Cuts save £250k at Portman Road

IPSWICH Town have cut their annual wage bill by about £250,000 with a series of behind-the-scenes changes.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town have cut their annual wage bill by about £250,000 with a series of behind-the-scenes changes.

Four key members of staff have left Portman Road recently, along with chairman David Sheepshanks taking an unpaid, non-executive role as the Marcus Evans era really begins to take effect.

Wealthy businessman Evans has looked at every aspect of the club, and decisions are now being taken to bring Ipswich Town in line with his other successful companies.

A spokesman at Portman Road said: “The club is being run effectively and the changes that have been made reflect this. There is a budget for all things, but it will not affect efficiency.”

Evans, who has made no secret of his desire for the Blues to gain promotion to the Premier League as quickly as possible, is happy to bank roll manager Jim Magilton's promotion push towards the top flight.

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But there is no doubt that within the corridors of Portman Road and at the club's famed Academy, the effects of Evans' takeover are now being felt.

The most high profile decision has been Sheepshanks accepting the loss of his executive status and a salary that has been over the six figure mark.

However, he remains very much part of the club. He will be at games and continue to chair board and shareholder meetings.

He will not be the spokesperson he was - with chief executive Derek Bowden taking over that role. Sheepshanks will have time to pursue his other interests. With the chairman no longer using his office, his personal assistant has been made redundant.

Also leaving Portman Road recently have been finance director Anna Hughes, human resources manager Jo Shevlin, goalkeeping coach Andy Rhodes and academy assistant manager Steve Greaves.

Shevlin has left to start up her own freelance consultancy, while there is a train of thought that having a father and son at the same club is not ideal.

Rhodes' son Jordan is a highly-promising striker on the Blues' books, and Town defender Alex Bruce is one example of a player who has benefited from moving away from his father's influence.

The only on-field effects of recent changes have been at the Academy where some of the younger groups have been condensed. Like every other aspect of the club its effectiveness has been looked at and alterations have been made.

But against the current trend, the Ipswich Academy is still producing a succession of talented players, and Evans will ensure enough resources remain available to allow this to continue.

- KURT Robinson, who is now starting a one-year professional contract with Ipswich Town, received an award at the Otley College prize-giving ceremony.

The defender, who has graduated through the Blues Academy, received his accolade for 'exceeding expectations, commitment and motivation.”