Date: 9th May 2011 at 4:02pm
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Ipswich Town have officially confirmed that David Norris and Gareth McAuley will be leaving the club having failed to agree new contracts.

Rumours have long been circulating that Norris and McAuley were set to leave once their contracts expire in the summer, with the pair playing their final match for the club in the 4-2 defeat at Leicester City on Saturday. The news comes as no big surprise but will be of some disappointment to Town fans, with both playing a key role for the Blues this season.

“It’s unfortunate because we would have liked to have kept them,” Ipswich manager Paul Jewell told the Official Club Website. “The Club made them fair offers but the players are entitled to do what’s best for them and their families.”

Captain Norris finished the season as top scorer at Portman Road with 11 in all competitions and was voted the Players’ Player Of The Season last week. However, complications in contract negotiations for the 30-year-old first arose in February when he revealed he had turned down a two year deal in the hope of being offered three years. Such an offer was presumably never forthcoming and the former Plymouth Argyle man, who has scored 16 goals in 118 Ipswich appearances since moving from Home Park for £2 million in 2008, will now leave the club on a free transfer. Crystal Palace and Portsmouth had previously expressed an interest in signing Norris in January, whilst Wigan Athletic, Nottingham Forest and Leeds United have also been linked.

Meanwhile the breakdown of negotiations with McAuley appears to have been quite recent. Blues boss Jewell revealed that he had expected the 31-year-old to sign a new deal after agreeing terms with the player in April, but tabloid reports have suggested in recent weeks that the Northern Ireland international, who joined Town from Leicester for around £1.1 million in July 2008, will instead sign for SPL giants Rangers. McAuley, who won last season’s Supporters’ Player Of The Year award, scored 8 goals in 127 appearances for Town, including 3 in all competitions this season.

The departure of Norris and McAuley, combined with the loss of Jonathan Walters last August, somewhat marks the end of an era at Portman Road, with nearly all of former boss Jim Magilton’s signings either having moved on or set to leave this summer. Only Luciano Civelli and Jaime Peters will remain from the pre-Roy Keane era, meaning that the onus is now very much on new manager Jewell to mould his own team during this close season.

‘GMac’ and ‘Chuck’ – thank you for your services, and we bid you farewell.

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6 Replies to “Chucking Out Time For Norris & McAuley”

  • This is a blow. Make no mistake – Ipswich Town will recover as we have done many times before, and I have faith in Paul Jewell to find good players to replace these guys. If nothing else though, this looks to have been the fault of Roy Keane and Simon Clegg and is not only a serious error of management but absolute business suicide. Over £3 million spent on this pair, and not a penny to be made from their departures. Poor show, Ipswich, poor show.

  • I am not sorry that they are leaving. It will be interesting to see how much PJ has to spend on the new squad.

  • Reading this evening that West Brom are now leading the chase for McAuley, and Pompey look to be the top contenders to land Norris. Hmm…

  • Wish them all the best and hope PJ gets us some real quality replacements that can really make us serious promotion contenders next season.

  • There’s no point having players who aren’t committed to the club, had too many of them recently! Absolutely ridiculous to have messed up so much that they have left for nothing, shows complete lack of knowledge by a so called expert!!! We need owner who can show he is committed too, so far there has been very little outlay in comparison to other clubs, and not enough desire shown by the club itself, hence why players don’t want o come here!! Next season will be last chance as Evans will walk away if we don’t get promoted and club will be left with massive debt and back in administration!

  • Personally I don’t see that happening – whether or not Evans gets fed up with his investment, I’d expect a further takeover to be arranged before he ever walks out. Even so, I too would question whether we have been badly affected by having a chairman and chief executive with little experience in the world of football. Whatever you might have thought of David Sheepshanks, nobody could question that he was a football man.

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