IPSWICH Town chief executive Simon Clegg remained positive when outlining to shareholders the economic challenges the club is facing at last night’s PLC Annual General Meeting.

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However, flanked by manager Mick McCarthy, he insisted that Marcus Evans remains as committed to the club as ever as the owner nears his five-year anniversary.

Speaking to more than 100 shareholders in the Sir Bobby Robson Suite at Portman Road, Clegg said that season ticket sales had dropped from 12,719 to 12,286 this season, while average attendances have dropped from 18,195 to 16,816.

He also emphasised how new Financial Fair Play rules – which will see Championship clubs punished for going beyond a £3million deviation of break-even next season – had to be considered.

And he also stressed how the decision to go for Category Two status under the new Elite Player Performance Plan had seen the club spend significant money on hiring new staff and upgrading facilities for a stringent audit process.

“These are challenging times, but the circumstances we face are not unique – they are the same for all our Championship rivals,” said Clegg.

“We continue to receive the full support of the owner, Marcus Evans. You will all recognise the fact that he has spent a lot of money over the near five years that he has owned this club. And he continues to be as committed today as the day he joined.

“If you question that, you only need to look at the ongoing commitment he made to player acquisitions over the summer and indeed the appointment of Mick McCarthy as manager.

“I have absolutely no doubt that Mick will enjoy the same sort of financial support that previous managers have done.

“We need to make sure we continue to protect this football club so that it doesn’t go the way Rangers and Portsmouth have done recently (administration), but I do also genuinely belief that we can continue to be competitive with other Championship clubs.”

PLC chairman Roger Finbow said: “It’s inevitable that when new faces arrive from outside the local community, some of our supporters will say ‘things ain’t what they used to be’ – that these outsiders won’t understand the essence of this club.

“Let me assure you that Marcus Evans, Simon Clegg and Mick McCarthy are all just as proud of our reputation as you are, and they are all anxious to ensure that the aspects of the club which have made it historically unique are preserved.

“May I therefore encourage you all to give your absolute support to the management and players and encourage the nay-sayers, the cynical and the doubters to do likewise.”

Clegg and John Kerr were both re-elected to the PLC board, while Liz Edwards’ addition was confirmed.

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16 comments

  • just echoing others comments here - but when Clegg says "If you question that, you only need to look at the ongoing commitment he made to player acquisitions over the summer and indeed the appointment of Mick McCarthy as manager" then he is delluding himself and must take us all for idiots. There was NO investment in players over the summer - oh wait, yes there was, a youngster from Macclesfield who was cheap then Paul Taylor from Peterborough for an over inflated fee after we failed to get anyone else. Investment over the summer would have meant we brought in the majority of Jewell's targets - but we didn't. Mr Clegg - Back Mick in the next 2 transfer windows or leave. Simple as that because we're all fed up of your nonsense

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    Tom Conder

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • Your report is highly misleading. This farcical AGM was so insignificant that at most 100 of the 3790 shareholders bothered to attend. That is an insignificant number. Most of what was said is either misleading of frankly wrong. Most worrying of all were the lack of accounts (still with the auditors allegedly) and the blithe nonsense that the invisible man is 'still supportive of the club' when all the evidence suggests the exact opposite. At a time when Town have only half a team and are on the cusp of releasing yet more contracted players for nothing your report is little short of dreadful. Even worse is the absurd sight of Roger Finbow, one of the architects of Town's demise having the gall to be chairman. Over a decade since admin and five years since the club committed financial suicide - and STILL rotten apples remain.

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    Rob Steroo

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • Haha, Rob Steroo made a funny! I see what people are saying about the managers being given money - but that's not what i was meaning when I said they were backed. If I said I wanted Player X and the board say no you can't have him, nor players A-W but you can have anyone you like up to this amount - I would probably spend it just to get someone in to make up the numbers. I think that's what Jewell did. I'm STILL worried by Cleggs admission that they don't understand why things didn't work out with Jim, Keane or Jewell - when i bet any supported could give a whole number of reasons. It's hard to say what you really think on here though as it will get moderated (so much for freedom of speech!)

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    Tom Conder

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • At least when Major Soundbite says he is joined at the hip with Mick the Man it will look believeable even if it doesn't sound believeable

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    Rob Steroo

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • DEAR GOD JUST WHEN I THOUGHT CLEGG WAS DOING THE SENSIBLE THING AND KEEPING A LOW PROFILE...... HE GO AND SPOIL IT ALL BY OPENING HIS MOUTH AGAIN. LET'S HOPE IT DOSN'T RUB OF ANYWHERE..AND SPOIL THINGS. AND M.M.GETS THE BACKING HE NEEDS IN THE JANWINDOW. AT LEAST A DRAW AT LEED'S I WILL SETTLE FOR. KEEP GIVEING THAT 110% EACH GAME AND WE WILL BE ALL RIGHT.

