Evans the supremo and that suits Bowden

DEREK Bowden shuffles a little uncomfortably in his chair when I address him as the new Ipswich Town 'supremo' and puts me straight, politely, he is no supremo - Marcus Evans runs the club.

Derek Davis

DEREK Bowden shuffles a little uncomfortably in his chair when I address him as the new Ipswich Town 'supremo' and puts me straight, politely, he is no supremo - Marcus Evans runs the club.

The 51-year-old is also a little bemused at the perception that the reshuffle among the executive management means his role at the club has expanded vastly.

Not at all - he remains chief executive but instead of David Sheepshanks being the front man pulling the strings it is now Bowden answering unequivocally to Evans.

Not that he is stepping into uncharted waters, after five years at Portman Road, Bowden knows all the ins and out involved in running a football club.

Bowden said: “For the past couple of years I have been involved in transfers in and out. Along with the chairman I have been negotiating fees so this is not a sudden change.

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“I am not taking on extra responsibility as David and I have been working hand in glove for the past couple of seasons.

“The public face of the club was David and the manager of the day but now that will change slightly and it will be more myself and Jim and we report directly to Marcus.”

It seems the subtle change has come about mainly because Evans has caught the bug and enjoys the wheeling and dealing in the transfer market, and other aspects of running a football club, that he has become more heavily involved that he first anticipated.

This means he wants to be more involved in how his money is spent and as a man used to driving a hard bargain, ensuring the best possible deal is done using the canny business approach that has made him the 397th richest man in England, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

How his inexperience in this particular market will manifest itself is open to conjecture but that is why he has Bowden and manager Jim Magilton to help him.

As we know Evans is not one for publicity, so Bowden, albeit a little reluctantly, will become the public face and main buffer between Evans and the fans and media.

While not in the Evans' no pictures please bracket, Bowden is not one for courting publicity.

He has of course done the fans forums and road-shows and never shied away from briefings and announcements when necessary but is not overly comfortable with the pomp and ceremony that can surround football club hierarchy.

While most directors and chief executives enjoy the glad-handing in the boardroom Bowden will slip away when polite to do so and prefers to observe from a distance in the media suite at home games, where he is largely left alone as most people don't recognise him, which suits him fine.

That has epitomised his style since joining the board as he happily sits in the background getting done what is needed, the pop concerts for example.

Bowden was appointed to the board of the Ipswich Building Society in 2006. He is the chairman of their remuneration committee, a member of the chairman's and nominations committee and a member of the audit and compliance committee.

The former Saatchi & Saatchi high-flyer also chairs the Suffolk 2012 committee which looks to bring Olympic benefits to the area.

He insists that none of these responsibilities cut into his job as Town's chief executive and have the blessing of Evans.

Bowden said: “The building society role is a day a month and the 2012 committee again does not take up much time and it is very useful for the football club.”

The three months promise to be a challenging and interesting time for Ipswich, Evans and Magilton, as they haggle in the unpredictable transfer market but as Bowden, in his quiet, understated way, would probably acknowledge - nothing new there then.