Traditional Ipswich Town barbecue scrapped but ever-popular open day plans are announced

Ipswich Town players practice on the pitch at Portman Road during last summer's open day

Ipswich Town players practice on the pitch at Portman Road during last summer's open day

Financial cutbacks have contributed to the scrapping of Ipswich Town’s annual pre-season barbecue at the ancestral home of the legendary Cobbold family.

The Blues, who have recently made a number of redundancies, will save several thousands by not hosting the event at the home of former Town chairmen Patrick and John, and will instead focus on funding a third successive open day on August 20, which will be free for fans to attend.

All club employees – players, backroom staff – and sponsors, media and other supporters used to be invited for what was the traditional curtain-raiser for the new season at Glemham Hall, which was inherited by Major Philip Hope-Cobbold in 1994.

The Cobbolds bought Glemham in 1923 and later founded the Blues as a professional club.

One regular barbecue attendee, who has been going to the event for the last 20 years, said: “It’s a real shame that the barbecue is not happening. It was a great social occasion, and a link with the heritage of the club and the Cobbold family in particular.”

Gates open for the open day at 10.00am and Mick McCarthy and his coaching team will put the players through their paces on the main pitch from around 10.30am onwards.

The players will then sign autographs for supporters, while there will be an array of side stalls and other entertainment on display during the day, with food and drinks also available.

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The club’s media manager Steve Pearce, who said there were plans to host a corporate event at the club later in the season, said: “Financial Fair Play is in place at the club and there have been cut-backs made right across the board.

“We acknowledge that the Glemham Hall barbecue is a tradition but we feel the money spent on that event will be best used to fund the open day, which is free for supporters to attend.

“The event attracted a crowd of around 3000 supporters last summer.”