Town chief's share issue plea

IPSWICH Town chairman David Sheepshanks today issued a rallying cry in a bid to achieve their minimum share issue target of £1.25million.A letter asking supporters to generously subscribe in order to "firstly safeguard and then consolidate" the club's future will be sent to 18,000 people this morning.

By Derek Davis

IPSWICH Town chairman David Sheepshanks today issued a rallying cry in a bid to achieve their minimum share issue target of £1.25million.

A letter asking supporters to generously subscribe in order to "firstly safeguard and then consolidate" the club's future will be sent to 18,000 people this morning.

A minimum of £1.25m needs to be raised by January 19 or risk having to call off the share issue and refund all the money already sent back to investors.


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Last night the club declined to say how much had so far been raised or if the deadline for the share issue would be extended.

The club also has the right to lower the minimum amount sought but again would not be drawn on whether that would happen.

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The EADT understands a surge of applications was received at Portman Road this week and a further swell of investors would emerge next week.

It is accepted practice in share issues that the main bulk of big investors send cheques in the final days of the run up to the deadline in order to save on interest.

Mr Sheepshanks praised manager Joe Royle and the team for climbing away from the bottom of Division One to be among the play-off places in fifth spot but reiterated the importance of the share issue in enhancing the club's prospects for the future.

He said: "It is critical that we create as robust a financial platform as possible. The recapitalisation of the club is paramount. By the same token, I cannot emphasise enough that an unsuccessful share issue could seriously jeopardise our future."

Celebrity supporters such as John Motson, Charlie Simpson from pop band Busted, and world champion swimmer Karen Pickering have all backed the issue.

Ipswich Town players last night pledged their support and gave the clubs their cheques to buy shares.

Last season the Blues squad was asked to take pay deferrals in order to help the club survive and all were repaid in the summer.

Captain Jim Magilton believes the club's relationship with its players is unique in football.

He said: "The players are more than happy to take this step. This is a whole new experience for me but when you have been to this club for a while and you feel as much a part of it as I, and the other players do, then it is a natural step.

"The club have asked for our help and we are all pulling in the same direction so it is something we wanted to do.

"It will be nice for us, and for supporters to say we own a little piece of Ipswich Town Football Club.

"This is very much a football club for East Anglia and we all want to do what we can to help it."

The minimum investment that can be made is £200 but larger investments trigger a number of incentives.

Norwich City yesterday revealed at the club's AGM that they had made £1.2m from a second share issue, a year after raising almost £2.2m.

n If you are interested in obtaining a prospectus, you can call 01473 400595, or email ownabit@itfc.co.uk, or go to the Planet Blue shops in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds.

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