Town needs to build for the future

IPSWICH Town's Championship future should now be safe for another year after the team's victory at Kenilworth Road.But while in one sense the season is now over, the next few weeks will be crucial for the club as it prepares to meet the challenges of the future.

IPSWICH Town's Championship future should now be safe for another year after the team's victory at Kenilworth Road.

But while in one sense the season is now over, the next few weeks will be crucial for the club as it prepares to meet the challenges of the future.

Off the field the crucial negotiations with creditors over the debt that has crippled the club's rebuilding efforts over the last three years have reached a critical point.

On the pitch the team really does need to show supporters that it is worthwhile renewing their season tickets next year. Jim Magilton has already said he does not want to play in front of a half-empty stadium next year.


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The club's debt is, of course, a hangover from the dark days of administration which followed relegation from the Premiership in 2002. Despite emerging from that situation a few months later, the fact is that managers and directors have been operating with their hands tied behind their backs ever since.

If a deal can now be negotiated to ease the debt burden and allow the manager to bring in new players, there may finally be a light at the end of a very long tunnel for the long-suffering Town fans.

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In the meantime the players we now have must spend the rest of the season showing fans what they can do week in and week out. They must turn up every time they are selected - not sit around and whinge about the pitch, the weather, or anything else which catches their eye if they fail to win.

They could all be playing for their futures at this great club.

WHILE the entertainment at Portman Road has been very variable over the last few years, that served up by the Regent Theatre has been improving steadily - and now it looks as if the region's largest venue has a very bright future ahead of it.

The West End musical Footloose played to packed houses last week and tonight international superstar Bryan Ferry has sold out the venue.

And the best news of all for Regent regulars is that, as reported in Saturday's Evening Star, the historic theatre is being improved again with executive-style seats being installed during the summer.

A great deal of the credit for its revival is due to the inspiring leadership of manager Hazel Clover and the support she has had from its council owners who are determined to invest to help bring down its losses.

The time will soon come when attention will have to be turned to a major improvement - updating the stage and dressing rooms. And that will cost millions of pounds.

When it happens - which is surely as certain as night following day - the town will be left with a theatre which really is the pride of East Anglia.

AFTER yesterday's dramatic, but very expensive, air sea rescue off Felixstowe there needs to be a full inquiry to find out why the party of canoeists got into trouble.

Weather forecasters had been warning for days about high winds and sea swells on Sunday, and across the region thousands of people will have been woken up by high winds during the night.

Everyone will be thankful that the party had the equipment to call for help when they got into trouble - but there must be questions asked about whether it was wise to be out at sea in these conditions in the first place.

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