WEB POLL: Are season ticket holders planning on boycotting matches at Portman Road?
SEVERAL Ipswich Town season ticket holders have contacted the EADT and Ipswich Star to say they will not be attending games at Portman Road after the club’s swift and dramatic abandonment of a new long-term plan – but are they right to do so and will you be joining them?
After a squad containing a host of experienced ex-Premier League players only managed a 15th-place finish in the Championship, manager Paul Jewell said he would be looking to bring in ‘young and hungry’ players that would be at the club for years to come.
Fast-forward just a few months and, following just one win from the opening 10 games of the new campaign, the Blues boss has taken his number of loanees at the club to eight.
Richie Wellens (Leicester) and Danny Higginbotham (Stoke) have signed one-month deals, while DJ Campbell (QPR), Bilel Mohsni (Southend) and Stephen Henderson (West Ham) have joined for three months, with the latter’s deal containing a 24-hour recall.
Nigel Reo-Coker may be a permanent addition, but his contract also only takes him up until the New Year. And while Massimo Luongo (Tottenham), Daryl Murphy (Celtic), Guirane N’Daw (St Etienne) have signed for the season, they could be recalled by their parent clubs in the January transfer window.
Throw in the fact that 10 of the club’s players are now in the final year of their contracts and there appears to be little foundations being laid.
David Bedford, a 75-year-old season ticket holder for more than 30 years, said: “I have, with great regret, decided not to attend any more games until a new manager is appointed. The club has become a joke.
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“To bring in the army of loan players when we have a squad quite capable, with decent coaching, of finishing in the top half of the table is the action of a manager who has completely lost the plot.
“I have offered my ticket to a few friends and have not been trampled in the rush.”
In a letter written to the club, 27-year-old season ticket holder Joe Fairs said: “In January, when our short-term approach was shelved in view of a sustainable long-term goal, I felt the club was beginning to move in the right direction. It wouldn’t be easy to switch so quickly to a long-term approach and there would be bumps along the way, but with all the noise coming out of the club, I was really positive for this season and the years ahead. I therefore elected to renew my season ticket in the Sir Bobby Robson Stand on the understanding that I was supporting a club building for the future using a core of hungry young players supplemented by experienced players and the odd loanee.
“In the last three weeks, the loanee count has risen to effectively nine, with the additions of Nigel Reo-Coker and Stephen Henderson. This no way to run a football club, especially one that is embarking on a long-term plan.
“Is it possible for me to cancel my season ticket? I feel as though, with the letter that was sent out around renewal time, the club has totally reneged on their side of the bargain. I signed up for a club with a long-term plan to move the football club on step-by-step – I am now due to be watching a team that can’t see past the end of it’s own nose and is existing hand-to-mouth from week to week with no thought given to the future. This isn’t what I signed up for and what was described at the point of sale.”
Are you a season ticket holder at Portman Road? If so, will you be attending up-and-coming matches? Tell us your reasons why by leaving a comment below or e-mailing: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.