternative route can be found it would be senseless to force an existing route to stay open simply because it has been a line on the map for several decades.