Ipswich Town cutting out the middleman in quest for Premier League

Ipswich Town managing director, Ian Milne.

Ipswich Town managing director, Ian Milne. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Ipswich Town are proving that success can be achieved without throwing money at agents and spending millions on transfer fees.

That’s the view of Town managing director Ian Milne as the Blues’ outlay on agents fees dropped by almost £100,000 between October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015.

Town’s total was also the third lowest in the Championship, at just £261,346.50, compared to £360,618.58 the previous year.

Compare that to the money spent by the likes of Cardiff City, Fulham, QPR and Reading – four clubs relegated with huge parachute payments from the Premier League in the last three years, currently floundering in the second tier.

In fact, of the 24 Championship teams, only Bristol City, Preston and Rotherham spent less on agents in the last year, while Wigan – relegated to League One in May (pictured), spent over £1.4m.

Last season the Blues finished in the play-offs, despite spending very little on players – Tyrone Mings cost £10,000 in the 2012-13 season and was sold for around £8m in June, while Freddie Sears came from Colchester for just £100,000 in January.

This term, while the jury is still out on Piotr Malarczyk (nominal fee) and Giles Coke and Larsen Toure (frees), summer signings Brett Pitman and Jonathan Douglas (frees) and Jonas Knudsen (undisclosed) – the latter snared by Town’s extensive scouting set-up as opposed to being recommended by an advisor or agent expecting a fee for their services – are already proving their worth.

And while most players have agents, their desire to play for Mick McCarthy or hunger to prove a point, means sealing a deal to Town is often a simple process.

Most Read

It would be a different story if Town were after a Ross McCormack (£11m to Fulham) for instance – an established goalscorer in the Championship, but the signings of David McGoldrick and Daryl Murphy on free transfers have arguably given better value for money.

Milne said: “We have a very good, astute manager (McCarthy) and director of football (Dave Bowman).

“They know the players’ market and market values extremely well, along with an owner (Marcus Evans) who is very good at negotiating. We have managed to do deals without the need to be paying lots to agents.

“These players want to come and play for Ipswich, and while we have done some very good deals involving Tyrone Mings and Freddie Sears, there are players out there that you don’t have to pay transfer fees for.

“Despite that, when I talk to my opposite numbers, they often tell me they wish they had a team like ours.

“We are performing brilliantly on our budget and exceeding many people’s expectations.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter