Pitcher makes a public appearance

IPSWICH Town's new owner Marcus Evans may still be an unknown figure but one of his associates - Martin Pitcher - made his first public appearance on Saturday.

IPSWICH Town's new owner Marcus Evans may still be an unknown figure but one of his associates - Martin Pitcher - made his first public appearance on Saturday.

Pitcher, a youthful-looking 40-year-old, stayed with the Town party at their overnight hotel in Blackpool last night, and then

watched the Coca-Cola Championship match at Bloomfield Road.

He is set to be appointed to the Ipswich Town plc board at the annual general meeting next week, and is already on the newly-formed football club board.

Joined by Jonathan Symonds, who is also employed by the Marcus Evans Group and on the Town football board, Pitcher conformed his delight at being involved with Ipswich Town.

He 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.

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“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 a 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.”

This was backed up by chairman David Sheepshanks, who said: “Martin and the Marcus Evans group are getting a total understanding of how we run.

“To get a better idea of how we do things.

“They can then come up with some ideas. It is not a root-and-branch investigation.”

Pitcher said that the main interest in Mr Evans' investment was to gain promotion to the Premier League.

He went on: “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.

“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 a follower of England, Pitcher said that he is now an Ipswich Town fan, and will be watching as 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.”