Town season ticket sales down by 2,000
The Evening Star can reveal today that Blues season tickets are down 2,000 on last season’s figure.
At the moment 13,990 season tickets have been sold – compared to close on 16,000 in 2009/10.
Manager Roy Keane is doing his best to win back the doubters with a magnificent start to the season – four away wins and one home draw – and a good-sized crowd is expected on Saturday for the visit of Bristol City – Jon Stead and all – in an npower Championship fixture at Portman Road.
Many who decided to give Blues games a miss this season after a succession of below par years might be persuaded back if Keane can mount a promotion challenge for a Premier League place.
Town chief executive Simon Clegg believes Ipswich fans deserve better.
He said in an exclusive interview: “I do not believe any other club could have had the season that we had and still retain the terrific fan base that we have got. It says a great deal about this football club, its heritage and our fans.
“There could have been a much higher percentage turn against the club after we failed to deliver last season.
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“We have to accept the season ticket figure we have and recognise in these chilling economic times that we did not give good value for money last season.
“It began badly and was clearly inconsistent thereafter.”
And Clegg confirmed that club owner Marcus Evans values the heritage that helped give Ipswich Town such a respected name across the world.
“Marcus understands the traditions and values formed during the managerial reigns of the likes of Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson,” said Clegg.
“He still sees this as very important. But of course he now has to run a football club on a sound economic basis in much different times.
“We are in the 21st century, and a failure to grasp the importance of running a club prudently in this age would put Ipswich Town back into administration again.
“I have had to trim costs in areas where I felt the infrastructure and administration had not been structured from Premier League back to Championship levels.
“Marcus Evans is effectively providing his own money to pay the day-to-day running of this club in a league where it is impossible to run at a profit.
“Too many clubs have overstretched financially and are now paying a big price for it.”
But there is no change in the belief and ambition to take Ipswich Town back to the Premier League.
“I have a gap on my office wall that I want to see filled,” enthused Clegg.
“We have pictures of the UEFA and FA Cup triumphs – there is space for another!”