Ipswich Town chairman Mike O’Leary has said that the ‘significant investment’ from Bright Path Sports Partners will help fund the club for up to five years.

The US-based private equity firm bought a 40% share of the club for £105 million last week, joining majority shareholders ORG as the primary investors.

The money will be used to fund a variety of different projects, including a new multi-million pound training facility, and O’Leary is confident that it’ll help the Blues to continue their progression as they eye up a place in the Premier League.

East Anglian Daily Times: Mike O'Leary and Town boss Kieran McKenna are plotting a route to the Premier LeagueMike O'Leary and Town boss Kieran McKenna are plotting a route to the Premier League (Image: Steve Waller)
“If you remember three years ago when we started on this road, we said then that we had a plan and a budget that would take us from where we started in League One hopefully to the Championship at some point, and eventually to be knocking on the door of the Premier League,” he told Town TV.

“That’s where we always felt this club needed to be and should be, and this is the next step in that. We started with a budget that was really aimed at getting us out of League One, and that was always going to change once we started to need to put pieces in place to get us ready to have a real good go at getting into the Premier League.

“You’ve already seen some of that - you’ve seen that with the new pitch – but there are lots of other things, and they don’t come for nothing. We have to invest to be able to do those things, and getting investment into a business like this takes a little while, you don’t just do it overnight.

“This has been a long-term plan that we’ve been working on for quite a while, but it’s great to be able to announce that we’ve succeeding in achieving it, and we now have the resource available to take us forward over the next few years – probably up to five years, actually.

East Anglian Daily Times: O'Leary confirmed that the club's value has massively increased since 2021O'Leary confirmed that the club's value has massively increased since 2021 (Image: PAGEPIX LTD 07976935738)

“That’ll help us both on the pitch and off, and overall I think it’s safe to say that we’re in a very strong position.”

One interesting factor in the investment is the fact that Bright Path Sports needed to put in more than £100 million to acquire a minority stake in the club. That’s a big difference compared to when Gamechanger 20 spent around £40 million in their takeover of the club from Marcus Evans back in 2021.

With that in mind, the value has seemingly risen to around £260 million, which is remarkable when thinking that Town were playing third-tier football as recently as last season. O’Leary believes that it’ll continue to climb in the coming months and years, especially given the amount of revenue coming in from supporters and corporate clients.

East Anglian Daily Times: Ipswich Town are flying highIpswich Town are flying high (Image: Ross Halls)
“It’s a lot of money, and I’m very pleased to say that it’s a valuation that’s climbing,” he explained. “There are lots of things driving that. You’ll know full well that we’re selling out the stadium every week, whereas three years ago we weren’t. We’re selling replica shirts to large numbers of people, we’re doing very well commercially and our hospitality revenues are climbing too.

“All of those things mean that revenue is going up. When revenue goes up, the club is worth more than it was before.

“I won’t bore you with the arithmetic of it, but suffice to say that it’s really good news, not least the fact that we’ve gone up a league and are knocking on the door of going up another league. That also drives valuation to a higher level.

“All of that is great news. It means that our investors are happy that their investments are worth more than they were, and we as a club are doing well.

“I think it’s all pretty good news.”