Bargain hunt for Paul Jewell at Ipswich Town

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell has warned supporters not to expect a summer spending spree.

As it stands, the Blues are set to start the 2012/13 campaign with just 19 professional players in their squad – six of whom failed to make at least four starts this season.

Jewell has already stated that he’d like to sign at least six players: a goalkeeper, two centre-backs, midfielder, striker and utility player capable of covering the full-back positions.

However, despite owner Marcus Evans seemingly being unaffected by the global economic downturn – his wealth said to have not dropped from last year’s �625m estimate in last week’s Sunday Times Rich List – Jewell insists he will not be splashing the cash.

Especially as the Football League will impose new ‘Financial Fair Play’ rules at the start of next season, with clubs now set to face sanctions if they do not cut their losses to an acceptable level over time.

“We are looking for bargains,” said the Blues boss, who has spent just under �2m in transfer fees since the �8.1m sale of teen striker Connor Wickham to Sunderland last summer, picking up the likes of Ryan Stevenson and Andy Drury for �50,000 and �150,000 respectively.

“There definitely won’t be any three million pound signings,” said Jewell. “If I went to Marcus and said a player of that price would make the difference I am sure he would back me, but there won’t be too many big-money moves in the Championship. Not when I hear there are 13 clubs in this league on the brink of administration.”

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He continued: “I want people to come here because they want to play for Ipswich, because they are excited to be here.

“I am not na�ve, I know players won’t come here for nothing. I remember an agent rang me up last year and said his lad just wanted to play. I joked that he could come play for nothing then suddenly that ‘nothing’ became a �24,000-a-week request.

“We are a great football club with great facilities and this is a great place to live. All these factors add up, but the bottom line is people will normally go where they get paid the most.

“That won’t be Ipswich so we will have to work harder to convince them that we will pay them when success arrives, not just for continued mediocrity.”