Morris in plea to Town fans

PETER Morris, the man who hopes one day to succeed David Sheepshanks as Ipswich Town chairman, has called on Blues fans to renew their season tickets before the end of the month in order to help the club exit administration, writes Derek Davis.

PETER Morris, the man who hopes one day to succeed David Sheepshanks as Ipswich Town chairman, has called on Blues fans to renew their season tickets before the end of the month in order to help the club exit administration, writes Derek Davis.

Morris will be among a group of wealthy investors meeting with Sheepshanks this afternoon and will this evening be part of a supporters' trust looking to put together a working party and formalise the group.

The wealthy investment banker is looking to galvanise Ipswich Town fans, initially to help the club come out of its present financial plight, and long term to challenge the way the current board conducts the club's business.

But Morris insisted the first priority was for supporters to renew season tickets, and introduce first-time ticket buyers and take up the debentures.


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He said: "I have heard people saying they want to wait until the dust settles but they can not afford to do that. The club is not out of the woods yet. Getting the CVA accepted was the first big step. There are still a few hurdles to jump yet before the club comes out of the other side.

"We need to give the banks and financiers the right message and show the club can come out of this. It is important that the banks see that we don't have to be in the Premiership to be a viable business. It is no good us then going up knowing we will come straight down because we can not afford to spend to survive.

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"There are a lot of positive things happening but no one can rest on their laurels. Apathy is the worst thing that can happen. Not only do people need to renew their own tickets but they need to convince other supporters to take out a season ticket for the first time."

More than 600 people have registered an interest in investing in the Ipswich Town Supporters Trust, which eventually hopes to have a voice on the board.

Morris said: "The idea is to give the supporters a trust with teeth. It will be a supporter of the club but wants the whole community to be represented in the club and be able to show sufficient transparency in decisions made by the club.

"We want to be able to help influence decisions made by the club, especially those which affect supporters.

"We want to be proactive and supportive. For example the clubs needs to get as near to the 25,000 supporters it had last year buying season tickets and debentures in the next two weeks, it may not be able to do that on its own so we would do what we can to help."

Morris also praised the work and help the Ipswich Town Supporters Trust has had from Supporters Direct which has helped other fans groups, including Port Vale and York City, which have gone on to take control of their respective clubs.

He added: "They have a well structured organisation with a number of checks and balances in place which means no one person can have too much power and the board, when elected, is answerable directly to the trust members."

The supporters trust meeting, which will be held at 7.30pm this evening at the Corn Exchange, is open to all, although the aim is to organise itself into a working group and a temporary board which will then stand for election at its first formal agm, which has yet to be arranged.

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