Date: 23rd March 2016 at 4:29pm
Written by:

Our owner is rarely seen and rarely heard. From a manager’s perspective this might not always be a bad thing because he can get on with the business of managing the club without any outside interference.

Yet Mick McCarthy has said that Marcus is on the phone to him almost everyday so he still has a hands on role – even if he is largely invisible to supporters of the club.

In many ways, we have come to depict Marcus Evans as the Howard Hughes of football. Like Hughes, who had his fingers in many pies so indeed does Mr.Evans; with his overseas investments and his live business, sports and entertainment events organized around the globe which helps to make him loads of money!

When he bought the blues he took on the club debt as well, which was not inconsiderable and in 2007 he came in with a lot of ambitious ideas too.

He injected £12 million into the club in exchange for an issue of new shares, which gave him an 87.5% stake, and reduced the existing shareholders stake to 12.5% and after the rather abrupt departure of former player Jim Magilton, he put in place Roy Keane, who was afforded generous spending money in the hope that Town could make the Premier League with haste.

This of course did not occur but when Paul Jewell arrived on the scene he also had sufficient funds in order to make a real impact in the transfer market but once again, his efforts proved to be totally fruitless.

In fact, it was Mick McCarthy who saved our bacon when on the 1st November 2012 he was appointed manager with a new mandate and that was to save us from going down to Division One!

With very limited resources and against all the odds, he achieved this and year on year he has steered the club further up the Sky Bet Championship – although it looks as if things may have stalled this time around and that progress may have ground to a halt?

The question we must ask then is who is to blame for this? Marcus Evans for not doing enough to aid the McCarthy cause or Mick himself for being too successful in those early years and without the dosh that both Keane and Jewell had wasted away?

If we fail to make the play-off’s this season it will be interesting to see how Marcus Evans assesses things.

Will he perhaps realise that throwing money at something does not always pay but allowing the manager to work off a shoestring budget is also destined to have very limited success in the long term.

Somewhere the financial balance has to be met. We know Evans has the money to change things if he so chooses but we do not really know where his heart is on this?

When he invested in Ipswich he probably expected almost instant success but his right hand man in those days Simon Clegg was completely out of his depth in football circles and made some unforgivable errors that cost the club dear.

Mr. Mystery continues to pull the strings from above the stage but for how long I wonder? Will he cut his strings of attachment to this new project – or conversely decide it is time to reward a manager who in the last three season’s has had to rely on freebie’s and loan deals in the main and yet has defied the odds?

He will surely examine too season ticket sales, which are likely to fall next season given the dross dished up by the blues.

No one really knows the answers to these questions – not even Mick McCarthy but one thing is sure and that is something has to change – if only for the sake of this once proud football club.

Frank Weston – editor of Vital Ipswich


Your Comment