Marcus: Join my Blues revolution

IPSWICH Town owner Marcus Evans swept into Portman Road today - and joined his new chief executive Simon Clegg in a “Come and join the Blue Revolution” plea to fans.

Nigel Pickover

IPSWICH Town owner Marcus Evans swept into Portman Road today - and joined his new chief executive Simon Clegg in a “Come and join the Blue Revolution” plea to fans.

The pair joined forces in Suffolk after one of the most intense and exciting weeks in the famous club's history - and set to work in support of new manager Roy Keane's quest for Premier League football at the end of the 2009/10 season.

Last week saw the end of Jim Magilton's tenure as manager of Ipswich Town - followed just a day later by the arrival of former Manchester United star and


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ex-Sunderland manager Keane.

Then Town went to promotion-chasing Cardiff City within 24 hours - in a emotional last match at Ninian Park - and spoiled the Bluebirds' big day with a 3-0 thumping of the Welshmen.

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With the dust barely settling on an incredible week, and The Sunday Times Rich List reporting Mystery Magnate Marcus having doubled his personal fortune to �400 million despite the recession, there's been little time for looking back.

I can reveal that he slipped into Cardiff to watch the Keane Machine in action for the first time, sat alone with his pride and contentment - and quietly left as the after match press conference began.

I understand that the likeable Evans, who is utterly devoted to the Super Blue cause for years ahead - was delighted with how the Town squad - so lambasted for lacklustre performances this season - had “turned it on” for their new gaffer.

A relaxed Evans - he pays others to do the sweating - today joined Clegg for a series of meetings and both continue to learn and understand how much Ipswich Town means to its community in Suffolk.

Both Evans, and former British Olympics chief Clegg, 49, who will now become the public face of ITFC, have been delighted with a surge in season ticket sales since mercurial Irishman Keane signed on the Evans dotted line last week.

But whilst the revenue from a huge surge in season ticket sales is welcome - both men know there is a bigger picture right now.

They want Ipswich fans everywhere back on board for the battle ahead - singing and shouting their support for Keane and his team … through thick and thin … and starting this Sunday against Coventry - in the last match of the season at Portman Road.

More than 14,000 fans are now signed up for the season ahead - and the “Early Bird” season ticket deadline - with its clever Premiership 50 per cent cashback clause, has been extended until May 3.

Evans and Clegg understand the fans and their frustrations this season.

Now the battle is already joined for next season - with so much optimism where there was so little at the start of last week.

Amongst a series of meetings this week - some with ITFC staff and some with key community figures, both men were impressed with the love and affection in which the club is held.

One wise commentator even told them of the Portman Road crowd's potential to become a 12th man for the team - rather like Stoke City fans have become for the Potteries club this season.

Evans, who for his own understandable and private reasons wishes to stay out of the limelight - wants Clegg, Keane and Co to be allowed time, space and understanding to get on with their respective jobs.

Clegg, who has been given one of the most exciting jobs in football, said: “We are sure that supporters will want to be part of the 'Keane affect' and will want to be part of an exciting new era at the Club.

“Secondly, and just as importantly, the extension of the early bird offer and the Premiership 50% cash back offer means that supporters who decide to purchase their season ticket for the 09/10 campaign could be watching top flight football the following season at an incredibly competitive price. Clearly there are no guarantees that we will be successful in just one season but our focus is to get this club promoted at the earliest possible opportunity.”

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