Sheepshanks says club is well on way
By Steve MellenAN UPBEAT Ipswich Town chairman David Sheepshanks has praised supporters as the deadline for discounted season tickets was crossed today with the club well on the way to their target of 16,000 for next season.
By Steve Mellen
AN UPBEAT Ipswich Town chairman David Sheepshanks has praised supporters as the deadline for discounted season tickets was crossed today with the club well on the way to their target of 16,000 for next season.
Some 10,000 applications have already been processed and ticket office staff have thousands more to open and count before the weekend. By the middle of next week the picture will become clear but the chairman is confident the club will be just over their target.
“I can only praise our supporters because the pattern of renewals is uncannily like last season,” he told the Evening Star today. “This has been a very painful season for all associated with the club but I think the fans understand we have been very unlucky with injuries and despite the lows they are still renewing in very large numbers.
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“I can't explain away performances like the one against Stoke last week and I understand the frustration of the fans on days like that, but with the club set to hit the season ticket target and a share issue planned for the summer I can confidently say the picture is a lot brighter now than it was in August last year.
“We haven't formalised the details of the share issue yet but I can assure supporters it will be solely done for the purpose of raising money to invest in the team, which is very different to previous schemes.”
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The annual worry for Ipswich fans is losing players, particularly the young talent from the club's Academy, but with good news coming from the ticket office, the chairman today assured fans that letting the likes of Owen Garvan and Shane Supple leave is the last thing on his mind.
“Our intention is to take the current squad, with the senior players we currently have out injured, and add to it in the summer.
“I don't know how many times I can say it before people take it in, but with the restructuring of the debt and the season tickets in place means we are under no pressure to sell players. No chairman in the land can say they will never sell, but our position is one of stability at the moment.
“Of course if we got a situation like the Kieron Dyer transfer, where we accepted a large bid and used that money to strengthen the squad, then we would have to consider it, but our intention is to keep the young players, who we feel have not maximised in value yet anyway, and build the team around them.”
Ticket office manager John Ford said today: “We will not be extending the discounted deadline as such but any applications we receive before the weekend, or any handed in by hand before the Brighton game, will be treated the same way as those we have had in the post today.
“It's difficult to predict exact numbers because we have many thousands of envelopes to open and while some will contain just one application, others will have several inside, but we have put 10,000 through the system and I'm confident we'll hit the 16,000 target before the season starts.”