'Our fund is $13 billion and we’re holding $700m in cash' - The money behind Ipswich Town's new owners

Portman Road, home of Ipswich Town

The funds underpinning Ipswich Town's recent takeover come from an Arizona-based pension pot. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: PA

The vast sums of money behind Ipswich Town's new ownership has been spelt out today.

The 13-year reign of Marcus Evans came to an end last week when the club was sold to US-led group Gamechanger 20 Ltd for around £40m.

A trio of American-based businessman - Brett Johnson, Berke Bakay and Mark Detmer - will be looking to bring their contacts and expertise to the table, having already made a real success of Phoenix Rising FC in Arizona over recent years.

But the new ultimate beneficial owner of the Blues is a US investment fund called ORG, which manage funds on behalf of large US pension pot - the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System - and who own 90% of Gamechanger 20 Ltd. 

Chief Investment Officer for the Arizona PSPRS Trust, Mark Steed, posted a link to a story of the takeover on Twitter and wrote: "God have mercy on League One, because we won’t. COYB!!!"

Asked by a Town fan whether the financial resources were there, Steed replied: "Our fund is $13 billion and we’re holding $700m in cash. So, yeah?"

In the statement which came following his sale of the club, Evans had said the new owners had 'deep pockets', while new chairman Mike O'Leary would only say that the financial backing was 'significant'.

Having been more than £100m in the red, Ipswich Town is now virtually debt free according to O'Leary, with Gamechanger 20 Ltd having paid off £21m and Evans having waived around £80m of what was owed to him.

In last year's Sunday Times' Rich List, Evans' wealth was estimated at around £750m.

The ORG representative for Ipswich Town will be Edward Schwartz, the man who co-founded the organisation in 1999.

Ipswich Town are currently eighth in the League One table, three points adrift of the play-off places, with seven games to go.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow night's game at AFC Wimbledon, manager Paul Cook said last week's takeover was a 'total surprise' to him but that he is 'very, very excited' about the future.

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The Blues' new owners are still in the process of recruiting a 'top quality' chief executive to drive the day-to-day operations at the club. 


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