There is still hope for Town

IPSWICH Town chairman David Sheepshanks today pledged that the club would be in good shape to bounce back to the Premiership if it is relegated to the Nationwide League.

IPSWICH Town chairman David Sheepshanks today pledged that the club would be in good shape to bounce back to the Premiership if it is relegated to the Nationwide League.

But he insisted there was still hope of avoiding the drop, despite the 4-1 humiliation at Bolton's Reebok Stadium yesterday. "Where there's life, there's hope," he said.

Although the club still hoped to be in the Premiership next year, contingency plans had been drawn up in case it was relegated.

This would cost the club £12 million directly in the loss of television money, and the uncertainty over the future of ITV Digital's league coverage also caused problems.


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But Mr Sheepshanks said the club would be able to survive well in the lower league.

Players would have to be sold, but he felt the squad would be strong enough to bounce straight back like Manchester City.

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"We would not be in the same position as Coventry were last year. We are in a very healthy financial state as a Premiership Club.

"That will change dramatically if we are relegated, but we have contingency plans drawn up – and we would be a very strong club in the First Division. I am sure we would be in a position to bounce straight back," he said.

Three Ipswich fans told the Star of their anger as they left the Reebok at half time on Saturday.

Chris Ambrose, of Ipswich, said: "It was a total disgrace. There was no passion in the team at all. I spent a lot of money going to the match but it was pointless.

"The defending was absolutely terrible. We left at half time because basically there was no point staying any longer Ipswich was not in a position to pull it back."

Jolyon James, Grantham Crescent, Ipswich said: "It was Laurel and Hardy defending. I think it is now time for serious consideration for the future.

" We need Burley out and new blood in as this was an embarrassment. The only good thing that may come out of it is that we will have the Norwich derby back – that is if they do not get promoted."

And Rodney Gobman, Vermont Crescent, Ipswich saw little hope now. "There was absolutely no spirit in the team and the way they played.

"Unfortunately after that performance fans are going to be resigning themselves to relegation. We will have to get used to the fact we will be playing teams like Grimsby next season. We had a chance and blew it."

Declan Dunne from East Bergholt went to the match with his family and felt the club should offer fans a refund after their display.

"We offered them 10 hours of committment – that's what it took to go there and back again. All we asked was 90 minutes in return and we didn't get that. It was dreadful."

His day wasn't improved by the hostility in the stadium. "The Bolton fans were dreadful, the abuse they shouted at us was appalling – it reduced my 10-year-old daughter to tears even before all the goals went in," he said.

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