Sheepshanks still has important role

IPSWICH Town chairman David Sheepshanks no longer has an office at Portman Road.But chief executive Derek Bowden says that the long-serving board member still has an important role to play at the ambitious Coca-Cola Championship club.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town chairman David Sheepshanks no longer has an office at Portman Road.

But chief executive Derek Bowden says that the long-serving board member still has an important role to play at the ambitious Coca-Cola Championship club.

Sheepshanks' position was downgraded to a non-executive one this summer as the Marcus Evans Group, who now own 87.5% of the club, became more influential.


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But, along with long-standing directors who now hold vice president positions at Portman Road, Sheepshanks will remain on the scene.

“David now has an advisory role,” said Bowden today.

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“He has no office at the club anymore but is always at the other end of the telephone.

“If Marcus Evans, Jim Magilton or myself need to seek his advice, we will speak to him.

“David knows everybody there is to know in the football world and has a wealth of experience.”

Sheepshanks has been chairman since 1995 and was the instigator of bringing Evans into the club to take care of a reported £44million debt and invest £12million into Magilton's player budget.

He is now focusing on other business interests and is being tipped as one of the contenders to take the vacant Football Association chief executive role at the turn of the year - although this would probably mean having to resign as Town chairman.

“David will continue to watch our home games and many of those away as well,” added Bowden, who has taken over the day-to-day running of the club.

“He will host the boardroom on match days where we have a mix of current directors and vice presidents, who did their bit when directors had overall responsibility.

“It is important that we keep going the contacts that have been made over the years.”

John Kerr MBE, Holly Bellingham, Richard Moore, Roger Finbow and Philip Hope-Cobbold were directors up to the Evans' takeover and are now vice presidents serving ambassadorial roles, with Hope-Cobbold the club's patron.

Bowden has ruled out any plans to bring in a director of football and insists there will only be one person in charge of football matters at Portman Road.

“There are no plans to bring in a director of football or augment Jim's team. Jim has a very good and complete team around him already and he is happy with that as we are.

“Jim runs the football side of this club and all I do is facilitate the arrivals and some existing players leaving.”

Bryan Klug is Magilton's first-team coach, while Steve Foley is technical skills coach and James Hollman goalkeeping coach.

Magilton took on Simon Hunt as overseas scout in the summer, while the manager's advisor Charlie Woods and Steve McCall hold the scouting duties in the UK.

They have identified at least two more potential emergency loan signings next week, with a central defender and a left-sided midfielder the targets.

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