Beating the clubs with money will only make our success all the more sweeter, says Ipswich Town managing director Ian Milne

Ipswich Town managing director Ian Milne

Ipswich Town managing director Ian Milne - Credit: Archant

Achieving promotion from the Championship is only going to get harder and harder for Ipswich Town – but managing director Ian Milne still believes it’s a case of ‘when, not if’ the Blues return to the Premier League.

The Suffolk club will be at a distinct financial disadvantage to many of their competitors as they enter their 13th successive campaign in English football’s second tier. While most are cutting their cloth to fall in line with new Financial Fair Play rules, others are benefiting from huge four-year parachute payment plans which fall outside of the aforementioned restrictions.

However, Milne sees similarities with the way manager Mick McCarthy – twice promoted from this league – is forming a spirited, balanced and settled squad with the way Sean Dyche led a relatively low budget and unfancied Burnley to promotion last season.

“Let’s be realistic here, this season – more so than ever – it’s going to be hard for clubs like us to go up,” he said.

“The three clubs who have just come down (Norwich, Fulham and Cardiff) ended up getting £26million each. They have to be heavy favourites to straight back up because they’ve got that financial advantage.

“It’s not absolutely certain though. And I’m convinced that a good manager with a spirited and balanced squad can beat the ones with money. I honestly do believe that.

“Burnley are a great example with what they did last season. Their model is very, very good and I see similarities with what we’re doing. The financial gap is getting bigger, but it would make success all the more sweeter.”

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He continued: “There will become a split and that’s already starting to happen. At this moment in time though, certainly for this season and hopefully the one after that, there is an opportunity for clubs like ours.

“I’m not saying it’s going to become impossible after that, but it’s certainly going to get harder and harder. This season, with our feet firmly on the ground, we are confident that we have a good chance of going up.

“Last season certainly wasn’t a case of ‘oh well, we finished ninth, we’ll just hang around that area now’. We’re ambitious to improve again.

“I do feel like it’s a case of when, not if, we go up – absolutely. I feel good in saying that because if you don’t have that belief then what’s the point? And anyway, that belief has good foundation I think. We all started getting that feeling of ‘we can do this’ last season.”

“We’re not cocky, but we’re going to feel very confident and competent going into next season.”

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