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Marcus Evans rescued Ipswich Town from a ‘big hole’ says Simon Clegg

14:58 19 December 2012

Marcus Evans has been in charge at Ipswich for five years

Marcus Evans has been in charge at Ipswich for five years

Archant

MARCUS Evans thought “throwing money” at Ipswich Town would all-but guarantee Premier League football.

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But the fact the reclusive businessman bought the Blues in the first place saved them from a “big hole” five years ago.

That is the viewpoint of Town chief executive Simon Clegg, the public face of the football club with Evans having no intention of moving away from his private persona.

Both in terms of how to run a football club and how you achieve success on the pitch, Evans has been on a steep learning curve with too many managers in his five years – Jim Magilton, Roy Keane and Paul Jewell at the helm.

But the appointment of Mick McCarthy has returned the feel-good factor around Portman Road and shown off Evans’ continued ability to attract big-name bosses.

Clegg said: “I think it was the case that he thought throwing money at the team would lead to Premier League football.

“For instance, Roy said he wanted this player, this is how much it is going to cost, Marcus gets the cheque book out and writes the figures.

“But he has learnt you can’t buy success. Obviously you need good players, we have to be competitive, but success is not totally linked with the amount of money you spend.”

After buying the club in December 2007, the closest Town have got to the Premier League was, ironically, under the manager Evans inherited – Jim Magilton leading Town to 8th and 9th. Keane’s only full season at Portman Road saw them finish 15th, while Jewell achieved only 13th and 15th.

Summing up the situation, Clegg said: “I don’t think you can put your finger on what has gone wrong. If you could put your finger on it, we would have got it right with Paul – and Jim and Roy before that.

“We have never put a timeframe (on promotion) as we didn’t want to box ourselves into a corner. But I continue to believe this will be a Premier League club in years to come.”

Evans’ buy-out was confirmed almost five years after Ipswich Town entered administration – a crucial move to prevent further financial problems, according to Clegg.

He explained: “One could speculate what would have happened had Marcus Evans not come in and bought the club when he did.

“Financially, the organisation was in a big hole, let’s be very clear about that.

“He has made a significant investment and backed his managers.”

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9 comments

  • Maybe, there were however others who would have done a better job.

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    Cyril Baker

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • I'm not sure who comes off worse from this "exclusive"; the EADT for publishing the same thing over and over again, Clegg for continuing to try and tell the fans that the club is in a better situation than it was when Evans bought it out, Ged Scott for being unable to actually muster any accurate facts to back up his Norwich fans view, or Steroo for constantly paddling out the same old gibberish every day.

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    Andrew Mehen

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • So Evans thought he'd get Ipswich to the Premiership ????? He also thought it would be a good idea to appoint Clegg as our CEO ???? Are these 2 thoughts not mutually exclusive ???

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    Old Timer

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • And promptly dropped Town in a financial black hole. Why persist with your laughable picture of a bloke playing golf you believe to be the invisible man? Town are one of two clubs in the football league whose ownership is in fact completely unknown. That is a known fact - your photo is merely inuendo,

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    Rob Steroo

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • Sorry Cleggie but you did put a time frame on promotion, why else all these promises of cheap season tickets "if we went up next year"?

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    JOHN BURLS

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • Evans may have saved town from oblivion but it takes more than just sitting back and throwing money around to get success. The managers evans have appointed are all journeymen no-hopers including the latest joker. The executive is only worried about money and has no knowledge of football. Loanees by the dozen are taken on its so bad fans never know who will be playing next. Town now have gone back to their roots of just being a small backwater bumpkin club.

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    ged scott

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • Well 'Cleggie' whilst ME was delving around in that 'big hole' he certainly scraped the bottom when recruiting some of his staff ( if the moderator will allow)

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    Brian Betts

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • So does the publishing of this photo mean that ME has come out? And if not, why has it not printed on this site before, despite everyone already knowing full well what he looked like?

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    RK, poet, bum or fool?

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • I can certainly put my finger on what has gone wrong, ; quite simply , you have sold the wrong players.

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    KEVIN FRANCIS

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

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