“We have no need to sell Connor Wickham,” confirms Ipswich chief

IPSWICH Town chief executive Simon Clegg today confirmed that there are no financial reasons for the Blues to sell hot property Connor Wickham.

Clegg also revealed that manager Paul Jewell has been told that he will be given a bounty of money in the summer to strengthen his squad.

Liverpool are taking a serious interest in Wickham and although the 18-year-old has no thoughts about moving he is a Liverpool follower, and the Merseysiders could prove persuasive potential suitors.

But Clegg stressed: “We have no need to sell Connor to balance the books. There is no need for him to leave the club.

“We are in a privileged position to not have to force Connor into any decisions.

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“Marcus Evans backed Jim Magilton with considerable funds and he did the same with Roy Keane.

“And he will also be subsidising Paul Jewell’s search to build his own squad this summer.

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“Paul will have money made available to him in line with what his two predecessors have had.

“To be frank our manager would not have come if the owner and I had not indicated that money would be available to him.

“The owner has given his commitment to providing funds for additional players and Paul will not be restrained in any way.

“Feelers are already out for new signings for players the manager has identified. There is no black and white budget figure with the owner always willing to listen to what the manager requests.”

And looking ahead Clegg said: “I anticipate that Connor will be here next season although we live in a fluid world and every player has a price.

“If an offer comes in for any player on our books that is two or three times what we think they are worth we would be crazy not to take it.

“If one came in half what we think a players is worth we would be crazy to let him go.

“It is my responsibility along with the owner and manager to gauge where the tipping point is.”

Clegg stressed that there will be no wavering on today’s Early Bird deadline for 2001/12 season tickets.

Applications must be received by noon with Clegg adding: “We are being quite specific, and there will be no exceptions. After that the Early Bird discounts will not be applicably.

“The ticket office is quite positive about the response we have received and it is work in progress with a lot of late applications coming in.”

Clegg confirmed his confidence that next season will be a successful one.

“Paul Jewell is doing a fantastic job,” he said.

“He’s getting a lot more out of the players as the stats show with an average of 1.65 points a game compared to before he came when it was 1.10.

“A continuation of this form will see the club in the play-off zone and I see my role to support the manager to achieve our objective of Premier League football.”

DO you see next season being a successful one at Portman Road? Let us know - e-mail starsport@eveningstar.co.uk

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