Evans saved Town - Clegg

IPSWICH Town chief executive Simon Clegg today hailed owner Marcus Evans the Blues saviour.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town chief executive Simon Clegg today hailed owner Marcus Evans the Blues saviour.

Without the billionaire businessman coming in 18 months ago to take over the club's debt and invest in its future, Clegg fears what position the Blues might now be in.

“Without his involvement I genuinely believe this club would now be seriously threatened both financially and in their ability to succeed on the field,” said Clegg.

“And his investment is going to continue.

“The improvements at our training ground, which apart from one element will be complete by the start of pre-season training on Thursday, and the appointment of fitness coach Antonio Gomez are examples of how the bar is being raised.

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“Clubs who have come down from the Premier League have a significant advantage in the Coca-Cola Championship because of the parachute payments they receive.

“Thanks to Marcus we are able to compete and are in a position to make a big impact.”

Clegg, a former chief executive of the British Olympic Association, has been brought in to become the figure head at Portman Road.

Unlike his predecessor - Derek Bowden - he has carte blanche from Evans to run an operation that is being geared to become a global brand.

“I feel I can speak for the club,” said Evans. “Marcus made it very clear that he wanted someone more than just a chief executive - someone to become the face of the club.

“I am happy to carry that responsibility on my shoulders, and all major decisions will be made jointly with the owner and manager Roy Keane, or between Marcus and myself.

“His investment has always been long term and this needs to be recognised. Building blocks are being put into place.

“We now have to build on the work of our predecessors David Sheepshanks, Derek Bowden and Jim Magilton.

“We must not get carried away, but we are all very excited about the new season and there is a belief around that we can do something special this year.”

The club's policy is not to discuss transfer speculation, but looking ahead for the remainder of the close season Clegg confirmed: “There are potential transfers that are active.

“Our goal is quality not quantity, and it has been made clear that the manager sees his core squad as being sound.

“It is about enhancement, and evolution not revolution, to build on our current squad.”