Date: 18th December 2017 at 5:33pm
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Ipswich Town football club can now celebrate ten years of Marcus Evans ownership but has his time at the helm done anything to suggest a return to the promised land?

It all started well enough with the recruitment of ‘superstar’ Roy Keane but the gloss soon wore off, when he splashed the cash on players who were quite simply not up to the job.

Things quickly went from bad to worse and his position was not helped by a chief executive who knew very little about football.

We must not forget that shortly after Evans bought Town, it was on the instigation of Simon Clegg that Jim Magilton was fired, after he persuaded Evans to show him the door, as he felt the former player was out of his depth and ‘awfully naive’ apparently.

Ironically, it was Simon Clegg who was way out of his depth. He was an athletics man, who knew very little about the wheeling and dealing of a football club and he saw Keane as the ideal candidate to take Town places.

But Keane’s spell as manager came to an end after an unsuccessful 18 months in charge, when he was fired in January 2011 and once again it was Clegg who was given the unenviable job of showing him the door, as the only place that Keane was taking us was backwards at the time.

Next up was Paul Jewell, who was full of good intent and an entirely different personality to Keane but although Evans was still generous with the purse strings, Jewell made some bad deals – not least the recruitment of aging players for inflated wages.

I quite liked P.J. and he loved being part of the club but once reality set in, when Ipswich found themselves at the bottom of the Championship table, Jewell resigned from his position on 24 October 2012 by mutual consent.

And then came the McCarthy era and after five years we find ourselves in exactly the same position as when Evans took over ten years since.

We are once again in eighth and on the coattails of those illusive playoff spots – just as were were when ‘Magic’ was shown the door in 2007 so really nothing much has changed.

There have been many mistakes along the way, not least the recruitment of an out of touch Simon Clegg and managers who thought that because Marcus Evans gave them lots of dosh they could somehow buy their way to the top flight.

So here we are again, in the same position as before but with far fewer season ticket sales and yet, seemingly the perfect managerial team. One who does not want to spend and another who is content not to.

You could almost say they that messrs Evans and Mccarthy are in football terms made for each other.

Perfect bedfellows but with less than perfect results.

Frank Weston Editor of Vital Ipswich


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