Town's finances looking up

IPSWICH Town's finances appear to be in recovery today following the release of the club's annual report.The club has reported operating profits for last season at £1.

IPSWICH Town's finances appear to be in recovery today following the release of the club's annual report.

The club has reported operating profits for last season at £1.74 million, a remarkable improvement on the £15m deficit recorded in 2002/2003.

Chief Executive Derek Bowden put the recovery down to the club's major fundraising exercise which concentrated on the issue of unsecured loan notes, debenture ten and 20 year season tickets and the £1.2m raised from the share issue. The club also made a six-figure profit from Elton John's gig in June.

Club Chairman David Sheepshanks said the fact that no players were sold over the summer was evidence of the club's financial turnaround.

He said: "Our progress is reflected by us turning down a bid from Charlton for Darren Bent a couple of months ago.

"It was very carefully considered by the board both in terms of the value attributed to the player and the strength of our team. The fact we could decline the bid says Darren's presence here is more important and we don't have to sell him."

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He added that promotion was the club's main aim but needed to be achieved carefully in order to protect the club's financial viability.

Sheepshanks added that it was very unlikely that Bent would be sold when the transfer window opened in January because there was no need to sell him.

He continued: "I would like to draw attention to my praise and the directors' praise both for Joe Royle and Derek Bowden. Everything begins and ends with the club's performance on the pitch and Joe Royle has done a remarkable job to hold us in contention despite having to part with a number of players.

"Derek has done an equally tremendous job running the business side of the club, managing all of the off field activities of the business."

Despite the positive turnaround in profits, it was not all good news for the club.

Overall the figures showed a net loss of £0.48m, compared with losses of £7.75m the previous year.

Losses are also set to increase this season because the club will not receive the parachute payment received in the two years following relegation from the Premiership.

Chairman David Sheepshanks explained that the net sum could be attributed to Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) adjustments from the time the company was in administration. A CVA binds a company to make repayments to its creditors. Excluding those adjustments the club broke even.

What do you think about Ipswich Town's finances? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email

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