The most miserable few days in my 49 years as an Ipswich Town fan
PUBLISHED: 13:48 19 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:48 19 March 2017
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I have supported Ipswich Town since April 27, 1968, when I made my first visit to Portman Road to watch the Blues draw 2-2 with QPR. From that moment, I was well and truly hooked.
It has been a love affair lasting nearly half a century. The relationship has had its up and downs, but it has survived all those rocky periods.
I have to say, though, it has never been as bad as it is right now. I thought long and hard before writing that, but it is undeniably the case.
The last few days have been the most miserable in my 49 years of supporting Town.
First we had the slap in the face from the club on season tickets. What they think they’re playing at, putting up adult prices only they know.
Do they not understand how shaky the relationship between so many fans and the club has become? Do they not appreciate the unprecedented level of alienation large number of supporters are feeling right now?
It doesn’t even make sense financially. Using my schoolboy maths, I reckon if all 12,000 season ticket holders renewed at the new prices, the benefit to the club would be about £100,000. But if only 250 current season ticket holders shrug their shoulders and walk away, the gate revenue will be down, year on year. So nobody wins.
Then there’s the crisis on the pitch. In my 49 years, I’ve never experienced the serious threat of us being relegated to the old third division. But, let’s make no mistake, the alarm bells really are ringing now.
Be honest - do you fancy us in a relegation scrap? I certainly don’t.
Realistically, there’s one relegation place left, and seven clubs fighting to avoid it. Of those, we’re in the worst form, along with Zola’s Birmingham, who are next to come to Portman Road.
That’s the first of two squeaky-bum home games in the course of four days, the second one being Wigan.
I fear a horribly negative mix – a team lacking self-belief, and fans who are incredibly disenchanted with the club.
That’s far from the perfect recipe for a successful relegation battle.
What the club needs more than anything in the next ten days is to win back some goodwill. So, Mr. Evans and Mr. Milne, how about a re-think on the prices? If the Chancellor can do it, then so can you.
Go on – surprise me!