Clegg: Why Marcus is so important to Town

On the eve of the third anniversary of Marcus Evans buying Ipswich Town, chief executive Simon Clegg tells us why he’s been so important to the Blues.

It’s almost impossible to compete in football now and have ambitions of being successful without a financial backer.

One look at the accounts of this club shows the reliance of having someone like Marcus to pay the bills.

Ipswich Town was losing money every year before Marcus got involved and that would have meant the club would have had to trade its only assets just to stay above water and in football that means selling players – and even that might not have been enough to satisfy the banks because you can never guarantee that you are going to produce a couple of �1million players every season.

I don’t think there is a club in the Championship that isn’t losing money and it’s only a question of time before the next one slips into administration or worse. Look at Crystal Palace and how they almost went under earlier this year. Plymouth, just relegated, their future hanging by a thread.

Granted, the current position in the table might be no different to when Marcus took over three years ago but, as a club and, looking at the bigger picture, I believe it has moved forward and we have our first cup semi-final appearance for 10 years, with our Carling Cup fixtures against Arsenal, to look forward to!

Over �10m has been spent on players in the last 18 months or so and maybe another �10m before I came in, not to mention the facelift that the training ground has undergone – and rightly needed.

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Someone told me that you have to be mad to invest in a football club and I can see why they say that – not that I’m suggesting Marcus is mad, of course! He has spent a lot of money, time and effort in the time I have been here and I’m sure it was the same for the year or so before on strengthening this football club and I know he is absolutely determined to see the job through while at the same time continuing the club’s commitment to the local community, something illustrated by the ongoing support of the ITFC Charitable Trust and other initiatives such as the support of the Iceni Project.

I know there are some fans out there who take exception to the fact that Marcus prefers to stay in the background but I respect him for that.

There can’t be many owners in the game who don’t seek the publicity that goes with running a football club but Marcus is a very private man and I think that should be and for the most part is, respected by our supporters.

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