‘You can’t lay the blame at Marcus Evans’ door’ – Lambert responds to criticism of owner

Paul Lambert has responded to criticism of Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans.

Paul Lambert has responded to criticism of Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans. - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert insists ‘you can’t lay the blame at Marcus Evans’ door’ and says he is ‘sick and tired’ of hearing the club’s owner being criticised.

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans. Photo: Pagepix

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans. Photo: Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Evans’ 11 years of ownership has become a hot topic of debate after defeats to Millwall and Accrington Stanley left the Blues 10 points adrift of safety at the foot of the Championship table and out of the FA Cup.

Lambert, just like predecessor Paul Hurst, has alluded to things needing to change at the football club.

He has recently criticised the club for letting players’ contracts players get to within six months of expiring, relying too heavily on loan deals year-after-year and then called upon Evans for ‘financial support’ this month.

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When it was put to Lambert that Evans has been facing a great deal of criticism this week, Lambert replied: “I’ll ask you the question… how much has he invested in the time he’s been here? Millions and millions.

“All the owner can do is give the manager the money to go and spend. It’s up to the manager how you want to spend it.

“Marcus has done that. He’s backed everything he’s done. Even since I’ve been here he’s been great, absolutely great. I’ve no problem with him at all.

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“If you stepped back and looked at the bigger picture, he gave managers the money to go and invest how he wanted to invest.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert. Photo: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

“If you lose a lot of players it’s up to the manager to invest how they want to invest.

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“You can’t lay the blame at Marcus Evans’ door, that’s for sure. I get sick and tired of hearing it because I know how the game works.

“Especially when the club spent eight or nine million in the summer.”

Town announced earlier today that Ian Milne will be stepping down as managing director at the end of this month following six years in the role.

A club statement said Evans will be taking on a more hands-on role, with academy manager Lee O’Neill having recently been made ‘general manager football operations’.

“Ian’s been really nice since we’ve come in here,” said Lambert. “I’ve only known him a short time, I just dropped him a text and I’m pretty sure he’ll get back to me. Good luck to him in his future roles.

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“Marcus has put his statement out. It looks as though he’s going to take on a more hands-on role which I think is music to everybody’s ears. You’re going to have the boss to the lead club – and we need him.

“I’m pretty sure it’s not nice for Ian, but I think the football club will have a driver at it now and that’s what every club needs.

“The club will be driven forward by him which I think is fantastic for everybody concerned. One singer, one song as they say. Everybody follows suit. The club will be stronger for it, I’ve got no doubt about that.”

He added: “Lee (O’Neill) helps me an awful lot. He’s been great since I’ve been here. I have a good relationship with Marcus as well. There’s never been any negativity or cross words since I’ve arrived. Everybody has been really supportive.”

On Bowman, who is effectively the club’s chief scout, Lambert said: “I’m sick of talking to Dave! We’re talking four or fives a day and we’ll continue to do that. He’s been great.”

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