Bowden: I'm proud of my time with Blues

IPSWICH Town chief executive Derek Bowden today looked back with pride on his achievements at Portman Road.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town chief executive Derek Bowden today looked back with pride on his achievements at Portman Road.

And Town fans will surely be up in arms if chairman David Sheepshanks follows him out of the door.

Bowden will be leaving the Blues reluctantly at the end of the season after seven years playing a leading role behind the scenes of the Coca-Cola Championship club.

A late, late penalty equaliser earned the Blues a point against Bristol City at Ashton Gate yesterday, taking some of the pressure off manager Jim Magilton, but the Town manager's position is also on the line as owner Marcus Evans assesses the best way to move his club forward.

Bowden, who has no plans after his time with Ipswich ends within the next month, said: “I am happy with what I have achieved here.

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“We have put the club back on a firm footing and I believe made the right decisions.

“The financial situation has been improved since the dark days of administration and we now find ourselves in a stronger position than most of our Championship rivals.”

And despite feeling the effect of Evans' desire to run things differently, Bowden has no regrets about helping to bring the multi-millionaire businessman in.

“Yes, it was the right thing to do,” added Bowden, who worked at executive level for advertising giants Saatchi and Saatchi for 18 years before joining Town.

“If not we would have been in danger of going the same way as Southampton now find themselves.

“I am not saying we would, but there was a chance that could have happened. Now we are as competitive as any Championship side to make progress.

“I will be staying until the end of the season and working normally, but have no plans after that.”

Sheepshanks lost his power when made a non-executive member of the board 10 months ago by Evans.

He has been used as a front man and in an ambassadorial role since then - a role he is ideally suited for but one that lacks punch.

But if Sheepshanks was to decide enough is enough and walk away from a club he loves - or he was to be pushed further - it would surely cause unrest among supporters.

Sheepshanks' lot has increased considerably among fans since Evans took over the reins, but he has made it public that he considering his Town future.

There is no suitable candidate of similar ilk to replace him, and to have an outsider brought in to take over the chair at Portman Road would go against the great traditions and history that surround Ipswich Town FC.

If Evans was to do the job himself, which is unlikely, he may just get away with it, but not a figure from the city he might bring in.

Simon Clegg, the former chief executive of the British Olympic Association and tipped to effectively take over Bowden's role at Portman Road has gone on record to say that this is 'pure speculation'.

He says that he has had a number of approaches but has yet to make his final decision.

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