Sometimes, you hear a rumour and think “Yep, that’s a good one.” Last week had quite the opposite feeling, as an Ipswich fan, a handful of things always surface in quiet periods, glory days, finance and ownership being the top three.
This week just gone marked 20 years since our play-off victory, a wonderful time which hasn’t been lived up to in the recent year. Sadly, our demise since pushing for European glory is all too obvious, but that isn’t the story here. Instead of talking about the players’ Zoom meeting yesterday, the gossip has been thanks to some poor connections over a lazy journalism moment.
’Newcastle owner Mike Ashley wants to buy another club when the sale goes through’ provoked a reaction, largely due to his comments about his target club being a ‘former league and FA cup winner, who have slipped quite far down the league ladder’ gulp.
Although many teams can claim both of these shirt stars, it rings painfully on my heartstrings. 40 years ago more or less under the leadership of Sir Bobby Robson, we won the UEFA cup, off the back of some glorious seasons including an FA Cup victory. Roughly 20 years previous to that, Sir Alf Ramsey guided Ipswich to promotion and subsequently a league title, which would earn him an England stewardship. (Do you see where I am going?)
Mike Ashley is not overly popular in both football and business worlds, his ‘cash above all policy’ has seen zero-hours contracted staff worry for futures, whilst his aggressive transfer policy at Newcastle has left him hated in the northeast.
Many Ipswich fans have offered their thoughts, mainly negative, on the idea of a new owner being the London-born Tottenham fan, and how his commercialisation of our ‘product’ would be another bad move. Some of the fans even point to comments on local lad Ed Sheeran’s personal media that he would be open to investment, providing the other shareholders matched his financial commitment.
Marcus Evans has said he is willing to sell our loss maker of a club if the right person was to come along. In that deal, our near £100million debt would be wiped, creating a new start, but of the options on the table, personally, neither fit well. Musicians are not overly lauded for business acumen, certainly in the football world. Whilst, the man who famously ‘doesn’t care’ what his fans think of him often conjures a mental connection to the Wetherspoons branding, of which his business model is very similar.
I don’t want Portman Road to be re-christened the ‘New Sports Direct Arena’ but similarly, I am not sure I, as a music lover could tolerate the shop selling album cover-esque trucker caps and check shirts to match the ‘divide’ limited edition kit which sold out so quickly last summer.
Stick with what we know
The guitar touting ginger lad
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