New sponsors, new shirts
EXCLUSIVEBy Derek DavisBLUES fans will have to fork out for two new shirts this summer when Powergen take over sponsorship from TXU Energi.Rather than have two kits with different sponsors' names on the front for home and away matches, the club are going to change both at the same time.
By Derek Davis
BLUES fans will have to fork out for two new shirts this summer when Powergen take over sponsorship from TXU Energi.
Rather than have two kits with different sponsors' names on the front for home and away matches, the club are going to change both at the same time.
But to reduce the impact in their supporters' pockets, Ipswich are looking at ways of discounting the shirts and although no decision on quite how to do that has yet been taken, selling two for the price of one is being considered.
Derek Bowden, the Blues' chief executive, revealed the move at a supporters' club meeting at the Centre Spot.
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He added: “It is best that we change both shirts at the same time but we appreciate how young fans will want both shirts and the cost of that. We are looking at ways of being fair to our supporters by bringing in significant discounts, although quite what they will be has not been decided yet.”
Ipswich Town's superb support this season at Portman Road has taken average crowd figures above the break-even figure forecasted.
With well-supported clubs like Portsmouth, Nottingham Forest and Wolves still to come to Portman Road, Ipswich have averaged 24,500 so far this season, when they had budgeted for 22,500. The highest crowd in 2002/2003 was for the Norwich City match in September when 29,112 turned up, while the lowest league attendance was against Burnley when 22,736 showed up.
Bowden admitted the club had taken a pessimistic approach when it came to future season ticket sales, which form the guarantee to repay the £25m bond taken out for rebuilding the north and south stands.
He said: “The club had looked at the worst possible scenario, which was relegation to Division Two. The board took a very cautious view when taking out the bond and were very prudent in their approach so the amount of season tickets we need to sell, even if we were in Division Two, would be enough.”
Bowden also tackled the question of whether the Nationwide League would support the new television deal with Sky staying at the same price or would want it to be lower so Premiership clubs would be forced to pay lower salaries to players.
He said: “I believe it would be in the interest of the Nationwide League if the deal was agreed at around the same level. This would bring stability to the market place and would enable Premiership clubs to plan for the next three years.
“Players from lower divisions look to go into the Premiership and buying from Nationwide clubs helps, especially Division One and Two. But the Premiership clubs need the certainty of income from television and the more money which is then spent is passed down.
“The player salary issue is a separate matter but certainly with English players the market forces will determine how much they come down by.”
Bowden hoped that if Town were promoted then more jobs would be created and staff who left earlier this month may be offered new positions within the club.
He said: “We lost some very good people but it was the jobs which were made redundant. If those jobs reappear when we are promoted then those people who were made redundant would be considered.”
He also confirmed a second share issue was planned within the next 12 months.