Town's silver lining after hammer blow

IPSWICH Town are looking forward to a bright future in "good financial shape", chief executive Derek Bowden said today.The pledge comes a day after the club were forced to swallow another dose of play-off heartbreak following defeat to West Ham United.

IPSWICH Town are looking forward to a bright future in "good financial shape", chief executive Derek Bowden said today.

The pledge comes a day after the club were forced to swallow another dose of play-off heartbreak following defeat to West Ham United.

Despite missing out on a promotion cash windfall thought to be worth as much as £50million, the club has banked a healthy £250,000 from the two legs of the play-offs.

Mr Bowden today reassured fans the signs are pointing towards a positive future for the club.


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He said: "We're on an even keel and we're in line with our creditors' voluntary agreement expectations. We've had a successful share issue and we're in good financial shape, although we're not in an overly strong position, like any Division One club."

Failure to win promotion back to the Premier League at the second attempt means the Blues will lose out on their £6million parachute payment.

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This had been received in each of the last two seasons, but Mr Bowden said this shortfall has already been budgeted for.

He said: "In our case it's given us time to put together a plan and we've budgeted for that loss."

Manager Joe Royle, chairman David Sheepshanks and Mr Bowden will all be sitting down in the next few weeks to plan for the next season.

And Mr Bowden said a priority will be to keep hold of Town's promising youngsters.

"Joe (Royle) has got some choices to make about the playing squad," he said.

"There's extra money that has come in through the play offs and it's money we didn't expect to get. We'll be sitting down in the next couple of days to discuss next season.

"There's no reason why we can't be strong next year and we'll definitely be trying to keep hold of the kids.

"We've just got to dust ourselves down and go again. It's like falling off a horse – the best thing to do is get up and get back on it again. There's no time for us to feel sorry for ourselves."

Mr Bowden added the team had done brilliantly to keep the season alive for as long as they did.

He said: "I think we've done fantastically well to get to the play-offs. When we were hovering around the outside of them a few weeks ago – and when we were bottom in September – it would've been considered a great achievement to get in the play-offs.

"But when you're in them your expectations change and you think you're going to win them."

What do you think of Ipswich Town's season? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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