It’s Sunday afternoon and while the rain lashes down outside and the Premier League’s big boys thrash it out on the telly in the latest edition of ‘Super Sunday’, I notice the Bill Murray film Groundhog Day is on. You know, the one where he keeps waking up and the same series of events play out over and over again until he can work out how to snap out of it.
See, that’s been the story of Ipswich Town since the era of Marcus Evans began back in late 2007. Never moving forward, but constantly coming back to the same spot.
Where has the club gone? Nowhere. Where is it heading? League One. How are the club’s attendances? Dwindling. What’s the mood of the fans? Despondent. What are the prospects for the rest of the season? Bleak. What’s the manager’s chances of being in a job next month? Minimal.
You see, I could’ve written this blog along this theme many times before now and it would’ve read exactly the same. Ipswich Town Football Club is a club stuck in a rut, going nowhere, repeating a cycle of mediocrity.
Except this season, things look a little different. Yes, that tale of lower-table, nothing-to-play-for-by-early-March scenario might be about to change. Not for the better I might add, but for the worse.
This club is heading in only one direction, down. Unless of course someone out there can find the magic solution to wake up this slowly decaying and withering old nag.
Paul Jewell is a man once again living on borrowed time. Marcus Evans continues to be a man more elusive that Lord Lucan, but one who also seems reluctant to want to step in and protect his substantial investment from going to the wall.
As for the players, well is it any wonder their motivation is so low when you read what a lifelong supporter like myself makes of the current demise?
As has been mentioned numerous times before on this blog, Ipswich now hold the record for being the longest serving club in the Champioship. Sadly, there’s no gold watch for that accolade, just the realisation that you’ve been in the same place, mixing in the same circles, going through the same motions for far too long.
Last season that honour was held by Coventry City and we all know what happened then.
This season, I see the same thing happening again. Relegation to the third tier of English football is on the cards for the so-called Pride of Suffolk.
Maybe that will be a good thing? It seems to have worked for other clubs of our size and stature who have come back fighting stronger and harder. It could be exactly the kick up the proverbial we all need.
Of course it wouldn’t be a good thing! Our supporters are already a deeply despondent and dissatisfied bunch, who have had their fill of broken dreams, shattered promises and pointless end-of-season clashes at Ashton Gate against Bristol City.
It’s high time something good happened at Portman Road, not just another season of abject failure interspersed with flashes of promise.
We already charge quite possibly the highest match day ticket prices in the division and our season ticket holder numbers have been sliding for the last five years.
Honestly, what would come next if it were a season or more in League One? Paul Jewell, you are not the man for this crisis. It’s been proven before at other clubs and it will no doubt happen again.
You have achieved absolutely nothing in almost two years and we’ve been “treated” to a succession of dreadful signings, appaling tactics and laughable soundbites in your post-match press conferences.
Move on man. The time has come for someone else to put their head above the parapet and make a go of it.
More to the point, it’s time for the owner to sell-up and count his losses. In Marcus Evans’ six-and-a-bit seasons as owner, we have gone through three managers (so far!) and finished in 8th, 9th, 15th, 13th and 15th.
Non-descript and emmanently forgettable. My prediction for this season? Right now, I’d be happy with 21st, but I fear much worse.
Someone needs to grab hold of this club and rescue it before it’s all too late.
We’re a sinking ship, the band’s still playing, but fewer people are listening.
Written by Adam Williams, We Are Going Up’s Ipswich Town blogger
Adam tweets at @adam_j_williams