Where are the Blues 10 years on from the Marcus Evans takeover?
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Marcus Evans’ 10 years in charge of Ipswich Town have brought plenty of ups and downs but, ultimately, the Blues remain in the Championship.
Yesterday marked a decade since Evans completed a deal for an 87.5 per cent stake in the second tier club, beginning a reign of two halves which has seen heavy spending in a bid for promotion to the Premier League replaced by tighter pursestrings and trust in manager Mick McCarthy’s ability to get the most out of his players on a limited budget.
During the last 10 years the Blues have made the play-offs just once, in 2014-15, with their stay in the second tier now stretching to 16 seasons. Indeed, Evans’ first campaign in charge saw the Blues finish eighth – the same position Mick McCarthy’s side occupy today.
There is frustration in some quarters at perceived stagnation at Portman Road, but also a sense among many fans that Evans’ purchase prevented further financial hardships following the club’s slide into administration in 2003.
“What we don’t know is which way things would have looked like now if it wasn’t for Marcus Evans putting in close to £100m of his own money,” said Steve Doe, chairman of the Ipswich Town Supporters Club.
You may also want to watch:
“We must remember there were not many queuing up to do that at the time.
“It could have been administration again, who knows? You just have to look at Coventry as an example of what can happen to a football club in that kind of situation. It would be a fair to say that could have happened to Ipswich.
- 1 The places with the highest and lowest levels of Covid in Suffolk
- 2 Stu says: Six observations following Town's 2-2 draw at Cambridge
- 3 Four men arrested after man dies at Felixstowe lorry park
- 4 2,000 patients visit A&E because they are feeling depressed
- 5 Town get home draw in FA Cup First Round as ex-Blues head to Sudbury
- 6 Jailed in Suffolk: J Block gang members and man who attacked train station staff
- 7 New fishmonger shop opens in Suffolk market town
- 8 North Stander: Nowhere near good enough at this stage of the season
- 9 'There's something missing in this team' - Town fans on draw at Cambridge
- 10 Detective who trained generation of officers retires after 45 years
“So, on balance and despite the many frustrations, he has been a very important figure for us and a saviour in many ways.
“Things are OK at the moment and I shudder to think where we could be without Marcus Evans. I hope the best is yet to come.”
Doe, who replaced Liz Edwards as head of the Supporters Club in the summer, is excited by the talented young players now being produced at Portman Road.
“For a long time we didn’t really know what the strategy was,” Doe said.
“But now we have the strategy of trying to get a large proportion of the first team coming from the academy. You have to work with what you can grow and there are clear signs that is starting to work because there is a good crop coming through.”