Decade of Evans: A mutual appreciation – Mick McCarthy on his working relationship with Marcus

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans. Photo: Pagepix

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans. Photo: Pagepix - Credit: Warren Page

Monday marks the 10th anniversary of Marcus Evans completing his takeover of Ipswich Town Football Club. Blues manager Mick McCarthy has today spoken openly about his working relationship with the owner.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy has been in charge for five years. Photo: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy has been in charge for five years. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Q: Monday marks the 10th anniversary of Marcus Evans taking over Ipswich Town. What is he like to work for?

A: “Marcus has been great to work for. Everybody assumes or tries to put something at me that I should, in some way, be frustrated or annoyed or not quite as content as happy as I have been over five years because there has not been that much budget in terms of players.

“I knew the parameters when I took the job and I’ve always accepted that if you take a job you do the best you can with what is available to you, not take the job and then whinge and kick and scream and throw your toys out the pram.

“I’ve done my best and I’m happy with what I’ve done and I’m happy with the support he’s given me.


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“There’s been an understanding and a morale support. Marcus understands that we haven’t got a budget like Middlesbrough have, for example, with them having £35million of centre forwards. We don’t do that.

“He understands and appreciates that I’ve done a good job with how we do it.”

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Q: There’s a mutual appreciation there, by the sound of things?

A: “That cuts both ways. So many people have said to me ‘if only he sticks some money in’. He sticks five, six million quid a year in – every single year.

“He’s put a hundred million in if the figures we hear are right. Wow, that’s a big chunk of dough.

“It might not please everybody, it might not appease everybody and make everybody happy – I’m sure it doesn’t make him happy sticking five or six million quid in every year either – but he’s always there, always supportive, always enthusiastic about wanting to do better.

“We continue to strive to try and do that.”

Q: When you look at other owners at other clubs, who have hired and fired managers, does it make you appreciate the stability and consistency here?

“When there’s a big furore and people are saying I should go, I don’t know what they think he’s going to replace me with?

“He’s not going to replace me with somebody and give them 20 million quid to spend, he’d replace me with somebody else who’d have the same parameters, same budget, same players.

“Well, if that’s the case then he understands I’m doing a good job and appreciates that. And I understand that he’s not coming banging my door down and saying ‘hey, by the way, we have to be finishing in the top two’ – because that would be unrealistic.

“We still try to get into that top six and try to get promoted. The lads I’ve got are brilliant.”

Q: Marcus was obviously looking for a quick promotion when he first took over. Does he strike as being just as committed as he’s ever?

A: “He is, yeah. I guess he’s not as committed to wasting money because fundamentally that’s what happened.

“I come in here and I release three players who cost a whole chunk of money and didn’t really do a great deal for the club, certainly while I was here.

“Hey, I’ve wasted a bit of money on free transfers and all, ones who have not been particularly good, but that’s what you get. If you go out and spend big - and I think it was big at the time on one or two of the transfers. He really supported the two managers prior to me in terms of money and funds.

“He’s just not going to do that again. Not to my knowledge. And I fully understand that.

“But, he continues to support and grow the academy. We’ve got players coming through now and he continues to try to get to Category One.

“In terms of his support and commitment to the club in general it has been 100%. And his desire still to get promoted is. Just because somebody isn’t throwing hundreds of millions at it, that doesn’t mean to say the desire is not there.”

Q: Promotion would be more realistic with more money spent though wouldn’t it? Do you not say to him ‘another couple of million here or a couple of million there’ could make us more likely to make the play-offs?

A: “No, because a couple of million here and couple of million there could work, or it might not.

“Just check where a few of them are who have spent a chunk of money. A few of them are beneath us and might end up beneath us.

“It just isn’t an exact science is it? It’s not as simple as saying ‘let’s keep throwing money at it’.

“Let’s throw some good (money) after bad (money) and keep doing that shall we?”

Q: You would feel you’d spend the money better than the previous managers did, wouldn’t you?

A: “I’d like to think I would spend it wisely, and well, and get value for money. I think wherever I’ve been I’ve done that – I’ve had to because no-one has ever said ‘here’s a shed load, get on with it’!

“I get a lot of pleasure out of the fact that most of my dealings in the transfer market are considered. We’ve had pretty good success.”

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