Town welcome millionaire on board

IPSWICH Town's financial situation has been boosted with a substantial investment by wealthy north Essex-based businessman Michael Anderson.The 52-year-old, who is group president of Flairford, a company that supplies pharmaceutical products to health organisations and institutions across the USA, is to join the Ipswich board of directors.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town's financial situation has been boosted with a substantial investment by wealthy north Essex-based businessman Michael Anderson.

The 52-year-old, who is group president of Flairford, a company that supplies pharmaceutical products to health organisations and institutions across the USA, is to join the Ipswich board of directors. He has invested the maximum 15% of the value of the company.

Town chairman David Sheepshanks described yesterday as a very big day for the club and said that it complimented his plan to bring Premiership football back to Portman Road inside three years.


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Sheepshanks, who would not disclose the sum involved, said: “Our shareholders expressed a strong view at our latest annual general meeting that investments should be restricted to 15% of the value of the company.

“We have successfully restructured our debt service. This means that we can build on our existing playing squad and take a leaf out of Reading's book.

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“This has created added stability that makes our club more attractive to investors. The new arrangement has proved pivotal in Michael's investment, and two other shareholders - including one director - have increased their stake.

“These investments have facilitated the purchase of Alan Lee, as the manager and his team look to have more firepower in the team.

“Recent performances have shown that we need extra goal power, and we have moved as quickly as we can to provide it

“With other players returning from injury, I hope we will be an increasingly potent force in the second half of the campaign.

“Maybe there will be another share issue in the spring or summer to further improve our financial position.

“Michael is an experienced businessman and his skills will make a valuable contribution to the board. He has made a substantial investment and this is a very big day for the club.

“Our new financial arrangement has, after many months work, been agreed with our three main lenders, and it gives a strong platform from which to mount a concerted campaign to be promoted back to the Premiership over a three-season period.”

Speaking on his appointment to the board, Anderson said: “It is a great thrill to join the board of a club whose fortunes I have followed closely for many years.

“Up to a couple of months ago I had never met David Sheepshanks or chief executive Derek Bowden.

“However, I have been greatly impressed by their vision and energy and am looking forward to working, along with my fellow directors, to help continue the excellent work that is already being done to get this club back to the top flight.”

For the last three years Anderson has spent much of his time in Tampa, Florida where he is a season ticket holder at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers American Football team. He has recently returned to his north Essex home with his wife and two young daughters.

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