Why Ipswich Town's American owners won't be making first visit for Morecambe clash

Ipswich Town's new co-owners Brett Johnson, Berke Bakay and Mark Detmer. Photo: Contributed

Ipswich Town's new co-owners Brett Johnson, Berke Bakay and Mark Detmer. - Credit: Contributed

Ipswich Town’s American owners will not be at the Blues’ season-opener against Morecambe this weekend, but will be watching from afar. 

The club was bought by the Gamechanger 20 group in April, with the Three Lions of Brett Johnson, Berke Bakay and Mark Detmer leading a takeover backed by money from a Phoenix-based pension fund (Public Safety Personnel Retirement System). 

The Lions, as well as Mark Steed, head of the fund, had hoped to attend the first game of the season but, with quarantine-free travel from the States only given the green light in the last few days, the Morecambe game has come too soon for logistical reasons. 

“Unfortunately they won’t be,” CEO Mark Ashton told BBC Radio Suffolk, when asked if the owners will be at the game. 

“The reason for that is that when the bookings were being made and diaries looked at, we were at the point where travel wasn’t available and we couldn’t get them in. 

“Unfortunately they won’t be here for Saturday but, what the fans are going to see, is some messages over the next 24 or 48 hours coming out directly to them from our colleagues in the US, wishing everyone well for the start of the new season. 

“Trust me, if they could be here then they would be here. They are so excited about the investment that they’ve made and about this clubs but, unfortunately, with travel and with Covid they’re just not going to be able to be here for the first game. 

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“It won’t be long because they’re itching to get here. We speak daily and they will be here as soon as they possibly can.” 

Ashton was also asked about further incoming transfers, replying: “For sure, watch this space. 

“I’ve been as transparent as I can be with supporters and the transfer window doesn’t close until the end of the month. 

“There will still be new faces between now and then, that’s for sure.” 

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