Town fans horrified by matches abroad

FOOTBALL supporters in general are horrified at the thought of traipsing half way across the world to support their team and Ipswich fans are no different.

Derek Davis

FOOTBALL supporters in general are horrified at the thought of traipsing half way across the world to support their team and Ipswich fans are no different.

However, they would love the opportunity to be in a position where it affects directly them.

Liz Edwards, chair of the Ipswich Town Supporters Club, said: “It is an absolutely appalling idea. This would disenfranchise football fans further from the game.

“More than 2,000 Ipswich fans have travelled to some away games, with more than 800 at Bristol City on a Tuesday night and 1,200 went to Blackpool. It would be grossly unfair on those supporters who would not be able to go and see their team playing so far away.

“The plans would curtail ordinary supporters from following their team. Hopefully by 2011 Ipswich supporters will be in a position where it will affect them directly but it is not a good thing.

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“We can understand from the Premier League position why they would want to do it. The NFL, the NBA and the NHL are all global organisations and there is no reason why the Premier League could not take the game global but it would not be a good thing for the ordinary football supporter.”

Dave 'aka LoudnProud' , a moderator on the tractor-boys.com website, said: “My own feeling about this money grabbing idea from the Premier HQ is madness. I can see Richard Scudamore's point about ensuring that our Premier League is top of the list so to speak, But I firmly believe that it already is judging by the influx of worldwide footballing talent that want to play in it.

“I support football because I love the game, The mere fact that I was blessed with being born in Ipswich gave me a good background to supporting my local team, despite now living over 70 miles away. I consider that I'm in a more privileged position to be able to afford to continue my support for my club, however, even the more wealthy of us would find it difficult to make a trip to the southern hemisphere to support our team.

“Man Utd are a global side, as are Munich and Barcelona. These clubs got there by producing and branding their club. The real supporter had none, or very little say in the matter.

“Football spectators are an essential part of the game and needs to be protected. “Without the football supporter, you have no following, with no following there is no point.”

“Our Premier League is already the best league in the world. The powers should realise that we the supporters have got them there by our continuance of support. Taking the English game overseas is called “The champions League”. It is successful because the teams that qualify for it are Champions.

“The Premier League will implode on itself sooner rather than later for I feel we are not too distant where the so called big four.” Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea, will break away from the English game and enter a super European League. Then those on the Premiership board of misguided fools will wipe egg of their faces and wallow in the self pity of losing all that money, which is what this is all about.”

Barry Calver, from the Ipswich Town Supporters Club who co-ordinates with branches abroad, said: “The first thing is that I hope Ipswich would be in a position to be involved because that means we are in the Premier League.

“But I can't see it working for the run of the mill supporters. We travel long enough distances in this country and it would be too much to expect supporters to go overseas too.

“It seems this is something else to suit television and another example of how genuine supporters are being excluded.

“It is early days and they are only discussing it and hopefully after they talk it though it will be rejected. My fear though is that if the carrot dangled to the clubs is big enough then they will go for it.

“This whole thing is another example of the ever-widening gulf between the Premier League and the rest of football.”