I did not think I would be saying this so soon again, but the finger of blame for our current predicament points firmly in the direction of the owner again. Ten years of slow and yet painful stagnation has seen Ipswich Town football club fall further and further down the football pyramid and if we are not careful, we will drop out of the Championship altogether and into what used to be termed the Third Division, and for the first time since 1954.
New incumbent Paul Lambert has been given a bad hand. He cannot re-shape the squad until at least January when they transfer window opens again and even then he will have to rely on the new Howard Hughes blowing those cobwebs away from his wallet again. We tend to forget that this man Evans is a multi-millionaire and Ipswich Town football club is nothing more than a plaything to him. He is one of the richest blokes in Britain and yet he cannot afford to run this club with any degree of financial commitment.
Of course, Mr.Mystery showed the other side of his personality when he bought the club and recruited Roy Keane to spend as if there was no tomorrow, and his profligacy was part of the reason that Evans put a padlock on his purse strings and with the possible exception of Paul Jewell, those who followed had to suffer the injustices of constructing a squad on the cheap.
In the last decade, the Championship has become bigger and better but at a price and clubs that are not prepared to seriously invest in their future, run the very real risk of falling by the wayside and we, as a club, find ourselves in this predicament right now. We are a big club with a proud history but with an owner who lacks any passion.
Evans has made mistake after mistake in his ten-year reign; either by appointing the wrong boss or by recruiting the wrong advisers. From Olympic guru Nigel Clegg to affable managing director Ian Milne, they have all been woefully out of touch with the realities of football and the pressures that come with it.
In more than fifty years of supporting the Blues, these are the saddest of times. We are bottom of the table and seven points adrift of the rest and we have an anonymous owner who would be content to sell to anyone at the right price. Paul Lambert deserves credit for trying his damnedest to turn things around but he cannot do it all by himself, and if he finds that in January he does not have to funds to recruit the players he needs then, we know who the guilty party is. Is it any wonder he is reluctant to show his face in public!
Ed Sheeran, if are you listening mate, then keep doing those sell-out concerts and maybe one day a true blue might own the club again? It might even be quite affordable too in five years time, as the way things are going it seems that the National League South beckons!
FW. – editor of Vital Ipswich