Evans to spend more millions in summer

IPSWICH Town chairman David Sheepshanks today revealed that club owner Marcus Evans will be making extra millions available to manager Jim Magilton this summer.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town chairman David Sheepshanks today revealed that club owner Marcus Evans will be making extra millions available to manager Jim Magilton this summer.

If the promotion challenge fails this year, the chairman confirmed that the quest to reach the Premier League will be re-doubled in 2008/09.

Whatever happens over the next few weeks Sheepshanks insists that the Blues are “On their way back.”

“I have no doubts about that, Ipswich Town are a club on the up,” said Sheepshanks.

Evans took over the Blues in December and holds an 87.5 per cent share of the club. He immediately handed manager Jim Magilton £12million to spend on players - and there will be more to come in the close season.

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“There will be more money available to Jim in the summer with the actual amount depending on Marcus,” added Sheepshanks.

“We now have our scouts in place and have the wherewithal to stage a global operation to recruit players.

“And our targets will be the top players at our level.”

The players that Magilton has brought in since the Evans takeover have not all hit the ground running, and Sheepshanks admits that the last two games have been disappointing.

But he is not writing off promotion this season, and said: “A total in the low 70's will gain a play-off place.

“It is too early to write us off, and all is not lost. But we do need start winning games again.”

But in reality it is a long shot now for the Blues to reach the Premier League in 2008/09.

And Sheepshanks stressed: “If we do stay where we are we will make a more serious challenge next season.

“The players brought in during the January transfer window will have bedded in, and we will have more who will be recruited during the summer.

“We have only seen the benefit of Marcus' investment for half this season. We will have it for the whole of 2008/09.

“Jim has done well to lift the team from the lower half of the table to what will be, at least I am sure, a top-eight finish.

“And I truly believe there are exciting times ahead.”

Fans have until the weekend to save money on renewing season tickets with the hefty Early Bird incentives for next season ending on April 13.

Norwich City are believed to be in line to have 20,000 season ticket holders at Carrow Road next season, and Ipswich would ideally like a similar number.

“Hopefully our wonderful fans, who have been fantastic again this season, will not judge their decisions on renewing on the last couple of home games but base it on the entertainment value they have seen over the whole season,” said Sheepshanks.

“I would like to think the undecided will stay onboard.”

David Sullivan, who lives in Essex, was talked about as a potential Ipswich Town owner before Marcus Evans agreed a deal with Sheepshanks.

Birmingham City owner Sullivan has this week been arrested, interviewed and bailed for alleged corruption in English football.

David Sheepshanks has invited Arsenal 1978 manager Terry Neill and BBC Television commentator John Motson to the FA Cup-winning celebrations at the Ipswich Corn Exchange on Monday, May 5.

“They were both delighted to accept, and will both give a speech,” said Sheepshanks.