We have heard it all before and with a few less than subtle differences, we are hearing it all again. Its all about the money, all about the dum dum dum a dumb dumb… but in the case of multi-millionaire owner Marcus Evans, it has much more to do with the lack of it – or so we are told.
Now, I know that some of you will argue that there are mitigating circumstances for this rehashed statement today, and that has a lot to do with our fall from grace from the Championship, yet we heard much the same when we were on a higher football plane. Under Paul Hurst and Mick McCarthy, there were similar utterances from the owner, so what is new about what he said this time around?
Our relegation from the second tier of English football has certainly not helped, and no one is denying that this has impacted negatively on the club’s finances but a man of Evans considerable wealth should be able to manage the storm comfortably – if of course, his heart is really in it?
The wage bill has been considerably reduced for starters and then there are those sell-on clauses that have seen us recoup some sizable dosh from the sale of Adam Webster to Premier League club Brighton for a club-record 20 million quid from Bristol City, and the Tyrone Mings move from Bournemouth to Aston Villa for a similar fee, that should see the Blues recoup an immediate 1 million pounds, as part of an agreement made when he left Ipswich Town.
As if that wasn’t enough, we had Matt Clarke’s move from Portsmouth to Brighton earlier this summer, which accrued another 800,000 pounds because of the 10% sell-clause that was agreed before he left the Blues. And then we discover that former Town striker Keiffer Moore is also on his travels again. He has moved from Barnsley to Wigan Atheltic for around 2.8 million and Evans is entitled to something back from that deal too. Sadly, manager Paul Lambert has so far seen none of it so is it any wonder he is left bemused?
Perhaps Marcus Evans has missed his vocation in life. He should have been a politician. He is full of the usual sound bites about getting supporters on board, with a new coat of paint for the stands and a determination to maintain – or even grow, the club’s investment in the Academy. He tells us that the cost of running a football club isn’t exactly sexy and that we must tighten our belts and focus on the here and now. He also warns us not to blame the manager for our current financial plight. He is only as good as the crayons he has been left to draw with.
Now it is not all doom and gloom. Evans speaks positively about the squad of players Lambert has largely inherited and he believes that when all the squad is fit, we have a formidable combination of youth and experience to call upon. In this regard, I wholeheartedly agree with him. But is it good luck or good management that has brought us here? Well, that is for you to decide but someone once said that the only sure thing about luck is that it will change and a change of fortune is just what we need right now – even if it doesn’t bring us lasting success.
F.W – editor of Vital Ipswich