MARCUS Evans thought he would be the owner of a Premier League club by now.

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The multi-millionaire’s buy-out of Ipswich Town five years ago was met with jubilation among fans dreaming of a return to the top-flight – something the ambitious Evans thought would be achieved by the time he marked his first half-decade.

But the Blues’ repeated failure at challenging for promotion has done nothing to diminish the owner’s passion or enthusiasm.

Those are the sentiments of chief executive Simon Clegg who admits the Evans’ era – from a footballing perspective – has so far been disappointing.

But Clegg insisted: “No one can point the finger and say it has been through any lack of investment in the squad. It has just not happened.

“If it was as simple as money in equals results out, we would be in the Premier League by now – and everyone would be doing it.

“If you judge, as most people will do, the success or failure of the club by what happens on the pitch, I will put my hands up and say it has not been as successful as we would have liked.

“But I don’t think you can purely take it from that perspective. You have to look at other things like re-establishing the academy and all the investment there, bringing Bryan Klug back, upgrading the Playford Road training facility to a high-performance centre.”

Evans was heralded as a saviour after buying cash-strapped Town in December 2007 when many feared they would slip into a second administration. But after dismissing Jim Magilton 18 months after he bought the club, Evans’ recruitment of Roy Keane and then Paul Jewell subsequently saw Town fail to challenge the top-six before Mick McCarthy was given the manager’s job last month.

Clegg admitted: “I certainly think his expectation was that Ipswich Town would have been in the Premier League by now.

“He is not used to that type of failure, but he is also a man who takes a long-term view and is in the privileged position of being able to take a long-term view.

“It is not all about short-term gain, though that is great. There are some variables and unpredictables in football and he recognises it is about building for the future.”

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