Ipswich Town wages soar by �3m

THE full extent of the multi-million pound investment into Ipswich Town Football Club by owner Marcus Evans is revealed today in new figures which show the soaring costs of players' wages.

THE full extent of the multi-million pound investment into Ipswich Town Football Club by owner Marcus Evans is revealed today in new figures which show the soaring costs of players' wages.

Last season, the costs of the playing and coaching staff at Portman Road rocketed by more than �3.5 million, from �8.3 million to �11.9 million.

The increased costs were due to an influx of high-profile players on big wages as multi-millionaire Evans invested heavily in his ambition to get Ipswich promoted to the Premier League. The team are currently bottom of the Championship table.

Overall, Ipswich Town lost �10 million in the year ending on June 30. While such a result would be disastrous for most businesses, it is relatively insignificant in the business empire of Evans, who is reputedly worth some �400 million.


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The big increase in costs came on the playing side, as former manager Jim Magilton and Evans invested in players in an unsuccessful bid for promotion.

These included Spanish defender Ivan Campo, who is no longer at the club, Ben Thatcher, goalkeeper Richard Wright, Kevin Lisbie, currently on loan at Colchester, Jon Stead, Luciano Civelli, and Gareth McAuley.

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The likes of David Norris and Alan Quinn also joined the playing staff in the months leading up to the previous summer, so their presence would have also added to the wage bill.

The new figures, released to shareholders, show an operating loss of �10.321m compared to the �4.295m loss from the previous 12 months.

Since last summer a further �7.2m has been spent on buying players, including Grant Leadbitter (�2.65m from Sunderland), Tamas Priskin (�1.7m from Watford), Carlos Edwards (�1.35m from Sunderland), Lee Martin (undisclosed fee from Manchester United), Colin Healy (undisclosed fee from Cork City), and Damien Delaney (down payment of �750,000 from QPR).

Roy Keane's appointment as manager to succeed the sacked Jim Magilton will also have added to the wage bill.

By contrast, just �900,000 has been received from the sale of players during this period.

Gate receipts were slightly up on last season, despite the drop in average League match attendance (from 21,932 to 20,864). This was due to an extended Carling Cup run and a profitable FA Cup fourth round match at Chelsea.

The Football League income was also down on last year, from �2.291m to �1.935m, because of the fewer TV home matches and also the lower solidarity award from the Premier League.

In the note to shareholders, the club says it “remains dependent on ongoing financing provided by the Marcus Evans Group”. It also makes an indirect reference to its financial woes of six years ago, when the club went into administration, leaving many local creditors out of pocket, saying: “The club recognises its unique position in the community and, bearing in mind its recent financial history, feels it should make fans aware of its financial position and the prudent measures under which the club's finances are managed.”

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