Ipswich Town takeover completed - Evans sells club to new US consortium

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Ipswich Town have confirmed the club is now under new ownership.

In a statement on the club's website former owner Marcus Evans announced that his 14-year tenure at the helm of the club was over.

He wrote:

I had always wanted to take the Club myself to the Premier League ... However, as important to me as my ambition for the Club was, if it didn’t work out I wanted to leave the Club in not only a more secure financial position than the perilous state in which I found it, but with ownership that provides triple A financial backing alongside a community ethos. I believe I have found this.

Marcus Evans

Evans said that although he hadn't been actively been looking to sell the club, he would do if a serious offer arrived - as long as any new owners could provide assurances that they would make a commitment to not only buy the club but invest in infrastructure and improve fan experiences, provide security for the club's staff and treat club shareholders fairly.

Mr Evans said that all those boxes had now been 'ticked' and an agreement with the new owners was approved by the EFL this morning.

Ipswich Town are still in with a shout of making the League One play-offs. Credit: PA

Under the deal a portion of the club's historic debt has been written off. The club has been purchased by a new company called Gamecahanger 20 Ltd (GC20) thanks to investment from a US investment fund called ORG and a smaller stake from in GC20 from the Three Lions fundmanaged by three Americans – Brett Johnson, Berke Bakay and Mark Detmer, who will jointly own 5% of GC20.

The club's new chairman will be Mike O'Leary - the former CEO of Premier League West Brom. Evans said he'll still be involved having bought a 5% stake in GC20, though he won't be involved int he day to day running of the club.

Mike O'Leary has 30 years experience with FTSE companies Credit: dotdigitalplc

New chairman Mike O'Leary said discussions on the takeover, first revealed in the sports subscription website The Athletic, had been taking place for more than a year.

He thanked Evans, who he described as a true supporter, for putting his trust in the new owners.

Marcus has invested considerable money, time and energy in Ipswich Town. His decision to waive much of the Club’s outstanding debt is one that deserves the gratitude of every single Ipswich Town fan

Mike O'Leary, new Ipswich Town chairman

The GC20 consortium, led by Los Angeles based businessman Brett Johnson. Johnson is the chairman of Phoenix Rising, who play in the second tier of US soccer but also has connections with other clubs in the States and Sweden

Brett Johnson the club's new owner Credit: Benevolent Capital

Brett Johnson said: "We are humbled and excited to be investing in Ipswich Town, one of the finest clubs in the history of English football.

We are proud of our success on and off the pitch at Phoenix Rising and are committed to restoring ITFC to its former glory. To this end, the first priority is promotion to the Championship and the management team will be given additional funds to strengthen the playing squad.

Brett Johnson

Mr Johnson also pledged to improve the playing side of the club.


  • Watch our interview with one of Town's new owners Brett Johnson


Mr O'Leary also pledged to be more "visible" to Ipswich's fans.

  • Watch our interview with new chairman Mike O'Leary

Kieran Maguire of the Price of Football podcast says Ipswich may employ a Moneyball-style, data-driven approach to spotting new talent, following the examples set by Barnsley and Brentford in the Championship.

The use of data and things of that nature where clubs can use a Moneyball style, Barnsley have also achieved that in the EFL championship, and if that can be applied to Ipswich first of all it’s going to a system getting out of league one and then to make them competitive in the championship which is a very brutal division from a financial perspective.

Kieran Maguire

And the football finance expert warned fans not to expect the new owners to be splashing the cash in their pursuit of glory.

I think the focus will be on spotting bargains rather than a Roman Abramovich blank cheque-book approach, which of course is what we all want as football fans... we’re looking for more of a sugar daddy style approach where the new owner comes in and decides their approach is going to be on winning trophies and the finances take a back seat that will not be the case with these new owners.

Kieran Maguire
  • Watch Andy Ward's interview with Kieran Maguire

Fans took to social media to express their delight at the takeover.

The club could still achieve promotion this season, they currently sit just three points off the playoffs. Promotion back to the Championship would put a seal on a remarkable year for the Blues.