New fans boost for Town

JIM Magilton's Ipswich Town team will have hundreds of new fans cheering them on next season.The manager's ability to get the best out of his squad in an encouraging end to the season has been reflected in fresh season ticket sales.

By Elvin King

JIM Magilton's Ipswich Town team will have hundreds of new fans cheering them on next season.

The manager's ability to get the best out of his squad in an encouraging end to the season has been reflected in fresh season ticket sales. Ipswich Town have attracted 760 brand new season tickets holders.

Magilton's desire to thrill and have Portman Road buzzing each home game has whetted the appetite and led to this influx of new support.

The Blues lost just once in their final eight matches of the season to give hope that 2007/08 will bring an upturn in fortunes for the Championship club.

“It is very encouraging,” said a Town spokesperson. “Fans have seen the foundations that were laid last season and are confident the manager can build on that next season.”

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The introduction of a loyalty reward scheme in April gave 2007/08 season ticket sales a boost and over 14,000 have since been sold in total.

This is around 1,400 down on this time last year, with high hopes that the final figure will be nearer 15,000.

Season ticket holders benefit from a guaranteed two-year price freeze and up to 50% off tickets if the Blues reach the Premiership in the next two campaigns.

Meanwhile Town's capacity to match Blackburn Rovers' asking price for ex-England striker Francis Jeffers would be boosted by the transfer of former Blues front man Darren Bent.

Rovers are seeking £1million for Jeffers, who scored four goals while on loan at Portman Road towards the end of last season. Town are reported to have offered £500,000 - with negotiations apparently in a stalemate situation.

An offer of around £750,000 would probably secure Jeffers, with Blackburn having received no other concrete offers.

Ipswich are due 20% of the profit Charlton make in a sell-on clause after paying Town £2.6million in total for Bent two years ago.

If Bent moves - with Tottenham favourites to sign him - for £10million Town would pocket almost £1.5million.

Charlton are desperate to sell and, if their asking price of £15m is met Town would collect almost £2.5million.

Reports that Arsenal will take Bent on a season-long loan are way off the mark.

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