Defeat for representative plans

A PROPOSAL to elect a supporters' representative on to the Ipswich Town board was heavily defeated at the club's AGM last night, writes Derek Davis.Supporters who spoke for the proposal claimed they were not against the current board but felt they would work better if there was a representative voted for by fans.

A PROPOSAL to elect a supporters' representative on to the Ipswich Town board was heavily defeated at the club's AGM last night, writes Derek Davis.

Supporters who spoke for the proposal claimed they were not against the current board but felt they would work better if there was a representative voted for by fans.

They also felt it was a "constructive and progressive" move.

Those against saw no need for a supporters' representative as eight directors had already been elected on to the board and there was no need for any more. They suggested it would create a club within a club, would be divisive and could not see what would be achieved by someone who was put forward by supporters.


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The motion was defeated with 82 voting for and 220 against.

Ipswich Town chairman David Sheepshanks: "I hope our support will remain united. As a board of directors it is our job to stay in tune with supporters' views. We have to recognise that strong views have been expressed both for and against. The shareholders have decided but we will carry on listening to all supporters."

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The current board were all overwhelmingly supported for re-election, with very few having any votes cast against them.

Eight people from the 450 in attendance voted against David Sheepshanks being re-elected on to the board, while half-a-dozen shareholders raised their hands against John Kerr and Richard Moore and a dozen people opposed Philip Hope-Cobbold.

A resolution for the renewal of authority to issue loan notes or to convert loan notes to shares was passed. It was made clear that no single shareholder could own 15 per cent of shares in the club without a vote by all shareholders.

Sheepshanks said: "Whether we have another share issue is a matter that is being kept under careful review, and on which we will continue to take soundings from supporters for their appetite. If we were to undertake a share issue, then it would be on the basis that all proceeds were solely for investments in strengthening the squad."

An impromptu show of hands, totally non-committal but just to get a general feel for support, suggested a large majority were in favour of a second share issue.

A question asking how much the Academy players had made the club was answered that it enabled Town to be at the top end of the Championship, which was a position the club could not otherwise have afforded.

They had also yielded more than £20m in transfer fees which was invaluable in saving the club.

Town manager Joe Royle dismissed the notion that Town would automatically come down should they win promotion next May.

He said: "If you go up thinking you will be a yo-yo club then you will be. We can look at Bolton Wanderers as a role model, who have brought in experienced players and have progressed year on year. So it can be done."

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