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Blues should have gambled £1m

PUBLISHED: 21:30 23 May 2004 | UPDATED: 04:54 02 March 2010

IPSWICH legend John Wark today insisted: “The Blues should have gambled on promotion.”

Town fans are still recovering after the club's hopes of a Premiership return crumbled in a play-off defeat at the hands of West Ham.

IPSWICH legend John Wark today insisted: “The Blues should have gambled on promotion.”

Town fans are still recovering after the club's hopes of a Premiership return crumbled in a play-off defeat at the hands of West Ham.

Wark believes Ipswich boss Joe Royle might have returned Town to the top flight if he had been able to follow the example of East Anglian rivals Norwich, who were crowned Division One

champions after gambling on former Leeds and Manchester City striker Darren Huckerby.

The former Scotland star, who played 678 times for the Blues, believes an additional outlay of £1million could have been enough to bring Premiership soccer back to Portman Road next term.

“Town needed to gamble and they lost out big time,” said Wark.

“Norwich City did it with Darren Huckerby and they ended up walking away with the division. An outlay of around £1million would now be grossing the club around £20million.”

Wark claims the extra cash would have allowed Royle to bring in the two extra players that could have tipped the scales Town's way. The fans must now watch from the Nationwide League as the Canaries enjoy the fruits of the top flight.

Despite the dire financial position at Portman Road, Wark feels that a gamble would have been worth taking, bearing in mind Royle's success rate in the transfer market and his knowledge of the professional circuit.

“It was a poor First Division and Ipswich were so close,” he said. “It just needed a little bit extra and we could now be celebrating.

“With players being forced to leave during the summer months, Ipswich may have missed the boat.

“There are enough examples of sides who have dropped beyond the First Division within a few years of coming out of the Premiership.

“I don't think that will happen with Ipswich, but the manager will have his hands full to maintain a title challenge again next term.”


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