Sheepshanks to face fans

TOWN chairman David Sheepshanks is to face critics and supporters at a "kill two birds with one stone" double whammy evening in Ipswich Corn Exchange on Thursday.

TOWN chairman David Sheepshanks is to face critics and supporters at a "kill two birds with one stone" double whammy evening in Ipswich Corn Exchange on Thursday.

Mr Sheepshanks will also face shareholders at an earlier meeting on the same day at Portman Road.

He has been under fire from critics since Ipswich Town called in the administrators almost two months ago and he is hoping to calm the storm that has been bubbling under the surface.

A Town spokesman said the question and answer session involving Mr Sheepshanks had been set up after discussion with Phil Ham, the man behind the Supporters Trust meeting.

"David has been at great pains not to be seen as hijacking Phil Ham's meeting and between them they thought it made sense to combine the two meetings.

"It was also agreed that David's question and answer session would be dealt with before the Supporters Trust meeting," the club spokesman added.

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He also said that the cost of hiring the hall at the Corn Exchange to cover Mr Sheepshanks' meeting was being paid out of his own pocket and not with club money.

"The meeting is an open one where anyone can attend and David will answer all questions possible within the rule of administration" he added.

Ipswich Town shareholders will also have the opportunity of finding out more from Mr Sheepshanks at a briefing in the Galleria, Portman Road at 5.30pm on Thursday.

"Thursday was seen as the best day to organise meetings," said the spokesman, adding: "Wednesday is an England match and Friday is the time people want to socialise not attend meetings."

Phil Ham said he thought it was a good idea for Mr Sheepshanks to have the same day for his question and answer session as the Supporters Trust event.

"I thought it would be practical for lots of fans and supporters who don't live in the town centre and who could combine their evening with both issues.

"It is really an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone if you like but they will be two totally separate meetings.

"Mr Sheepshanks will be quite entitled to stay for the Supporters Trust meeting if he wishes as it is an open meeting. We will have no objection," he added.

Mr Ham said he understood that Mr Sheepshanks would be giving a 20 minute presentation and then taking questions from the floor. He expected the chairman's part of the evening would be over by about 8.30pm.

"Then we have the Supporters Trust meeting which is being chaired by me and will include among the speakers Simon Binns from Supporters Direct, the organisation that advises and helps with the setting up of Supporters Trusts.

"There will also be a representative from the Cambridge Supporters Trust to tell of their adventures and Nigel D`eath, an insolvency practitioner.

"Currently there are around 70 Supporters Trusts in the country and every time I add them up there seems to be more. We will be finding out if this is a viable project to set up at Ipswich Town" he added.

n David Sheepshanks meeting will be held from 7.30pm to approximately 8.30pm in the Grand Hall, Ipswich Corn Exchange on Thursday

The Supporters Trust meeting will begin at about 8.45pm also in the Grand Hall, Ipswich Corn Exchange.