POLL: Marcus Evans has made mistakes as Ipswich Town owner, says Paul Jewell
MARCUS Evans has got it wrong.
So says Ipswich Town manager Paul Jewell of the club’s reclusive, multi-millionaire owner as another disappointing campaign draws to a close.
When Evans completed his takeover of the debt-ridden Suffolk club in December 2007, Town were in the top six. They finished eighth that season and have gone steadily downhill since, thanks to a high turnover of managers and players.
Following ninth, 15th and 13th-placed finishes under the management of Jim Magilton, Roy Keane and Jewell, the Blues face a battle to avoid their lowest league finish in 55 years at Doncaster on Saturday. Lose and they could end up in 17th.
“The owner has been here for more than four years now,” said Jewell. “It was a brand new project for him and I think sometimes just throwing money at it doesn’t work.
“You have to have a structure and a plan. This year, I have been guilty of not having enough of a plan by the signing of too many experienced players. They are important, but getting the blend with youth is vital. I have got the blend wrong this year – and I will take full responsibility for that.
“Life is about learning from mistakes. Marcus was new to the job and I think he thought about throwing money at it. All of a sudden players wanted to go to Ipswich because they were paying serious money.
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“It hasn’t worked.
“I think stability and structure and building is more important. That’s the way we want to go.”
Coventry’s confirmed relegation at the weekend means the Blues will be the Championship’s longest-serving club at 11 consecutive seasons come the beginning of 2012/13, with Jewell saying: “It is a depressing record but you would have to ask the question why are we in this league for 10 years?
“There are a few things. Taking the 10 years in general there has been a lack of a winning culture, sometimes a lack of investment, sometimes too much investment, sometimes expectations have been too unrealistic.
“Ipswich Town has a great name in the game, but while history means a great deal the most important thing is getting it right on the pitch now.
“And for whatever reason, we haven’t got it right on the pitch.”