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Lambert: Without Money It's a Different Project
Monday, 8th Jul 2019 06:00

Boss Paul Lambert knows that expectations will be high going into Town’s first third tier season for 62 years but warns that it’s not a given that his young, frugally-assembled squad will be in the top six, even if he believes they’re "a really good side”.

Asked whether he has a target for where he wants Town to finish in League One the Blues manager confirmed he had one in mind without elaborating any further.

When it was pointed out that most people would see the season as a failure if Town weren’t in the top six at the very least, he added: “Why do people think we’re automatically going to be in the top six? Because we’re Ipswich? Look at the side, the side is young.

"There were 12 academy kids [involved against Paderborn on Saturday], I’m not sure there are going to be as many as that in the whole division.

“What I will say is we’re a good side, I think we’re a really good side. It’ll be really tough but if we keep performing, then let’s see what happens.”

However, he says he’s well aware that there will be expectations among fans: “There will be, absolutely, and there should be because the badge indicates it, the club indicates it, the history of the club indicates it, the support indicates it. That’s fine, it’s totally fine.

“We haven’t spent any money at all – none. If you spend money then I can understand people saying ‘You have to be up there’ and ‘You have to win titles’. I get all that.

“Without money it’s a different project, but the objective is still the same. It’s to try and be successful. But we haven’t spent any money.

“They’re young, there are 12 academy kids, it’s a project, but they’re a really good side. I’m not saying they’re not a good side, I’m saying they’re a really good side.

“They might make mistakes more than will happen with experienced players but if they keep playing like that and they keep doing those things.”

Lambert played down suggestions that keeper Bartosz Bialkowski’s move to Millwall for around £1 million breaking down has impacted upon his ability to make signings and says the Polish international's value has reduced as a result of Town's drop into League One.

“No, because the club has been relegated,” he continued. “If what people tell me is true, that Bart could have gone last season for whatever, £3 million, if you get relegated, no one’s going pay that money any more. It’s not going to happen.

“It never even got that far, that’s the beauty of it all. I’m not disappointed the guy’s not away because he’s a really good goalkeeper. So from that point of view, a selfish point of view I’m glad Bart’s still here.

“As I’ve said, I don’t lose sleep about things until they really affect me then I’ll start to say, ‘OK, what’s going on?’.”

Meanwhile, the Blues squad and staff spent yesterday afternoon paintballing close to their hotel near Meppen, where next Sunday's Interwetten Cup takes place, with team building during their time away in Germany seen as a priority by Lambert.

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ITFCsince73 added 10:38 - Jul 10
And so to avoid confusion. ME, yes him personally.
Has recently purchased a large estate for £9m.
At last estimate, 2m for renovation.
He clearly loses no sleep over the woes within his company namely ITFC. ITFC I would imagine is just an issue he could do without.

TBT added 11:41 - Jul 10
ITFCsince73 - your last sentence contains the words that nobody, including me, wants to believe.
But sadly it is reality, he doesn’t give a damn about ITFC and we’re League 2 bound if PL can’t muster a miracle.

rabbit added 12:28 - Jul 10
ITFCsince73 you are right I do have connections to a substantial organisation, however that is irrelevant, sadly I do not have, and have never suggested that I did have, the answers.
However what is quite clear is that your points are simply incorrect Marcus Evans is NOT a sole proprietor and to suggest he is quite frankly ridiculous.
For goodness sake Sir just Google it.
Furthermore what he does with his own money is also totally irrelevant, this business (ITFC) has to be put in order, just take a moment to look at EFL rules in respect to the playing budget alone for this season and its subsequent reduction in the following season and you will start to realise just how implausible some of your comments are.
Although as I've commented before why let the facts get in the way of anything,

ITFCsince73 added 12:31 - Jul 10
TBT. Great, knowledgeable words by the way that started this convo off.
Yes agreed 100%.
It's only recently I've totally lost faith in what controls the club.
The stage now is uncertainty.
We will start the new L1 season in hope, more than anything else. Which is unfortunate, as 2 or 3 signings of a certain breed, I believe could be all the difference.
And it is of course unfortunate, what controls the club, can if they choose cover losses for the next 10 years. Annoying is the bigger picture, of an empire that's so successful, annual profit discussion is based on weather another 0 is added to that of last year. That empire in full control over the club and after 11 years still doesn't know which direction it wants to go with.

ITFCsince73 added 12:48 - Jul 10
Rabbit. To end this. I don't have to Google anything.
ME and his buisness affairs have no partnerships or no shareholder. The closet his buisness comes to shareholding, is the breaking up of various streams, that all carry the ME name. As far as ITFC is concerned ME has full control. And any thought that he can just down tools and ride off into the sunset, if he so chooses is possibly the most ridiculous comment of all. Do you believe daily invoices received by the club are in the name of ITFC? Yes you probably do...

rabbit added 13:07 - Jul 10
Incredible statement, you just won't look, hey ho good luck to you and your very strange views.
With regard to daily invoicing yes I can absolutely confirm that I know of a supplier that does invoice ITFC direct, I also pay my ST to ITFC direct.
I would suggest you ought to look at the ITFC Company Ltd. A/c's but I guess you don't need to! Extrordinary.

ITFCsince73 added 13:18 - Jul 10
TBT. If I had to answer as an outsider looking in.
It would be the failure of Ipswich borough council over 11 years to work with the ME Group.
Much the same with Southend United a project that is only moved in the last year or so after 20 years.
To kick start the project for the ME Group, it needs the purchase of the ground, which it would pay same day.
In short theres hundreds upon hundreds if not thousands of homes involved. And a nice new stadium thrown in.
It's the only logical reasons the ME Group got, and still is Iinvolved

ITFCsince73 added 13:27 - Jul 10
If nothing else it explains why the ground is, and is getting in bad repair.
It's in operation....that's all that matters....for now

ITFCsince73 added 13:31 - Jul 10
Lol The world would know us as Marcus Evan's FC. The branding hasn't changed Rabbit. I did pay for a ticket by cheque but cant remember if I made to itfc or ME lol.

rabbit added 13:51 - Jul 10
Thousands of homes involved?
If IBC sold the ground and allowed housing/flating it still wouldn't make thousands of homes.
Honestly I have no idea what you are on, a new stadium would potentially be £250mil + how you can work out a profit on that basis I have no idea.
What you suggest is ME already £80mil+ out of pocket is hanging in for that scenario is frankly unreal.
To be honest I am almost speechless that this stream has come this far, your conspiracy theories are amusing at least.
Sadly there are not many people that will read your latest incomprehensible utterings.

Blue041273 added 13:56 - Jul 10
73. When will you face reality. Of course ITFC is part of a group of corporations making up the ME empire. You would not get any access to financial information if it wasn’t. The shares in the ME holding company which itself owns all the shares in the ME empire are owned in entirety by ME and his family and friends and he derives a good living from their continued success in their fields of operation. Any fool will know that any business whatever the returns and risks needs to be protected through a corporate existence. