'It's where a lot of focus is going' - Ashton on challenge of moving players out of Town
- Credit: Pagepix/Steve Waller
Mark Ashton has insisted a significant amount of his focus remains on trying to move players out of Ipswich Town.
The Town CEO and manager Paul Cook are overseeing a major summer rebuild at Portman Road, with more than 20 players allowed to depart since the end of last season and seven new signings so far secured.
More will follow, with Ashton targeting ‘at least five more’ signings and new arrivals thought to be close, but a large chunk of his time has been taken up with trying to move players on during his six weeks at the club.
Flynn Downes could be the next to exit, with Bournemouth the leading contenders to land the midfielder, while Kayden Jackson, Teddy Bishop and Myles Kenlock all played for a young Ipswich side at Bury last night, having been exiled from the first-team and made to train with the club’s Under 23s.
“It’s a big turnaround of players, that’s for sure,” Ashton said. “When I went in to Watford, 20 years ago, we had a big turnaround but it wasn’t as big as we’re having this summer.
“People understandably get excited about the players coming in but what you mustn’t underestimate is the amount of work that goes into the players moving out. Those deals don’t just happen and it's a vast amount of work.
“That’s where a lot of the focus is going.
“That takes time, energy and relationships that you fall back on with agents and clubs. Thus far we’ve done really well with the players we’ve moved out as well as in.
“I’m really happy with the business we’ve done and a couple more could move on.”
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He continued: “Having players out of contract helped but there were others we wanted to move because we wanted to go in a different direction and it was time for them to have a different challenge.
“That doesn’t mean they are particularly bad people or bad players, it just doesn’t fit what Paul wants to do.”
The likes of Luke Chambers, Cole Skuse and Freddie Sears were allowed to move on at the end of their contracts, while Andre Dozzell was sold to Queens Park Rangers after the Championship side triggered a £1million buy-out clause in his contract.
Goalkeeper David Cornell’s contract was mutually terminated before he subsequently joined Peterborough, while Oli Hawkins and Aaron Drinan were allowed to join Mansfield and Leyton Orient respectively for nominal fees.
Jack Lankester joined Cambridge United for an undisclosed fee.
IPSWICH TOWN SUMMER BUSINESS SO FAR
IN (7): Wes Burns (Fleetwood, undisc), Lee Evans (Wigan, free), Rekeem Harper (West Brom, undisc), Macauley Bonne (QPR, loan), Vaclav Hladky (Salford, undisc), Matt Penney (Sheff Weds, free), Joe Pigott (AFC Wimbledon, free).
OUT (14): Andre Dozzell (QPR, £1m), Luke Chambers (Colchester, free), Gwion Edwards (Wigan, free), Cole Skuse (Colchester, free), James Wilson (Plymouth, free), David Cornell (contract terminated, joined Peterborough), Freddie Sears (Colchester, free), Alan Judge (Colchester, free), Oli Hawkins (Mansfield, undisc), Jack Lankester (Cambridge Utd, undisc), Aaron Drinan (Leyton Orient, undisc), Stephen Ward (Walsall, free), Emyr Huws, Tristan Nydam (all released).
LOANS EXPIRED (6): Mark McGuinness, Luke Matheson, Josh Harrop, Keanan Bennetts, Luke Thomas, Troy Parrott.