Mick McCarthy says getting the best out of players is ‘what I do’. Ipswich Town boss fully prepared to work on a budget with Financial Fair Play assessments on the horizon

Ipswich Town

Ipswich Town - Credit: Archant

Mick McCarthy believes his qualities as a manager will put Ipswich Town at an advantage when Financial Fair Play rules start to really kick in.

UEFA proposed FFP in an attempt to force football clubs to start spending within their means. The system was agreed back in April 2012 with 21 Championship clubs – including Ipswich – voting in favour and three against.

An accepted level of loss will slowly be reduced until 2017, with clubs that fail to meet the targets facing a range of potential punishments that vary from transfer embargoes to hefty fines.

As a result, Blues owner Marcus Evans – having backed previous bosses Roy Keane and Paul Jewell when it came to spending on transfer fees and wages respectively – has really tightened the purse strings.

McCarthy, who has largely been limited to free transfers, loanees and swap deals, admitted: “We’re not going to have big investment are we? It’s not happened and it’s not going to be the case because we’re within the Financial Fair Play.


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“It’ll be shrewd scouting, bargaining and getting the best out of people, which is what I do and what we’re pretty good at to be honest. Hopefully we can get in that top six and who knows then, we’ll see.”

Joint-managing director Ian Milne believes most Championship clubs are adhering to FFP. Last week, a number of unnamed Championship sides and one from League One were reported to be threatening to launch a legal challenge against the new system.

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“Those who ignore FFP will suffer the penalties – that’s the view of the majority,” Milne told BBC Suffolk.

“And the latest view that we’ve got is that the majority of the Championship clubs are very much backing Financial Fair Play.”

Milne doesn’t believe the legal threats will come to anything, saying: “We think this is a bit of bluster from one or two clubs, we don’t think it’s that many. They can’t get rid of Financial Fair Play, it was all democratically brought together. It is here to stay.”

Milne says the Blues are on track to reduce their annual loss (£9.8m in the year to June 2013) in line with FFP.

He said: “We’re on target, we are where we need to be. People do say ‘why can’t we buy this (player)’ and what have you but we are stuck with Financial Fair Play.

“Where we can manoeuvre around it, but within the rules, we will do so. That’s a continued discussion and review we have with Marcus.”

Meanwhile, Milne and Symonds say Evans is in no rush to hand a new contract to McCarthy.

“I’m sure Marcus is thinking about that, but there’s 15 months to go (on McCarthy’s contract) and a lot can happen in that time,” said Milne.

“I think it’s a little bit early to find out what Mick or Marcus wants to do.”

Symonds added: “When has a contract stopped a manager from leaving? It comes down to the desire of the man to be somewhere and right now Mick seems to be very happy where he is. I’d like to see Mick stay longer.”

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