Ferguson rejects switch

ALAN Ferguson has decided the grass is not always greener elsewhere and has turned down a move to Wembley, writes Derek Davis.The multi-award winning Blues head groundsman rejected an offer to look after the pitch, at what is expected to be the world's best football stadium, to stay at Ipswich Town.

ALAN Ferguson has decided the grass is not always greener elsewhere and has turned down a move to Wembley, writes Derek Davis.

The multi-award winning Blues head groundsman rejected an offer to look after the pitch, at what is expected to be the world's best football stadium, to stay at Ipswich Town.

The 45-year-old Scot, who worked at his beloved Rangers' Ibrox before being tempted south, was head-hunted by Wembley chiefs.

After an initial meeting in Chelmsford six weeks ago and another more recently at Wembley, he chose not to accept their offer.


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Ferguson last night told the EADT: “I decided that the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side of the fence. I have never wanted to leave Ipswich but when what is going to be the top stadium in the world comes calling, you have to give them the courtesy of listening to what they had to say.

“I considered it carefully but I did not feel it was right. There are many operational things which have not been properly sorted out and also I have a great job at Ipswich, working with wonderful people.”

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Ferguson has scooped six national awards in nine seasons at Portman Road, one Premiership title, three Championship awards, and twice named the best in the country.

His playing surface and the outstanding standard of the training surfaces are one of the reasons players sign for the club and Ferguson's professional opinion is highly sought after throughout the world.

The mutual respect between Ferguson and the club was key in his decision to stay.

Ferguson said: “I have always been fully supported here. I have always been treated as a professional and with full respect.

“I enjoyed a great rapport with George Burley when he was here and now with Joe Royle.

“I'm fully consulted about all things to do with the pitches. I speak with many other groundsman and they tell me that doesn't happen everywhere.

“The other thing is, it may sound corny and I have found this quite amazing, is the way the supporters treat me. They come up to me in all sorts of places and praise the pitch and that is nice.

“My family all love it here and we have been treated very well and have been accepted into the area which is a lovely place to live and do your work.”

Ferguson and his ground staff have had their work cut out again this summer with two pop concerts on the main Portman Road pitch, but he is fully confident the surface will be tip-top by the tie his boyhood club Glasgow Rangers play in a friendly on June 19.

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