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Failure to sell costs Town

PUBLISHED: 08:00 11 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:17 24 February 2010

THE failure to sell another player of significant value has cost Ipswich Town dear but the players have been reassured that their contracts are secure.

THE failure to sell another player of significant value has cost Ipswich Town dear but the players have been reassured that their contracts are secure.

Nick Dargan, who was part of the Deloitte & Touche team which handled the Leicester City administration, last night confirmed: "The players and anyone associated with the playing side of the football club have to be paid for the continuation of the business. So it is fully expected that all the players will continue to be paid.

"This is a very good football team, close to the play-off paces and we have a lot to work with."

The cost of relegation, along with the collapse of ITV Digital meant the shortfall was in the region of £15m. That was partially offset with the parachute money and the sales of Titus Bramble to Newcastle United and Marcus Stewart to Sunderland but still left them needing to offload another couple of players.

Bizarrely enough, the loyalty of Matt Holland and Hermann Hreidarsson, who declined moves to Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion respectively, worked against the club in a financial sense.

Although both have been instrumental in pushing the side to the verge of a play-off place, their staying meant Town needed to sell at least two players in the January window.

Jamie Clapham moved to Birmingham City for an initial £1.3m but the failure to sell another £2m-plus player forced yesterday's move.

While the hive of activity off the field will overshadow Town's promotion push briefly, manager Joe Royle and the players are determined to carry on with business as usual on the pitch.

Royle said: "The players were a bit perturbed by this when I spoke to them but we have seen Leicester City come through worse and it has not affected them performing well on the pitch.

"Having a few extra days' gap before we play will help things settle down but equally it has made the players even more determined to win promotion.

"The best way out of this situation is by getting to the Premiership and it is down to us as a squad to do that."

Blues skipper Matt Holland, in Scotland preparing for the Republic of Ireland's friendly on Wednesday, has felt the financial bite before when he was captain at beleaguered Bournemouth.

He said: "It was probably worse there because we had no idea when or if we were ever going to be paid.

"We could all have walked away but we didn't, we stuck together and it made us stronger for it.

"The team spirit here at Ipswich is already strong and is not in question.

"The players and supporters have to pull even closer together and ignore what is going on in the business side of things and concentrate on the football side and winning games.

"We are two points off the play-off places and we know we can achieve promotion."

Chairman David Sheepshanks has every faith the team can provide the ultimate solution.

He said: "The only positive point for us concerning the transfer deadline on January 31 is that we know that the dressing room and the squad are together and united for the remainder of the season.

"We have one of the strongest and probably the most talented squads in the division, with a very successful Academy beneath it, and we must make all this count where it matters most, on the field of play.

"Joe Royle's leadership has now restored the spirit to the squad and in him we have a man capable of leading us back to the Premiership be it this season or beyond.

"Our plans for recovery are not formulated on a miracle cure and in the event that we do remain in Division One we must ensure a sound financial footing and stability in this division, which irrespective of this move today, will necessitate further reductions in our wage bill in order to balance income and costs.

"Nevertheless a concerted push for the play-offs and promotion does now look possible, even this season, and clearly this would be the ultimate solution to our plight."


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