Stuart Watson's Sunday Verdict: Put your money where your mouths are and debunk the myth Town fans are moaners
PUBLISHED: 12:50 29 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:58 29 April 2018
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It's time for Ipswich Town fans to put their money where their mouths are ahead of the early bird deadline for 2018/19 season tickets expiring at 12 noon tomorrow.
Those words may be a little too direct and abrasive for some, so let me clarify.
I’m not talking about the those who simply cannot afford one, live too far away or do not have the time to commit. The people I am talking about are the ones who have, with a heavy heart, made a very conscious decision to stay away from their beloved Portman Road when they could so easily have been there.
I absolutely get why cynicism, disenchantment and apathy has festered over the last two years. Those who have followed this writer’s musings will know I 100% have sympathy with those who have drifted away.
But after facing so much criticism, it’s only right that the club is given credit for their recent four-stage healing process.
Step one – cut season ticket prices by 10%.
Step two – part ways with increasingly divisive manager Mick McCarthy.
Step three – caretaker boss Bryan Klug injects some positivity on and off the pitch. He refreshingly hailed Saturday’s 4-0 win at Reading – secured by a team whose outfield average age was just 23 – as being ‘for everybody at our club’.
Step four – owner Marcus Evans conducts his first on-camera interview to stress the value of entertainment and his firm belief in an academy-centred long-term plan.
Yes, we won’t know who the next manager will be until the end of May, early June but there have been assurances of a ‘change in direction’ and them being ‘the right fit for the club’.
If all of that is not enough enticement to take advantage of £163+ savings before today’s deadline – and pick up an adult season ticket for as little as £16.57 per game – then how about this for a hedging-your-bets option...
Take advantage of the interest-free 12-month direct debit scheme and then simply cancel one month in if you’re not happy with the new man.
It pains me that Town fans have, unfairly in my humble opinion, been painted as unrealistic, ungrateful, miserable moaners.
The show of support in the closing stages of the recent 4-0 home defeat to Aston Villa went a long way to disproving that. The fact more than 1,200 were in the away end at The Madejski Stadium on Saturday for a dead rubber further debunked the myth.
So turn up in force for Sunday’s season-finale against Middlesbrough (12.30pm ko), celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1978 FA Cup triumph, enjoy the up-coming film on the life of the late, great Sir Bobby Robson and then look ahead to the future with renewed optimism.
Have club officials asked for this sales pitch? No. This comes from the heart. Why? Because I’m desperately clinging to the hope that more fun, exciting, unified times are ahead. It’s better to report on – trust me.