'I've got goosebumps... I've been blown away' - Town owner Johnson excited for first Portman Road game

Ipswich Town owner Brett Johnson, pictured during his first visit to Portman Road

Ipswich Town owner Brett Johnson, pictured during his first visit to Portman Road - Credit: Ross Halls

Brett Johnson could not be more excited as his wait to see his new club in action for the first time finally comes to an end this afternoon.  

Six months after completing the deal which saw the Gamechanger 20 group purchase Ipswich Town from former owner Marcus Evans, Johnson will be the first of the Three Lions to take a seat in the Portman Road directors box when he watches his side take on Fleetwood Town. 

It’s a whirlwind trip for the Los Angeles-based businessman, who arrived at Town’s training ground yesterday morning and heads home tomorrow, but it’s one that’s been in the making for months. 

“It’s surreal, completely surreal,” Johnson said, sat overlooking the Portman Road pitch yesterday. 

Ipswich Town owner Brett Johnson, pictured during his first visit to Portman Road

Ipswich Town owner Brett Johnson, pictured during his first visit to Portman Road - Credit: Ross Halls

“My expectations were incredibly high but I’ve been so blown away by everything, by Portman Road, and I can’t wait until kick-off because I’m so keen to get here. 

“I have goosebumps right now in an empty stadium but tomorrow is going to be beyond electric. Mark Ashton (CEO) sent me a video clip of one of the goals from the home opener (against Morecambe) and I was shocked with how loud it was. I can only imagine what it will be like when I hear it in person. 

“The training ground is a great place and seeing the players and meeting the coaches blew me away. There is nothing like English football and to be associated with a team like Ipswich is a dream come true. 

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“My only regret is that my partners (Berke Bakay, Mark Detmer, Ed Schwartz and Mark Steed) weren’t able to make it for this trip. I can’t wait to be here with them all.” 

Ipswich Town owner Brett Johnson, pictured during his first visit to Portman Road

Ipswich Town owner Brett Johnson, pictured during his first visit to Portman Road - Credit: Ross Halls

Johnson and the rest of Town’s ownership group have had to make do with watching the Blues’ games online since purchasing the club, with the American impressed with what he’s seen in recent weeks. 

“Lately, it’s been a lot of fun because we have a lot of threats on the field and I love watching teams who can hurt you with a lot of different weapons,” he said. 

“When you have a team who can score, it’s pretty easy to work out how to leverage that. 

Ipswich Town owner Brett Johnson, pictured during his first visit to Portman Road

Ipswich Town owner Brett Johnson, pictured during his first visit to Portman Road - Credit: Ross Halls

“I wish we’d been here for the opening day but I guess it’s better late than never. We need to get a date in the calendar for us all to come together. 

“Travel is not for the faint hearted right now and I’m happy to have been able to navigate getting over now. Hopefully it will be this side of the new year. 

“I think we should nail that date down and kind of ‘tee-off’ from it. We’ll have close to 20,000 in the ground for this weekend but maybe we can try and bump those numbers up a bit more.” 

Brett Johnson, Mark Detmer and Berke Bakay celebrate a Didier Drogba goal for Phoenix Rising

Brett Johnson, Mark Detmer and Berke Bakay celebrate a Didier Drogba goal for Phoenix Rising - Credit: Contributed

So how would he react if Town take the lead against Fleetwood? 

“Hopefully I’ll be going crazy for a lot of reasons,” he said. 

“There’s a great photo of Mark, Berke and I at a Phoenix Rising game when Didier Drogba scored this beautiful goal and then we embraced him. We can get quite animated. 

“Those guys feed my passion, though my wife might keep me subdued a little more on this trip. The Brett Johnson tomorrow may be a little different to the one who comes back in a couple of months.” 

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