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Town fan offers team for sale

PUBLISHED: 22:12 06 June 2005 | UPDATED: 05:54 02 March 2010

DRASTIC times have led to drastic measures for one cheeky Ipswich Town fan.

Concerned at a potential exodus of players in the coming weeks, Geoff Lea decided to help Blues boss Joe Royle with some wheeling and dealing of his own – by putting the entire first team squad on an internet auction website.

DRASTIC times have led to drastic measures for one cheeky Ipswich Town fan.

Concerned at a potential exodus of players in the coming weeks, Geoff Lea decided to help Blues boss Joe Royle with some wheeling and dealing of his own - by putting the entire first team squad on an internet auction website.

His ad urged interested parties to bid generously and said all parts were on sale, despite some recently going missing!

The 34-year-old said: "It started out as a bit of fun. It appeared everyone was in line to be sold and we would be starting the season with Willie Donachie the assistant manager, Joe (Royle) the manager and legend John Wark as our limited line up.

"I thought if everyone was up for sale why not sell the whole squad and maybe make a bit more money for the club."

A season ticket and shareholder at the club, Mr Lea regularly makes the 272-mile round trip to Ipswich from his home in Basingstoke. In fact he has not missed a game in 15 years.

He started the bidding for the Town players at 50pence and soon the offers had risen to £102.01.

Ipswich Town is beginning the slow road back after losing in the Championship play-offs to West Ham and fans are still digesting the news that Darren Bent has left the club in a £2.5million deal with Charlton.

To add to that goalkeeper Kelvin Davis is in talks with Sunderland.

Mr Lea said of his public criticism of the situation: "It's not a dig at Royle. I support him but don't think he's being supported. What he's done with what he's got is a miracle.

"It's wrong he doesn't get the money to spend."

He added: "I'm an internet auction addict and cannot keep away from checking the progress of bids.

"I am more or less on the site all the time. I use it to subsidise my other work as a musician."

The light-hearted sale offer attracted about 20 bids - with intense interest coming from across the border in Norfolk.

Feather-of-two Mr Lea said: "Most of the bids seem to be coming from Norwich fans. There has been interest in Jim Magilton and Shefi Kuqi - they thought he could dig their garden."

How much would you bid for the Ipswich Town squad? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Geoff Lea's sales technique:

"One first team squad for sale. Recently finished third in Coca-Cola Championship. Currently accepting offers for all parts.

"Please start the bidding generously. Includes two of the top scorers in the league and the best goalkeeper.

"Will consider part exchange for any old carthorses you may have lying around - donkeys especially welcome.

"We will accept PayPal, cash, or just a promise that you might pay us one day, or play us in a friendly.

"Certain items may be sold separately. Any questions please contact a Mr J Royle or Mr D Sheepshanks."


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