Can Ipswich afford the compensation?

COMPENSATION could be a stumbling block in Ipswich Town's bid to secure either Tony Mowbray or Phil Parkinson as their new manager.The Blues had not asked permission from Hibs chairman Rod Petrie or U's supreme Peter Heard last night to speak to their respective managers, although the EADT understands David Sheepshanks has been made aware of the sort of sums needed if they were to land either Mowbray or Parkinson.

By Derek Davis

COMPENSATION could be a stumbling block in Ipswich Town's bid to secure either Tony Mowbray or Phil Parkinson as their new manager.

The Blues had not asked permission from Hibs chairman Rod Petrie or U's supreme Peter Heard last night to speak to their respective managers, although the EADT understands David Sheepshanks has been made aware of the sort of sums needed if they were to land either Mowbray or Parkinson.

The feeling of people close to the Edinburgh club is that Hibs would not allow Mowbray to be part of a long list of interviewees. They would only let him talk to Town if he was the definite choice and if Mowbray wanted the job.


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Petrie would not say whether he would grant permission, if sought, but was bullish about keeping the popular and relatively-successful Mowbray, who still has two years on his Easter Road contract.

Petrie said: “We have a manager who has done a great job with us in his first two years.

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“We have a lot of plans we are working on for the future of the club and we are happily getting on with them

“We are looking forward to next season and Tony is laying the foundations for it, starting on July 1 with the InterToto Cup.”

Seeking permission to speak to Parkinson is also a delicate business for Ipswich, who ended up losing a £150,000-plus costs compensation battle when they took George Burley from Layer Road more than 10 years ago.

It is understood Parkinson also has two years left on his Layer Road contract and again, it is unlikely Town will now seek to speak to him until they have exhausted other candidates from the interview process.

The Blues still have to pay compensation to Joe Royle, who left the club by mutual consent last week, and that could be in the region of £250,000, so finding another £300,000-plus to land Mowbray and his assistant Mark Venus would make a dent in the budget for the playing staff.

Town chief executive Derek Bowden has said interviews will start this week after he and chairman David Sheepshanks sifted through almost 40 serious applications.

Former Ipswich Town and England skipper Terry Butcher is definitely out of the running now after signing a two-year deal with Australian A league side Sydney FC.

Butcher, who will take over after July 10 following television commitments at the World Cup, said: “It is a wonderful opportunity for me to continue my coaching career. I had four wonderful years at Motherwell and I leave Scotland with good memories, but football in Australia is taking giant leaps forward and I am looking forward to being a part of it.

“I have seen the club's facilities and they are top class, the squad is very talented and I have been impressed by the ambition of the club.”

The 47-year-old helped steer Motherwell from administration to the 2005 CIS Cup final.

Sydney FC chairman Walter Bugno said: “Terry is a first-class candidate and we know Sydney FC is in good hands with him at the helm.”

Scotland Under-21 boss Maurice Malpass has been announced as Butcher's successor at Motherwell.

The new Ipswich manager will get a good opportunity to get to know his players in July when they travel to Belgium and Holland for a six-day pre-season tour.

Ipswich Town last night confirmed that the Blues would play two games in Belgium and one in Holland, as revealed in the EADT last week.

Town fly to Antwerp on July 16, playing Martijn Reuser's old club Willem II in Tilburg, Holland, on July 17.

They return to Belgium for games against Division One sides Zulte-Waregem on July 19 and St Truiden on July 21.

Zulte-Waregem won the Belgian Cup last Saturday with a 2-1 win over Moeskren and finished seventh last season in their first year after promotion. Town fly back on July 22.

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