We stand by the facts on Town Academy

EVENING STAR OPINION: Ipswich Town's Academy is the seed-corn of our stricken club's future – and, we say, needs protecting from the threat of cutbacks.Last night's Evening Star carried a story on the threat of major cutbacks in the Academy's tiny budget.

IPSWICH Town's Academy is the seed-corn of our stricken club's future – and, we say, needs protecting from the threat of cutbacks.

Last night's Evening Star carried a story on the threat of major cutbacks in the Academy's tiny budget.

We said Academy bosses had been prepared for their finances to be slashed by a third, crippling the "cash cow" which has provided Town with so many valuable youngsters over the years.

Our story was immediately condemned by the club and in the interest of open debate we carry chairman David Sheepshanks' statement on page two tonight. But we stand by the facts of our story.

Whilst we were condemned for "wild exaggeration" it is worth noting that the club DID immediately confirm there had been talks over the Academy budget. There had been silence before we broke our story.

So, there HAD been discussions on cutbacks – and a figure of ten per cent has now been put forward by the club.

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Our sources, checked and double-checked, reveal that the original threat was much greater... until our story was published.

There is a huge difference between the confirmed ten per cent – damaging as that may be – and the much more damaging cuts of up to 33 pc.

Whatever has changed, we are delighted that our story opened up the debate about the Academy and its finances.

Undoubtedly, our story caused consternation amongst the Portman Road elite, involved in a desperate fight during these dark days of administration.

But it is our duty to tell fans, creditors, staff, players – and the wider community – what is going on – without spin.

This newspaper, which supports its club like no other and gets no pleasure from the current financial meltdown, will not shirk from continuing to tell you the facts of the financial disaster at our football club.

But we will also report the good news – and the on-field triumphs or sadnesses as they emerge.

Consistently our stories have proved to be correct and we will continue to tell readers what is going on – from the very best of sources inside and outside the football club.

Returning to the Academy – we say it should protected at all costs.

Its hugely talented staff, led by director Bryan Klug, should be cherished and supported. The Academy promises great things for our future and holds within it many talented individuals who could play an important role in Ipswich Town in years to come.

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