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Matt: Fans can help keep me

PUBLISHED: 20:00 05 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:49 03 March 2010

IPSWICH Town captain Matt Holland today urged Blues fans: "Show that you want me to stay."

The Republic of Ireland international could well be on his way during the summer after missing just one league game since joining Town in the summer of 1997.

IPSWICH Town captain Matt Holland today urged Blues fans: "Show that you want me to stay."

The Republic of Ireland international could well be on his way during the summer after missing just one league game since joining Town in the summer of 1997.

The club's dire financial position may force Town to part with their inspirational skipper.

Holland – who was on target in the Blues' 4-1 victory at Derby yesterday – hopes that a surge in season ticket sales could boost his chances of remaining at Portman Road.

And Town chairman David Sheepshanks, was full of praise for the support at Pride Park as Joe Royle's men ended their First Division campaign on a high note.

Sheepshanks promised that there are more good times ahead and confirmed that the degree of investment through season tickets will determine how many players may have to leave.

"The more income we find through investment and season ticket sales the less we have to get through player sales," he said.

Holland repeated his hopes that he will remain an Ipswich player. He said: "It was a great way to end with a goal and with a fine win. Our fans were fantastic and it helped us to gain the three points.

"As one of the higher wage earners there is always a chance that I will have to be sold. But this depends in some ways on how much comes into the club from other sources like season tickets.

"The more season tickets sold the less chance there will be of me being sold. I have three years left on my contract and am very happy here, but the club is losing money and in debt so there are problems.

"We should have reached the play-offs at least but this was a good way to sign off and there is one consolation – we managed to finish above Norwich.

"The lads coming through in the last few months have done well and there is a bright future at Ipswich Town with what next season should be a mix of youth and experience."

Sheepshanks is adamant that Royle will have enough talent at his disposal next season.

The chairman was delighted with how yesterday went and said: "I must say a huge thank you to the fans. It was disappointing against Wimbledon, but this was the Ipswich Town football club back at its best.

"We had 4,000 fans at Pride Park and they demonstrated how important it is to all stick together so that we can enjoy success next season.

"I am convinced Joe Royle will field a team capable of fulfilling our aims of a return to the Premiership.

"The players showed today that they were not going to be outdone and it was a magnificent performance on the Park by them and off it by our fans.

"I can promise there will be good times ahead, although the next few weeks will be crucial as we hopefully come out of administration and start to build the club up again.

"I have heard that some people will not be renewing their season tickets but I am sure the overwhelming majority will.

"There is no guarantee that every player will be staying but I can say that the vast majority will as we continue to recover from the worst financial crisis this club has ever suffered. We will not allow any repeat.

"We still have to reduce the wage bill but can't go down to £5m a year overnight. We have to work in that direction next season when we still get a parachute TV payment from the Premiership. If we do not get promoted next season then a £5m a year wage bill will be a realistic one that we will have to aim for."

Jim Magilton has been offered a one-year contract and he said today: "I am thinking it over. I have not dismissed it".

The former Northern Ireland international was Ipswich's star player on an afternoon when they played some of their best football of the season to collect their ninth away victory.


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