Marcus Evans reflects on his journey as Ipswich Town owner
PUBLISHED: 06:00 07 August 2015 | UPDATED: 13:45 07 August 2015
Today, we can bring you the first ever newspaper interview given by Marcus Evans, the owner of Ipswich Town Football Club.
Almost eight years on from his takeover, the 51-year-old has decided that now is the ideal time to reflect on his journey with the club so far and give his thoughts on the future.
Taking time out of his holiday to conduct a half hour phone chat, the only stipulation was that the questioning be kept to football.
The entire conversation will be printed in a simple question and answer format; part one in today’s EADT and Ipswich Star, with part two in tomorrow’s EADT and Monday’s Ipswich Star.
No doubt there will be many topics that some readers may feel went uncovered, while undoubtedly many of the issues discussed – areas such as Financial Fair Play for example – could have been the subject of a lengthy debate all on their own.
My attempt was to get an overview of the Marcus Evans-Ipswich Town story so far, from his takeover in December 2007, the disappointments of the early years to the current day picture of stability and positivity.
Keen to protect the privacy of his family, we are still honouring his wish for no photographs to be published, other than one taken at a golf tournament in Portugal, which has been in the public domain for several years.
He starts by talking about growing up as a Chelsea supporter in west London and explaining why he purchased Ipswich Town.
“I had an interest in buying a football club,” he explains. “It’s something I had been thinking about for a while.
“The opportunity presented itself to look at a few different clubs at the time. Ipswich was in an understandable financial state, whereas a lot of the other clubs that one looked at were – to put it mildly – in a mess.
“A mess is one thing, but a mess that you can’t even unravel or really understand what the liabilities of the club are is another thing altogether.
“Despite Ipswich’s finances having been a little rocky for a few years, everything was very clear and, from a financial point of view, everything was well recorded.
“For somebody coming in as a potential investor it was very easy to understand what one was getting into. I was pleased that Ipswich was in that state.
“Also, I had a closer affinity to Ipswich than any of the other clubs that I was looking at because I had a period of time that I’d lived fairly close to Ipswich, albeit a weekend cottage.
“And really, any football fan who grew up in the 70s, whoever you supported, Ipswich was always the Cinderella club back then. I think everybody had an affection for Ipswich, even if it wasn’t the main club that they supported.
“So to go back to your question, I think it was those three things; a) I wanted to invest in a football club, b) Ipswich was financially viable and c) it was a club I had a close affinity to.”
– See today’s paper for the full interview or download the e-edition here.