'If we didn't get out of League One next year it would be a disappointment' - Co-owner Bakay outlines his vision

Berke Bakay

New Ipswich Town owner Berke Bakay was a guest on a special edition of the Kings of Anglia podcast - Credit: Archant

Berke Bakay says he and his co-owners are 'dreaming big' for Ipswich Town.

The Turkish-born, American-based businessman, along with good friends Brett Johnson and Mark Detmer, are looking to translate their success story at Phoenix Rising to Portman Road following Gamechanger 20 Ltd's recent £40m purchase of the club.

Bakay's passion for and knowledge of football shines through as he talks about life growing up as a Galatasaray fan. And his energy is infectious as he discusses his vision for the Blues.

Asked where they were looking to take the club, he said: "First and foremost, it’s always easier said than done. Let me start with that.

"I already feel the responsibility and the pressure – some of it coming from fans, some of it my own making – on the disconnect between the 142 year history, of the UEFA Cup, of an unbeaten home record in European games, to winning the FA Cup, all the way to winning the league... I mean how can you be a mid-table League One club?  

Berke Bakay (right) celebrates like a fan at Phoenix Rising. Photo: Contributed

Berke Bakay (right) celebrates with Didier Drogba at Phoenix Rising. Photo: Contributed - Credit: Contributed

"The first and most important thing in my head, that is constantly bothering me, is that I want to get out of League One. Let’s get ourselves to the Championship first.  

"I am listening to some podcasts and reading in the press that there are some fans talking about ‘in three years we’re going to be in the EPL’. I don’t think that’s a realistic goal.

Most Read

"But is that part of our goal and vision? One hundred per cent.  

"I will ask our fans to be a bit more patient on going to that next level, because the Championship is an incredibly difficult place.

"So I think we need to stay humble, we need to understand what we are dealing with, but we need to increase the resources just to get to that goal.  

Ipswich Town's new co-owners Mark Detmer, Berke Bakay and Brett Johnson. Photo: Contributed

Ipswich Town's new co-owners Mark Detmer, Berke Bakay and Brett Johnson. Photo: Contributed - Credit: Contributed

"I have other dreams beyond that once we get to the EPL, but we’ll talk about that later! "

He added: "I’m a dreamer. I’m a positive person, I’m an optimist, I like to dream big.  

"You have to have the vision, but also you need to have the humility. You can’t just say ‘we’re the best, we’re going to do this, it’s easy’. You have to be respectful of the process. It is much more difficult than what people think it is.  

"But I'm uncomfortable with us being a mid-table League One club and, with utmost respect to this league, I will continue to be extremely uncomfortable with us being in it.  

"Let me put it this way. I'm just speaking for myself here, but if we didn't get out of League One next year it would be a disappointment for me, without a doubt."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus