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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

Mick McCarthy looks most unhappy at Cardiff on Saturday

Mick McCarthy looks most unhappy at Cardiff on Saturday

Pagepix Ltd 07976 935738

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!

5 comments

  • @Pete James suggest you look up the definition of freehold.

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    Dalesman

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • @Dalesman. The council don't "own the ground"; they just have the freehold on the land it sits on. Otherwise, why do we always have a decade on penury after rebuilding a stand (see after Bobby Robson left and the subsequent financial situation after the Pioneer stand).

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    Pete James

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • I have said before the future of ITFC looks poor, the current owner downwards appear to have lost the will to fix things, whatever the answers are, sack the manager one option, they certainly won't sack players. ITFC have the massive problem that they don't own the ground , the council does, so no rich person will think of owning a football club that does not own the very thing that is central to the club. Some might say we have a rich owner, correct but did he buy the club for purely football reasons? Who knows.

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    Dalesman

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • 100% agree pundit ...... the only way our club will go forward is to not re-new season tickets ........

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    Julian Hughes

    Monday, March 20, 2017

  • Deluded twaddle from a deluded Touts supporter. I started supporting Town before you and there was plenty more misery in times past. How about the shame of insolvency? How about the disgrace of selling out to offshore chancers? How about advertising spivs on the shirt? How about the self destruction of the Burley Sheepshanks era? How about refusing to compete in cups? How about fielding a team of rented rejects? How about having Lee Bowyer, Ben Thatcher and Roy Keane representing a club that used to stand for decency? Worst of all how about people like you who insist on financing the destruction of the club?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Pundit

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

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Ipswich Town fan and football reporter WILL RIDGARD gives his view on the controversy surrounding the increase in season ticket prices at Portman Road...

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