Fans waiting for Evans era to take off

HAVE Ipswich Town benefited from the takeover by business mogul Marcus Evans?The answer has to be yes, but to Town's faithful followers the ground-breaking move has not proved as successful as they would have liked.

Elvin King

HAVE Ipswich Town benefited from the takeover by business mogul Marcus Evans?

The answer has to be yes, but to Town's faithful followers the ground-breaking move has not proved as successful as they would have liked.

Not yet at any rate, despite around £12million spent on new players.

The Blues, under the management of Jim Magilton, are no further up the table than they were 12 months ago - and no nearer the Premier League.

Ipswich Town might be in a much better financial position, and one that has turned them into a buying club and one that can compete for promotion with those with parachute payments, but now is surely the time to kick-on football-wise.

Most Read

And an ideal starting point would be to pocket a victory in this Sunday's East Anglian derby at Norwich City.

It is approaching a year now since reclusive millionaire Evans took over 87.5% of the club's shares.

The Evening Star had broken the news that Town chairman David Sheepshanks had brokered a deal with Evans and that a reported £44million debt would become the responsibility of the new owner.

It was on December 17, 2007 that Ipswich held an emergency general meeting at which time Evans officially took over.

His message to fans - through his chosen medium of the Evening Star - was typically middle of the road.

He wrote that he hoped promotion could be achieved in the short term and backed 'one of the finest young managers in English football.'

And he went on: 'David Sheepshanks, our chairman, plays a key role as our club's ambassador and has done a great job in some difficult circumstances over the last few years. David has my utmost support and respect and will remain the public face of the football club.

'The continuation of the current team also allies closely with my desire to maintain the club's values and continue to invest in important areas such as academy and local community programmes.

'I am confident that, with the current personnel and fan base at Ipswich, coupled with a sound financial footing, we can now achieve great things as a football club.'

Evans said the right things, and is continuing to do so, with recent confirmation of his continuing backing for Magilton - again voiced via the Evening Star.

Sheepshanks - the man who spent months searching for the right backer to maintain as much as possible the ITFC ideals - has become the biggest loser of the takeover so far.

He has lost his influence and become non-executive, just carrying out these days an ambassadorial role.

This has been hard on him, but otherwise the Evans jury is still out on further fundamental changes.

Evans has become more embroiled in the Ipswich Town way of doing things than he anticipated, and is prepared to delay showing his hand for the next six months at least.

But, in truth, the rank and file Town fan has benefited precious little over the last 12 months.

Now is the time to put that right.