Blues' form better before cash windfall

MONEY appears to be bringing more problems than solutions at Ipswich Town once more.Cold statistics show Town got better results when they were paupers before Marcus Evans' £18m investment.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

MONEY appears to be bringing more problems than solutions at Ipswich Town once more.

Cold statistics show Town got better results when they were paupers before Marcus Evans' £18m investment.

Ipswich Town's league record for this 2007-08 season: before the takeover P 22 W 10 D 5 L 7 PTS 35. Points per game 1.6.

Since the takeover P 15 W 4 D 6 L 5 PTS 18. Points per game 1.2.

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Evans paid around £6m to buy out the existing debt when he became the majority shareholder with 87.5 per cent and the £12m he paid for those shares was largely given Jim Magilton to bolster his squad.

That has yet to have tangible results, despite him bringing in five new players in the January window.

Back in 2000 when Ipswich won promotion to the Premier League they spent the first season using pretty much the same squad that had George Burley had assembled to them promoted and it worked a dream as Town finished fifth and qualified for the UEFA Cup.

The following season Town splashed the cash and the influx of foreign imports on mega-salaries upset the dressing room and relegation followed.

That had a catastrophic knock on effect with Burley being sacked and the Blues going into administration five months later.

The new money at Portman Road has not had that sort of disastrous result so far and Town are still just one set of good results this weekend from moving up to fifth place.

It is clear that it will time for the new money to bring its benefits, as it will for the signings to bed in.

Apart from Macedonian Velice Sumulikoski, all are English and the wage structure has not been blown apart to accommodate them.

Although David Norris scored the equaliser at Southampton, Town fans are not convinced he is comfortable on the right side of midfield and worth the £2m plus that Magilton paid Plymouth.

Alan Quinn has on the whole impressed on the left side, although being right-footed not his natural position, and injuries have tempered his influence.

Stephen Bywater, the on-loan keeper from derby that Ipswich have agreed a price for to make the move permanent in the summer, has had a shaky start and it could be that his back-up Nick Colgan will get his chance to show Town fans what he is all about sooner rather than later.

The loss of Neil Alexander to SPL giants Rangers has not helped the frail Blues defence that has been in need to reinforcing for a long time now.

His deputy Shane Supple was allowed to go on loan to Falkirk but even though he has not played, the young Irishman can not be recalled as he is playing 'across border'.

Magilton's failure to land a defender, either centre-half or left back, has been baffling and possibly costly, for a side that has failed to win its past four matches and conceded seven goals.

Cover up front has also been a long-time requirement and losing out on David Nugent was a set back, but can't be the reason why Ipswich's form of late has looked so fragile.

Why Ipswich should be, results wise at least, worse off than they were before Evans' investment is debatable.

Certainly expectations have risen as Town's good first half of the season was coupled with the ability to go out and spend, spend, spend.

Perhaps that weight of expectation has had an effect on the manager, although he has been reassured by the board that his job is safe.

Victory at home against Charlton on Saturday, in what is genuine six-pointer as the Addicks can go six points clear if they win, would see Town's average under Evans improve, while pushing them level on points but ahead of Alan Pardew's side on goals scored, or even goal difference if they win by two clear goals.

While it is still early days and Magilton will be given next season to get Town promoted if they don't go up this time round, it would be a footballing tragedy if Town's good fortune were to turn out to be their undoing once again.

Anna Hughes has quit her position as finance director at Ipswich Town.

Hughes leaves Portman Road after four years following the take over by Marcus Evans feeling her job has been substantially completed.