Sheepshanks takes 'less active' role

DAVID Sheepshanks has taken a “less active,'' unpaid figurehead role at Ipswich Town, effective from July 1.

DAVID Sheepshanks has taken a “less active,'' unpaid figurehead role at Ipswich Town, effective from July 1.

The Blues supremo has been handed a non-executive role at Portman Road although he will continue as the chairman of both the football club and plc boards.

That means he will be allowed to continue to serve on the boards of the FA and Football League. Sheepshanks is currently in Trinidad for England's friendly match as a representative of the FA. The role is seen as important as the FA look to get the CONCACAF backing for their 2018 World Cup bid.

Sheepshanks, who has been working on a part-time basis on a salary of almost £100,000 a year, will step back from the running of the club with chief executive Derek Bowden becoming more involved in transfer negotiations.

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Sheepshanks, who has been the club's full time chairman for 13 years, last night said: “This is naturally a good time for me to assume a less active role at the club and it will allow me to give greater time to other business interests.

“It has been my aim to see the club properly financed and back in the Premiership. With Marcus Evans' investment we have achieved the first and we are well on the way to the second.

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“The infrastructure at our club is now first class and we have a brilliant professional staff led by Derek Bowden and Jim Magilton. We have an excellent academy on a par with the best, a ready made Premiership stadium and a fantastic fan-base backed by a strong community support ethic.

“If we continue to build on these foundations as I am sure we will, then the club can look forward with excitement to another era of greatness.

“Ipswich Town and the community are in my blood and my heart, so I am very happy to carry on as non-exec chairman, having held executive authority since 1995. The club is in good hands with Marcus Evans and the new five year sponsorship agreement is another example of his support.

“I look forward with optimism and to continuing to assist Marcus and the club as best I can.”

Sheepshanks is heavily involved with a football consultancy company called Alexander Ross and has advised the South African league and associations in the Middle East.

The move follows a root and branch investigation carried out by new owner Evans who took over 87.5 per cent of the club last year, and more changes could follow.

The club are in the process of interviewing for an overseas scout and a new goalkeeping coach following the departure of Andy Rhodes.

Evans last night said: “David is a big personality in the game and has done fantastic work for Ipswich Town over a number of years.

“Following the changes at the club over the last six months, both David and I believe that it is the right time to make this change.

“We now look forward to taking Ipswich Town Football Club into a new era and hopefully into the top league of English football.”

Sheepshanks is due back from his trip with England and the FA early next week.

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