Town's £355million fan revealed

EXCLUSIVEBy Derek DavisChief Football WriterIPSWICH Town's leading individual investor can be revealed today as Michael Spencer, who has a personal fortune of £355million.

EXCLUSIVE

By Derek Davis

Chief Football Writer

IPSWICH Town's leading individual investor can be revealed today as Michael Spencer, who has a personal fortune of £355million.


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Mr Spencer bought 10,000 shares in the Portman Road club for £200,000 in the recent public issue, but has since declined a place on the Blues board.

Ipswich Town chairman David Sheepshanks is a long-time friend of

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Oxford-educated Mr Spencer - who founded Icap, the world's largest money-broker, and is placed 122nd in the Sunday Times Rich List.

Although the former City trader's fortune is an estimated 15 times that of Norwich City benefactor Delia Smith, Town fans who are hoping the club have unearthed a sugar-daddy waiting in the wings for a takeover will be disappointed.

Despite having enough wealth to buy the club, Mr Spencer has shown no inclination to be more involved than being a long-distance supporter.

He will occasionally attend an Ipswich Town game in between trips abroad on business and is unlikely to be at the crucial league game against Cardiff City on Sunday.

Mr Spencer, who lives with his wife Lorraine and three children, has a home near Woodbridge and in Holland Park, west London.

He bought the shares in Town as a gesture of support to Mr Sheepshanks, the board and the club, but his time as a chief executive of Icap, earning an annual salary of £3.7m, means he cannot devote enough time as a Blues director.

His £200,000 investment entitles Mr Spencer to the title of associate director, priority seat allocation and ticket allocation for play-off matches, among other benefits.

Mr Sheepshanks was staying coy last night about the club's leading investor, saying: “Individual investments are a private matter.”

Mr Spencer's name was printed along with more than 2,000 other shareholders in the Ipswich Town programme for the Millwall match and the amount every individual invested will be made available on records in Companies House in June.

Sir Elton John is among Mr Spencer's known close friends, although it is not believed he played any part in getting the superstar to play a concert at Portman Road next month.

Although Mr Spencer - who will be 49 on May 30 - has never shown an inclination to get into football, he is a sports fan and entertained clients at the Rugby World Cup in Australia.

He is also keen on politics, is a Euro-sceptic and once considered becoming a Conservative MP.

Ipswich Town has been successful in recruiting new members to the board in the past year, with Kevin Beeston, chief executive of Serco Group, and Holly Bellingham, chairman of Marketform, joining the Blues.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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