Sadly it had to end this way


No football fan can honestly say they go into a game wanting their side to lose, but sadly that was the position I found myself in this week with Ipswich Town coming up against Derby County.

It seemed the only way to instigate a drastically required change in management and ethos that ultimately came the following day with the departure of Paul Jewell.

History will show the 2-1 defeat turned out to be Jewell’s final game in charge of the club and the end of what has been a massively unsuccessful period in charge for the former Bradford, Wigan and Sheffield Wednesday boss since January 2011.

He took over a team in a Championship relegation battle and now he has left one bottom of the table.

While the buck surely does have to stop with the manager in what people always call “a results business”, the factors leading to Jewell’s demise go much higher and wider than just events on-the-pitch.

As has been mentioned on this blog numerous times before, Ipswich Town as a club is slowly losing its identity and reputation under the current boardroom regime.

Gone is the perception and even admiration from others for it being a family club with a pedigree for producing home-grown talent and attractive, free-flowing football.

In its place since Marcus Evans invested his millions five years ago has come a slowly decaying, also-ran club, who seem increasingly distant from its fan base and values.

What has to happen now is not just the appointment of a new manager to firstly pull the club out of a relegation battle, but a new man in the chief executive’s chair and an owner who actually wants to show his face and be part of the community.

David Sheepshanks may not have been everyone’s cup of tea as a chairman in the 90s and early noughties and he was in charge at a time the club entered administration, but he always gave you the sense he was proud of the part his club played in shaping people’s lives.

He was paraochial, articulate and proud of his club’s achievements, recognising that the town and indeed Suffolk needed a club it could look up to.

Where was Marcus Evans when the final whistle blew on Tuesday night? On a yacht on holiday in the Caribbean allegedly. Hardly a way to identify with your common man or supporter.

It’s time the club was given a complete overhaul.

Time to ship out the endless loanees in the squad and play our own contracted players and a squad of hungry, young players with a desire to prove themselves.

Personally, I would rather see us finish bottom of the table fielding a side of fresh, young players than stutter through the rest of the season with a collection of other clubs’ players and short-term signings looking for their next pay day.

The other main question is who takes charge next?

I think the bigger question is who would want to take charge next?

We are far from an attractive option now for an out-of-work manager and our pulling power in coaxing someone else out of another job I would imagine is almost non-existent.

Sadly, I think things will get worse before they get better.

Written by Adam Williams, We Are Going Up’s Ipswich Town blogger

Adam tweets at @adam_j_williams

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