Tag: Ipswich Town

Paul Jewell Leaves Ipswich Town, But Is This Just Papering Over Bigger Cracks?

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Ipswich Town’s only League title, and a title won on their debut season in the top flight. Since then, Town have been ever present in the top two divisions, with just seven of these ending in the bottom half of the second tier. In some respects this has been one long over-achievement, considering the size of the club and the catchment area, but the club have always had a reputation for long term planning – and have prospered most when this long term planning has been allowed to see fruition. Jackie Milburn may have presided over the slump from the top of Division One to the bottom of Division Two, but he sowed the seeds of the youth system that Sir Bobby Robson helped take to wins in the FA Cup and UEFA Cup finals. The feeling is that, in the quest for a return to the Premier League they last graced a decade ago, that the baby has been thrown out with the bathwater. Paul Jewell’s reign as manager, which ended today, has been one full of short-termism and attempts at quick fixes, rather than long term solutions. Initial concerns on this came at the end of the 2010-2011 season, where youth team players including Tom Eastman (now at Colchester) and Troy Brown (at Rotherham) were offered six month contracts on...

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Match Of The Past: Ipswich Town

This afternoon, we continue our series of archive matches from the clubs of the Football League Championship with Ipswich Town. A league championship win in 1962 proved to be a flash in the pan for this club, whose greatest years would come more than a decade after this win, and we have seven matches from the years between 1972 and 2000, with our focus very much on the decade between 1972 and 1982. Our first match comes from opening day of the 1972/73 season and takes Ipswich Town to Old Trafford to play a Manchester United side that was in serious decline, just four years after winning the European Cup, whilst our second match comes from the following season and sees Ipswich at home against Arsenal in March 1974. Our third match comes from January 1977, and sees Ipswich at home against Wolverhampton Wanderers in an FA Cup Fourth Round match, and this is followed up with a home match against the then-champions Nottingham Forest from 1979. A year later, Ipswich are on their travels again, to play Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux, and we follow this up with a trip to Highfield Road to play Coventry City. The last of our seven matches, finally, sees Ipswich Town travel to Wembley to play Barnsley in the 2000 First Division Play-Off Final in the last club match to be played at...

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Suffolk Punch: How Ipswich Town Shocked The Football League In 1962

It is entirely appropriate that Ipswich Town should have chosen last Saturday’s home league match against Barnsley as an opportunity to rename their South Stand as The Sir Alf Ramsey Stand, for this month marks a very special anniversary in the history of the club. It is fifty years ago this month the Ipswich Town became, against all odds, the champions of England, an achievement made all the more remarkable for the fact that just five years earlier they had been playing in the Third Division South of the Football League and was playing its first ever season in the top division of English football. Even so much as a place in the Football League had come relatively late to Suffolk. Ipswich Town were voted into the league in 1938, having played amateur football until 1936 before spending just two seasons as a professional club in the Southern League. Their election into the Football League came at the expense of Gillingham – who would be readmitted twelve years later – but their introduction to league football would be a brief one, with the outbreak of war interrupting the clubs progress after just one full season. When league football resumed in 1946, the club settled into a comfortable existence in the then-regionalised bottom division, and it would take a forward-looking appointment as manager in 1955 that would begin the clubs rapid...

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Supporters’ Trusts: Some Hard Questions

This weekend the saga of Trust ownership at Wrexham extends. Plymouth Argyle struggle to find an ownership solution to coming out of administration. In the tales of duplicity and ineptness that abound behind these stories, the arguments in favour of the Supporters Trust movement are strengthened. Supporters’ Direct have made clear and cogent points that substantiate these arguments in their recent briefing papers. Yet are Supporters’ Trusts always best placed to take over at their clubs? The current state of financial governance in football does not make for an even playing field for supporter owned clubs. It takes tough customers to have the tenacity to stick with the principles of the Supporter Owned Model when the financial structure of the game allows your business opponents a head start in the competition, despite the fact that they often put the very existence of their ‘business’ at risk, as Supporters’ Direct’s analysis shows. The recent government enquiry into football governance opened its evaluation of supporter ownership with the bald statement, ‘The examples of bad ownership are sufficiently numerous to point to systemic failure. A case can be made that, rather than tighter regulation, a more fundamental ownership change is required.’ The report continues,  ‘The supporters trust ownership model appears to us to be one of the positive developments in English football.’ This is encouraging but the recommendations of the enquiry do little...

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2010: A Football Financial Review

You could frame it. If you wanted a short, pithy representation of all that has been wrong with football finance in 2010, you could do no better than quote a Plymouth Argyle fan known as “Sensible Surfer” on the BBC Football website over the Christmas period. “Ridsdale set to take control… good news,” he/she said, a phrase which would sit nicely as an explanation of irony…except that it didn’t appear to BE irony. And it served as fair comment on Argyle’s current state that, relatively, Peter Ridsdale – the failed former Leeds and Cardiff chairman and serial over-borrower – IS good news for the cash and panic-stricken South Westerners, with the heaviest possible emphasis on the word ‘relatively.’ If professional football entered 2010 in a state of moral and financial bankruptcy, it is leaving it in much the same manner. Certain football problems have been “solved.” Some more have emerged. While others, hello Portsmouth, look set to run forever. The “greater fool” theory still underpins much of the game’s financial strategies. The theory is about as scientific as it sounds – buying something in the belief that you will be able to sell it again for a higher price (to a “greater fool”), regardless of what has happened in the meantime (increased debts, usually), or even whether the original price was rooted in reality. Finding a “greater fool” is...

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