'It became clear there were significant differences of opinion' - Evans on sacking of Lambert
- Credit: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans says tonight's sacking of Paul Lambert came after 'significant differences of opinion'.
Lambert and assistant Stuart Taylor have departed by 'mutual consent' after an agreement was reached over the final four-and-a-bit years of their contracts.
Fans groups called for Lambert to be sacked in November. Then, on December 3, Evans provided Lambert a public vote of confidence in the wake of the under-fire Scot having blasted 'nonsense negativity'. That rant came following a poor run (10 points from nine games) that had seen his team start to slip down the League One table just as they had in 2019/20.
The Blues' poor form continued and, after a 1-0 home loss to Peterborough on January 23, the EADT and Ipswich Star ran a front page calling for Evans to make a managerial change. Once again, Evans went public with his backing of Lambert.
Then, in the wake of fans protests at the training ground and a drab goalless draw with Northampton Town little under a fortnight ago, Lambert said that 'everything' about the club's structure was wrong and that everybody at the club needed to sit down and discuss the way forwards.
He went on to reiterate those comments to a national audience on talkSPORT the following day, but later refused to elaborate on what he meant by them and subsequently laughed off speculation that a 'massive crisis meeting' with Evans had been brought forwards.
It's understood that a heated exchange occurred when the pair met last Thursday night, subsequently sparking negotiations over Lambert's pay-off.
Lambert remained in charge for Saturday's 2-1 home win against Doncaster Rovers, saying afterwards that he was '99% sure' that he would leave the club if the reported US takeover occurs.
But it's understood that Lambert's departure is not linked to a potential takeover.
It's also understood that a new manager is unlikely to have been appointed in time for Tuesday night's game at Accrington Stanley.
First team coach Matt Gill and keeper coach Jimmy Walker, both appointed by Lambert, have taken a more central role in selecting the team in recent weeks and look the most likely to take caretaker charge. Under-23s boss Kieron Dyer is a strong candidate to join them on the touchline too.
“I would like to put on record my sincere thanks to Paul and Stuart for their services to Ipswich Town over the last two and half years,” said Evans, speaking to the club website.
“I have enjoyed a healthy working relationship with Paul in our time together and he has brought a lot of positive aspects to the club.
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“I know he has his thoughts on what is needed to take Ipswich Town forward and I respect his opinions but this year has - with the pandemic and no real income for the club - been the biggest financial challenge we have faced in my time as owner.
“It has, however, become clear after holding discussions over the last few days that there are significant differences of opinion as to the order of immediate priorities and we agreed it was best for us to part company. I would like to wish both Paul and Stuart the best in the future.”