Making money is Marcus' motivation

MARTIN Pitcher, owner Marcus Evans' right-hand man at Portman Road, today confirmed his boss' intention to make money from his takeover of Ipswich Town.

Elvin King

MARTIN Pitcher, owner Marcus Evans' right-hand man at Portman Road, today confirmed his boss' intention to make money from his takeover of Ipswich Town.

“But it will be an all-gain situation,” said Pitcher, a member of the Blues football board.

“Marcus has not invested his money to pursue a hobby. He plans to make a return on his investments, and the Premier League is his goal.

“But he will not be the only one who benefits from promotion that he hopes his money will bring.

“With attendances blossoming with Premier League football local businesses will also gain.

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“On top of this there will be staff bonuses, which also includes the playing staff.”

And confirming why the wealthy entrepreneur chose Ipswich when looking to invest in football, Pitcher said: “It is the heritage of the club that made it extra appealing.

“Plus the academy structure at Ipswich, and I know that

Marcus has been very impressed with the workings of the Football Trust.

“We see success coming a step at a time, but to bring European football back to Portman Road would be wonderful.”

Pitcher confirmed that Evans is likely to remain an anonymous figure saying: “Marcus values his privacy.”

Evans watched Town in action on New Year's Day at Portman Road, and Pitcher was at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool, on Saturday along with fellow Evans employee and Town director Jonathan Symonds.

Evans has purchased Town for far less than the £44million first mentioned to clear the debts and boost manager Jim Magilton's player budget by £12m.

The £32m debt stays on the books, and Evans is in line for a possible £500,000 return on his preferential shares each year. So the shrewd businessman could be on a real winner if success comes Town's way.

Pitcher, a youthful-looking 40, stayed with the Town party in their overnight hotel in Blackpool and flew to Lancashire in the private jet used by the club out of Stansted. He is set to be appointed to the Ipswich Town plc board at the annual meeting next week, plus retaining his place on the newly-formed football club board.

Pitcher said: “It was one of the greatest days of my life when I was told I was going to be a board member of Ipswich Town.

“It is a great honour, and the work is proving fascinating.

“My background is in finance, but football is a very different form of business.

“I am spending time in Ipswich finding out about the workings of the club - but I do not have an office at Portman Road.”

Pitcher denied reports that there was root and branch investigation into the club going on. He added: “There is nothing going on that anybody should be worried about.

“It is usual business practice to have a look at how things work when you move into something new. I do not consider it anything major.”

Pitcher said that the main interest in Evans' investment was to gain promotion to the Premier League. “The plan is to gain promotion as soon as possible - this is the reason for the investment.

“This is why everything was sorted before the transfer window opened. But there is no time limit on gaining promotion.

“It is courtesy after such a large investment that Marcus is informed about transfers, but he has every faith in the chairman, chief executive Derek Bowden and manager Jim Magilton to look after the club's affairs.”

Describing himself as follower of England, Pitcher said he is now an Ipswich Town fan, and will be watching many games home and away.

“Nothing surprises me about Marcus,” he added. “He sees the football club fitting in with his other lines of business. We were looking towards investing in a club at the same time that Ipswich were looking for investors.

“Marcus met David Sheepshanks, and it has moved on successfully from there.”