Pay cut for Town chiefs

IPSWICH Town chairman David Sheepshanks is paying his own price for the club's current crisis.He took a "massive" salary cut last summer after the Portman Road-based club was relegated from the lucrative Premiership.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town chairman David Sheepshanks is paying his own price for the club's current crisis.

He took a "massive" salary cut last summer after the Portman Road-based club was relegated from the lucrative Premiership.

And chief executive Derek Bowden has had his salary reduced since he joined the club to lead the fight against liquidation last June.

First Division Town are currently in administration and many small creditors are

fearful they may go under themselves if the club does not pay bills dating back to last autumn.

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Sheepshanks' remuneration for the 12 months to the end of June last year was well over £100,000 with the club's accounts showing directors' salaries at £129,000, plus £12,000 company contributions to a pension scheme.

No other directors are believed to be in receipt of any income from Town.

But today a Town spokesman confirmed: "The chairman and the chief executive have both accepted pay cuts in the light of the club's financial

problems.

"In the chairman's case it is a massive reduction."

There were no problems over Sheepshanks receiving bonus

payments and a large salary when the Blues were sailing along in the Premiership and gaining entry into the UEFA Cup.

He played a big part in the club's success when manager George Burley took the Blues into the top flight via the never-to-be-forgotten play-offs in 2000.

And the success continued the following season when Ipswich finished fifth in the Premiership.

Since then it has been nearly all bad news with the club spiralling into despair.

Apart from good runs in the UEFA Cup over the last two seasons there have been a succession of poor results on the field leading to the departure of Burley last October.

Sheepshanks' income was comparable with other chief executives in multi-million pound businesses.

And to be fair he worked for five years with only a minimal income as Town built up to their Premiership goal. A bonus payment he received was voted for by his fellow directors in recognition of his services during that time.

Sheepshanks, who has been off work ill for the last two days, admits that the club's judgments were not always sound when it came to purchases.

And he makes no excuses for his own mistakes.

Millions of pounds were handed over for expensive players who failed to come up to expectations, and this along with the huge loss in television revenue caused by relegation and the collapse of the transfer market have put Ipswich Town on the brink of ruin.

Not only have Sheepshanks and Bowden taken pay cuts, all staff members and the majority of the players have agreed to voluntary pay deferrals of up to ten per cent to try to fight off

liquidation.

These are worrying times for many small Ipswich Town creditors, who come bottom of the list behind banks, players and the Inland Revenue when it comes to receiving their dues from the club.

Some may not be able to survive if the club goes under.

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