More anger over Town radio coverage

DISGRUNTLED football fans last night accused Ipswich Town of alienating supporters as the furore over radio coverage of the team continued.

Dave Gooderham

DISGRUNTLED football fans last night accused Ipswich Town of alienating supporters as the furore over radio coverage of the team continued.

Fed-up residents in the Sudbury area have become the latest to voice their concern at the club's link-up with SGR FM to provide commentary on all home games.

Many living in and around the town cannot afford tickets and are now faced with silence after the radio station, which won the contract from BBC Radio Suffolk, admitted there were some transmission problems in Sudbury.

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But Dan Thorpe, programme controller, said the problems, which he claimed only affected parts of the area, were being addressed and would be improved upon as soon as possible.

Sam Saer , who lives in Bures and has been supporting Ipswich since the 1950s, said: “I have listened to Radio Suffolk for the last few years. As I can't get to the games anymore, they were my contact with Ipswich Town.

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“The fact that I am now faced with silence is very disappointing and annoying. I have tried digital but that has made no difference so this needs to be sorted out.”

Stuart Letten , of Cavendish, near Sudbury, said: “Seeing every match is not an option as it is quite expensive so the radio is a lifeline. I don't understand why the club would make such a daft decision and alienate an awful lot of fans.”

The club last night denied the accusations of alienating fans, saying the decision to award home games to SGR was taken after an extensive tendering process.

Terry Baxter, director of communications, said: “Most of the details are commercially sensitive but the decision was taken on the basis of an entire package rather than just a financial package.

“We were aware that SGR needed to be able to broadcast to as many people in Suffolk as the BBC. Although some of the individuals might not be the same, we understand SGR has the ability to cover more people across the whole of the county.”

Mr Thorpe said: “We cannot change anything about the signal until we get regulatory approval and that is still pending. We have received emails from people in the Sudbury area saying they can hear the station crystal clear. But we are aware there are some issues in other parts and we are working hard to address them.”

The criticism comes just 24 hours after the EADT revealed that thousands of fans in north Suffolk had been blocked from following their team over the airwaves by arch rivals Norwich City who pulled the plug on a special digital link-up with a Norfolk station.

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