Paul Jewell has nothing to apologise for says Simon Clegg
SIMON Clegg has launched a vehement defence of Paul Jewell after his ‘sexism’ storm heaped further pressure on the Blues boss.
Jewell faced fresh criticism of his reign at Portman Road after his ill-advised comments directed at assistant referee Amy Fearn to the press following Town’s 2-1 defeat at Birmingham City on Wednesday night.
The manager hit back at claims his comments were sexist and was clearly disappointed that his words had overshadowed an improved performance which saw the Blues lose to another late goal.
And Clegg has moved to draw a line under the unsavoury incident by saying Jewell’s stance – which included no apology – had the full support of the chief executive and Ipswich owner Marcus Evans.
Clegg said: “We back the manager wholeheartedly and we would be very surprised if anyone who heard the interview took issue.
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“There is nothing for Paul to apologise about. Sometimes you make a mistake and put your hands up and apologise – but there is no mistake here.
“This has been unwanted when all our focus is on the game against Blackpool on Saturday.”
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Town’s hopes that the matter will be forgotten and all attentions could be focused on the ensuing relegation scrap were also helped by the fact that the Football Association last night revealed it would not be charging
But it was still another terrible day for the club which started with fresh speculation that the manager could be sacked amid claims his criticism of Fearn – for her part in not awarding
Town a late penalty – was “sexist”.
It forced the manager into issuing a statement, launching a defiant defence of his comments.
Jewell said: “I absolutely refute suggestions that my comments were made in a sexist way.
“The opening line from a journalist at the start of the press conference was ‘I think everyone to a man though that was a penalty’ and I responded by saying ‘but not to a woman’, meaning the official that was on that side and didn’t give the decision.
“I didn’t suggest in any way that the official made a mistake because she was a woman. I don’t think what I said was sexist and will argue all day long with anyone that says it is.”
And Clegg added: “I have listened to the tape and it is clear Paul wasn’t having a rant. He was responding in a measured way to a particular question and it is very clear what he meant.”
The chief executive also wanted to make it clear that he never put pressure on Jewell to apologise – as was reported in some quarters.
A large number of supporters agreed with Jewell over the meaning of his words with a majority polled by this newspaper claiming he should be given more time to turn things around.