In less than 24 hours we start all over again, and yet the main theme of Paul Lambert’s press conference today was to reflect on money – or more precisely the lack of it. But this is nothing new under the Marcus Evans regime, and only perhaps Roy Keane and Paul Jewell have had any real money to play with.
Money isn’t funny if you’ve got nothing to spend and in the sad case of our manager, you can feel his frustrations when he says “It’s the way the club’s run, it’s the way it is.” He was referring of course to the lack of financial clout and his need to get in freebies and loan players in at the expense of purchasing them. He continued, “We’ve brought in two free transfers and one loan and maybe one short-term, you don’t need to be Einstein to see what it is!” The Evans factor rears its ugly head again and even the sale of Ellis Harrison has not aided his cause. “The Ellis Harrison money went back to Bristol Rovers. How much of it? All of it. So there’s no money that’s come in.” Lambert explained.
The Glaswegian was also philosophical about his job and said that stress – or indeed the fear of losing his job, did not worry him. ” I speak my mind. Always have. Always will. Am I worried about getting sacked? No. He can do it in the morning or he can do it on Sunday. It doesn’t matter. But the most important thing’s the club. Whether I’m here or not is irrelevant. The most important thing is Ipswich Town Football Club.”
It is those sentiments that have warmed the fans to him. Unlike Mick the Man, he is more concerned about the welfare of this wonderful football club than he is about himself and how refreshing it is. I desperately want him to succeed but once again Evans has made life difficult for him and we can only hope that the side rallies around the gaffer tomorrow and play out of their skins! It is surely the very least Paul Lambert deserves.
And as for all those sell-on clauses that have whetted the appetite of supporters, then Lambert thinks we should not hold your breath. It is expected that Adam Webster’s move from Bristol City to Brighton could cost a staggering 23 million pounds and another sell-on clause is in the pipeline for Kieffer Moore. “Sell-on, whatever it is. It doesn’t come in here. If it did I’m pretty sure we would have spent it. Have you seen me buy anybody? Mings, Clarke, maybe Webster. We haven’t bought one player. I don’t know if the money has come in, because nobody’s told me.”
And that, in a nutshell, is what is so frustrating about our football club these days. The obvious lack of ambition. You cannot blame a manager for that.
F.W. – editor of Vital Ipswich