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    User Removed

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • I think you need to look deeper. PJ said on sky sports at the weekend that they did try to strenghthen in the summer. For various reasons we couldnt. Mostly players going to other clubs the reasons for that are unclear but my suspicions lie at cleggys door. Magilton was given funds for players like Norris and Mcauly Keane was given cash to splash on Scotland, edwards, fulop leadbetter, martin and that hungarian who was so bad i seem to have forgotten his name PJ bought chops, jet, taylor, reo coker and was allowed higgingbottom, henderson, DJ, Murphy, et al on loan. Whilst they may not be on Ronaldo wages these players dont come cheap. Transfer Fees plus wages (Reo Coker must be on decent money) all add up. Even loans often involve a fee and a wages contribution. Prem playerd are on a decent whack. Now i do think PJ was given less to play with and that didnt help his cause but the point I make is we have gone after almost every player a manger has wanted in MEs time. I realise we didnt get an awfull lot of them but then having cleggy show you round cant be that inspireing. I think our squad is decent (or rather would be if those loans were perms) and after thowing money at keane perhaps it was felt that, that was not the answer. Im not saying its not but you can understand the logic after Keanes reign. Bottom line is I think MM will be backed and we will be fine I say we will see stady progress under him and players will be signed in Jan although we do all know I have been wrong before. What might help is a reduction in ticket prices. We are I belive 2nd most expensive in the Championship and that means Bolton. blackburn and leeds are possibly cheaper than we are. 50% of something is better than 0% of nothing and all that. A full house would surely help when you add all the sundries of pies, drinks, programmes etc purchased at the ground

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    TrueBlue

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • As has been stated gates have reduced. The figures quoted don't really tell the whole story. If truth be known Town have probably lost 6,000 fans over the last few seasons. I suggest a lot of this is not down to the current financial plight of many, but the simple lack of a decent side to watch. Maybe they are in a catch 22 situation where if they don't spend fans don't turn up, if they do spend there are no guarantees of success. But by stagnating things may get even worse. I still believe there are many who would return given the right product, including myself. I gave up being a "supporter" back in the mid 80's and by Son-in-Law stopped going about four seasons ago, both of us went to every home game but became fed up with what was dished up and stopped going. Maybe we were right, maybe wrong. Some would say that your not loyal if you don't go, but those that run the club will believe they are doing a perfectly good job if everyone turns up week in week out whatever rubbish is served to them. So speculate to accumulate.

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    whymarkmariner

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • Tom Conder, you have hit one nail right on the head about frequent moderation by EADT. It is difficult to assess an accurate cross section of opinions if 'our moderator' persists in manipulating people's comments !!!!!

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    Brian Betts

    Friday, December 14, 2012

  • He also emphasised how new Financial Fair Play rules – which will see Championship clubs punished for going beyond a £3million deviation of break-even next season – had to be considered. I wonder Powhatan that actually means? What punishment awaits, a slap on the wrist perhaps.

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    NB

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • Will somebody, perhaps even the eadt, help me understand Cleggs claim that ME is fully behind the club, as I am honestly of the opinion that during the reign of PJ the owners has taken twice as much out of the team as he had invested by selling players and allowing senion players to walk out of the club on free transfers just to get the wage bill down. On top of this the loan appears to have increased far more than the losses achieved over the ME reign whch to me suggests the investements claimed are just being added to the debt not paid for by the owner. If any contributor to the site feels I have got this wrong please help me out. I only hope that MM is as strong as he appears and does not put up with the nonsence re new signings and wages.

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    Cyril Baker

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • I made a similar comment about players going on a freebie but had it rejected by the moderator as 'inaccurate'. Makes you wonder who the moderator is...??

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    Captain Slog

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • Unfortunately it appears nothing has changed the purse strings are still tight as the last 2 managers found out. They had some good players down to PR, if the Press are correct, only for them to go to other clubs who pay more. Lets hope MM is as strong as his reputation, and sticks out to but one or two talented players instead of several loanees. The majority of journeymen loanees we have had over the last 4 years have been no better than the players we have let go on a free, just to have their bought players in the team.

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    old timer

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • @ old timer - what are you talking about. Keane especially had millions to play with and Jewell also had plenty of them to do a top 6 job. We have outspent pretty much every side in this division over the last 5 years. I'm totting up about £4 million per season on average on transfer fees alone. That doesn't include the agents fees, signing fees, loan fee's nor wages. Priskin, Leadbitter, Fulop, Edwards, Martin, Norris, Chopra are just a few and that's coming up to £10 million. Get a mind before jumpling on the band wagon.

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    redhotitfc

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • Challenging times definitely, but it appears that the club is investing in the future and with a manager who can inspire his team to win games and move away from the threat of relegation then the stage is set for a resurgence next season with a corresponding increase in attendance figures.

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    MOTT MIKE

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • My opinion, ME and Cleggie have done nothing for our club whilst MM in the short time he has been here has given supporters new hope for the future, Let's see what happens between now and the end of the season, injuries permitting.

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    JOHN BURLS

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

  • And I wonder who's responsible for these "challenging times".............

    Report this comment

    Mike Wyatt

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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