Evans breaks cover to reveal while he appointed Keane - and Jewell
IPSWICH Town owner Marcus Evans has broken cover in his quest to bring success to Portman Road.
The reclusive billionaire came into the open when he requested a meeting with former player and now media pundit James Scowcroft.
They had a frank exchange of views that lasted for an hour and a half in a location just outside Ipswich.
Evans gave his reasons for appointing Roy Keane and Paul Jewell as managers, and Scowcroft came away from their conversation believing that Evans was the right man to be leading a club that he joined as a player straight from school.
But he believes a day will come when Evans will want to sell – and at a profit.
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“I told him that I did not believe that having the club controlled by one man was a good thing,” said Scowcroft.
“I stuck to my guns, but appreciate that Ipswich are lucky to have an English owner who is prepared to put money in – not take it out.
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“He asked my opinion on a number of matters, and the lasting impression I had was of a successful businessman who is driven and desperate to gain success.
“He will not give up until this has been achieved, and he has bought into the club wanting to maintain high standards and traditions with the academy and being part of community a major part in this.”
Scowcroft, who is playing for Bury Town in the Ryman League Premier League, received a call while the club was at a low ebb following the departure of Roy Keane and growing disenchantment among supporters.
The call came with Scowcroft earning a reputation as a forthright pundit while covering Blues games beside commentator Brenner Woolley for BBC Radio Suffolk.
“I made my dislike for a one-man ownership known,” added Scowcroft, who helped Ipswich gain promotion to the Premier League in1999/00.
“But if that is the case then Marcus Evans is a as good as you are going to find.
“He spent the first 20 minutes or so explaining to me his background and about himself and what he wants to do for the club.
“For my part I explained that I was a Suffolk boy who had been a season ticket holder and then been lucky enough to play for the club.
“I look at Manchester United and Liverpool as examples of what is wrong with club ownership with some clubs being mortgaged up to the hilt.
“But Marcus Evans came across as a lover of sport and football and a lover of Ipswich Town.
“He is in it for the right reasons.
“There is no denying his desire to get into the Premier League.
“I’m sure one day he will sell, and with a return for his money.”
Scowcroft said that Evans revealed why he wanted to remain in the background sitting away from the glare of the cameras at games and never being quoted.
“He said that is a private person and doesn’t want the spotlight or to see his name in the papers.
“Being held up by the media before being shot down by them is not what he wants to be associated with.
“Meeting me shows he cares and hopefully as a local lad and former player I was able to pass on something of benefit.”
And explaining why Keane was appointed, Scowcroft said that Evans had told him: “Failing to get to the Championship play-offs was not hurting enough. He wanted someone who would ensure that it would be felt.
“And on bringing in Paul Jewell he said that the manager’s failures at Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County he saw as a plus.
“He looked at a number of candidates, but wanted someone with plenty of experience of success and failure in the Championship with someone in their late 40’s or early 50’s the ideal candidate.”