Supporters question share success

TOWN supporters have demanded answers from David Sheepshanks over what they claim was a bungled share issue.Independent supporters group Ipswich Town First said much more than £1.

TOWN supporters have demanded answers from David Sheepshanks over what they claim was a bungled share issue.

Independent supporters group Ipswich Town First said much more than £1.3million could have been raised with a more effective campaign.

In a series of hard-hitting questions to Ipswich Town's money-men, the supporters have demanded to know:

n Why were shares were issued over Christmas when money is at its tightest for fans?


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n Why was the minimum level of investment was set at £200, too much for many supporters?

n How much of their own cash did wealthy board members plough into the club?

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n Will players have to be sold because of the low level of overall investment?

n Will there be changes on the board as a result of the share issue?

n How does the £1.3million raise affect the club's emergence from administration?

n Has a significant single investor emerged through the share issue?

An Ipswich Town spokesman defended the share issue and said financial regulations prevented him making detailed answers to the trust's accusations.

Spokesman Phil Ham said the trust is likely to own about 10 per cent of the club after the share issue is finalised.

But he said even those who had risked their own money feared for the future and had little faith in the club's management.

He said: "The Trust feels that the total of £1.3million raised up to now is disappointing and has had feedback from a number of fans unwilling to purchase shares.

"Many felt that they were unable to afford to buy shares just after Christmas while others thought the minimum stake of £200 priced them out of the market."

Ipswich Town First has operated a share save scheme which provided loans to help cash-strapped fans put money into their beloved club.

And Mr Ham believed a similar scheme operated by Town would have seen more fans risk their cash.

And while he accepted many supporters did not trust the present board with their money, he said they had missed an opportunity to have a say in the future direction of the club.

The club spokesman said: "We announced yesterday that we had met and exceeded our initial target of £1.25million as at 5pm on Monday, June 19.

"As the share issue has now been extended until Friday, January 30 we are unable to respond to the comments made by the supporters' trust at this time."

He reminded supporters there was still time to invest in the club. Prospectuses are available from the club office and Planet Blue stores, by calling 01473 400595 or emailing ownabit@itfc.co.uk.

N What do you think? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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