Town fans give club a boost

Ipswich Town fans are among the most loyal in the country, writes David Vincent.Despite a disappointing season in the First Division following relegation a year ago, 17,000 fans have renewed their season tickets so far.

Ipswich Town fans are among the most loyal in the country, writes David Vincent.

Despite a disappointing season in the First Division following relegation a year ago, 17,000 fans have renewed their season tickets so far.

And that figure is likely to be among the largest take-up of season ticket holders in the Nationwide League next season.

Ipswich ended last season with 19,000 season tickets sold, with many of those having renewed from the Premiership the year before.


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Of the three teams relegated from the Premiership this time Sunderland have the largest ground, the 48,000-capacity Stadium of Light, and also the biggest fan base.

But the crisis club is still waiting to see how far their season ticket take-up falls without the glamour of teams like Manchester United, Liverpool and local derbies against Newcastle United and Middlesbrough.

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West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion are similar clubs to Ipswich Town in many ways and it will be interesting to see whether they manage to hold on to their season ticket sales after the drop.

Portman Road has a capacity of just over 30,000 with more than half now going for season tickets, especially the North Stand and central areas in the Britannia and Cobbold Stands.

Ipswich Town ticket office co-ordinator Goran Doncic said: "It has been very good. We have gone through 17,000 which is a very good response.

"We have a bit of a back-log still to process at the moment and we are including that. And we still have a few trickling in which we are dealing with.

"It will probably be next week before we start moving people around who want different seats.

"We have to make sure that everybody has renewed before we start putting people in to empty seats.

"We are dealing with any queries on forms, by telephone when we can, or in writing. We hope the bulk of the work will be completed within this month.

"In addition to season ticket holders we have a number of overseas fans, from places like Scandinavia, who regularly come over for at least half the games.

"We have a special arrangement for them, when they take out membership, to make sure they get seats."

n Only days after appointing former Ipswich Town manager George Burley as manager on a two-year deal Derby County chairman Lionel Pickering has revealed the club is on the verge of being sold.

Pickering claims an initial takeover proposal fell through three weeks ago but now another interested party has come forward and an agreement "could be very close".

According to Pickering, the Division One club's total debt is in the region of £30million and he would be prepared to sell for a figure between £5million and £8million.

But the buyer would have to convince him the interests of the football club would always come first.

Pickering said: "If you've got £8million, you've got Derby County – but I'd listen to £5million.

"We could be very close to a deal because someone rang me yesterday and they are seeing their bank today."

n Former Ipswich Town academy defender Lee Beevers, who played in the same team as Darren Bent and Darren Ambrose, has joined Boston United on a one-year deal.

Beevers, who impressed Boston manager Neil Thompson on loan, made his debut on the final day of the season.

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