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Marcus Evans big interview: What relegation would mean to Town

PUBLISHED: 05:00 31 January 2019

Ipswich Town are staring relegation in the face - but owner Marcus Evans says they will keep fighting. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

Ipswich Town are staring relegation in the face - but owner Marcus Evans says they will keep fighting. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

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Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans says relegation to League One wouldn't be a 'massive financial problem'.

Paul Lambert's team are seven points from safety with just 17 games left. Picture: STEVE WALLERPaul Lambert's team are seven points from safety with just 17 games left. Picture: STEVE WALLER

The Blues are seven points adrift of safety at the foot of the Championship table with 17 games to play.

Dropping into the third tier – a level of football Town haven’t played since 1957 – would see a decrease of around £7m in television money received, as well as a potential downturn in gate receipts.

MORE: Read our exclusive Marcus Evans interview in full

‘Salary Cost Management Protocol (SCMP)’, which is the lower league’s equivalent of ‘Financial Fair Play’, limits League One clubs to spending a maximum of 60% of their turnover on wages – though newly-relegated clubs are allowed a transitional year of 75%.

Town’s last set of accounts, for the financial year 2017/18, showed the club’s wage bill was 108% of turnover.

“I’ve always built in place appropriate contractual terms with players so that if we were in a league below, financially, it wouldn’t be a total disaster,” explained Evans.

“We’ve got prudent contracts in place, so from that point of view people don’t have to worry that the club is going to find itself in a massive financial problem.

MORE: Marcus - We can comnpete on ‘conservative budget’

Marcus Evans says if Town are relegated it wouldn't be a 'financial disaster'. Picture: LAURA MCLEODMarcus Evans says if Town are relegated it wouldn't be a 'financial disaster'. Picture: LAURA MCLEOD

“We will lose substantially through TV revenue though.

“The challenge would be, of course, the different type of players we could attract into that league as supposed to the players who would stay with us because they are contracted to do so.

“Recruitment in League One is clearly something different, but our scouting structure has targets for whether we’re in this league or the league below. We’re looking at all the different scenarios.

“That said, we are really focused as a club on staying in the Championship and finding a way out of this current position. Everybody thinks that we are a dead duck, but we’ll see what happens.

“We’ve only played with what is pretty much a new team for two games now.”

MORE: Evans - Why I didn’t spend in January 2019

Evans added: “Most important of all was to make sure we have a stable management team. I think that the journey I was hoping we’d start last summer, which is a little delayed, I feel that Paul (Lambert) is producing a style of football that I think a lot of fans recognise as being something we wanted to move towards.

“Paul is making massive inroads into our relationship with the fan base and massive inroads into the way the ethos of the playing style runs through every age group and coaching.

“So the most important thing for me was that, whatever happens, we kept that management team in place. That’s why the joint statement went out last week to hopefully alleviate any concerns that fans might have.”

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