1. ITV Report

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans gives first-ever TV interview

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans has given his first-ever interview on camera since taking over the club.

The businessman has cut an elusive figure since buying the club ten years ago, only previously giving a solitary interview to the independent print media.

Members of the broadcast media, including ITV News Anglia, still haven't been offered a chance to talk to Mr Evans in person, but he has given an interview to the club's in-house Youtube channel.

Here are some of the main topics that were covered.

  • Marcus Evans on the departure of Mick McCarthy
Mick McCarthy left Ipswich Town earlier this month. Credit: PA

It was so obvious by the time that Mick and I sat down a few weeks ago that his role had run its course.

He'd done a great job ever since he came in and he leaves the club in a stronger place than when he joined it.

But, it was so clear that the time was right for a new person to take up the challenge.

– Marcus Evans, Ipswich Town owner
  • Marcus Evans on appointing a new manager
Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook is the current favourite with the bookies. Credit: PA

I'm not going to pre-judge a manager. They could be young, they could be older, they could be experienced at winning promotion to the Premier League or not.

But overall, I want to find someone who buys into the club's plans. To be clear on that, that's based upon the five-point plan which I announced a while ago and that, I feel, brings Ipswich the best opportunity for promotion.

It includes bringing players through from the academy, developing a team to play attractive and exciting football, and achieving this within a competitive wage budget which is going to be below many of the parachute clubs in our division.

I expect to make an appointment towards the end of May, or early June.

– Marcus Evans, Ipswich Town owner
  • Marcus Evans on criticism of his investment
Ipswich have found themselves marooned in mid-table this season. Credit: PA

The reality is, there's nine clubs this year who've got parachute payments. I think that gives them about a £90 million advantage over us, and on top of that you've got clubs like Derby who've been spending tens of millions in recent years and they're still in The Championship.

We as a club are probably more reliant on investment from the owner than many of the other clubs and it certainly is getting harder and harder to compete financially.

There is only so much that I'm prepared to commit each year. As I promised when I bought the club, I've continued to invest each year.

There's others who've proven this year that it can be done without the biggest budgets. So, I think there really is an opportunity that we can get out of this league with the investment that I'm putting in.

– Marcus Evans, Ipswich Town owner
  • Marcus Evans on raising the season ticket prices

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When I raised the season ticket prices last year, that was clearly a mistake. I shouldn't have done that.

The reason behind it was that we needed more revenue to compete, we still need more revenue to compete, but that clearly wasn't the way to do it and that's why I've dropped the season ticket price this year by 10%.

– Marcus Evans, Ipswich Town owner
  • Marcus Evans on potentially selling the club
Marcus Evans took over the club in 2007. Credit: PA

My annual investment in Town, I think, gives us a great opportunity to challenge for promotion.

We're not at the top of the investment league, but I still feel it makes us competitive and I still feel everything I'm doing gives us that opportunity to get promoted.

If I didn't feel we had a chance, then yes, it would be time for me to move on but I've got no desire to sell.

However, if the right person came along and offered a better prospect for the club, then it would be wrong for me to stand in their way and I'd have to look at that very seriously.

– Marcus Evans, Ipswich Town owner
  • Hear broadcaster Georgie Bingham's reaction to the interview