Town backers high up in Rich List

HE may not be the billionaire many thought but Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans is still worth a cool £200m, according to the latest Sunday Times Rich List.

By Derek Davis

HE may not be the billionaire many thought but Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans is still worth a cool £200m, according to the latest Sunday Times Rich List.

The tycoon, who made his fortune from conference organising and selling corporate hospitality at sporting events, is listed at joint 397th, along with Sheffield United chairman Kevin McCabe and Blackpool FC majority shareholder Valery Belokon.

Ironically for Ipswich Town, who spent months trying to find a new owner, Colin Hill who lives right under their nose, is also ranked 397th with a £200m fortune.

The former Harwich and Parkston manager lives in a mansion valued at around £15m near Holbrook, in Suffolk and made his fortune in aircraft salvage, property and time-share and in his early days was in repossession work.

Hill is a passionate football fan, although spends much of his time abroad, mainly in Portugal, working.

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Evans who paid around £18m to buy out nearly 332m of debt and own 87.5 per cent of shares in Ipswich Town is dwarfed in terms of wealth by minority shareholder Michael Spencer whose fortune rose by £247m to £1.15billion over the past year as his company Icap capitalised on the volatile financial markets.

Spencer backed the Blues while they were looking for a new buyer but has seen his investment of around £500,000 reduced to approximately1.7 per cent of the current share value.

Evans is ranked 11th in the list of investors on Championship clubs, with Evans in at third.

The top two spots are occupied by QPR owners Lakshmi Mittal, the richest man in Britain with an estimated worth of £27.7bn, with Bernie Ecclestone next at £2.4m.

Norwich City investor Andrew turner is said to have £255m, while the chairman of Stoke, Bristol City and Wolves are all better off than the Blues owner.

Evans was reported to have also donated £253,204 to the Liberal Democrat party last year making him the 11th most generous political party benefactor, while Spencer was seventh after he gave £605,166 to the Conservatives.

The owner of the Bermuda-based Marcus Evans Group is a tax exile and splits his time from living in London, Bermuda and on the continent.

He ear-marked the £12m he paid for shares in Ipswich Town to keep the club operating and for manager Jim Magilton to spend on players and their wages.

Similarly, Colchester United chairman Robbie Cowling has backed the U's in the Championship and underwritten their move from Layer Road to Cuckoo Farm.

At £105m Cowling was able to afford Teddy Sheringham's wages after making his millions with online recruitment form Jobserve with wife Cheryl.

When it comes to players, Ipswich resident Kieron Dyer is still holding his own, despite missing most of the season through injury.

The West Ham midfielder's wealth went up by a couple of million to £12m and is ranked joint 11th richest young player after wisely investing in property.

Michael Owen tops the list with £41m, followed by Wayne Rooney with £35m, there are no Ipswich or Colchester players listed.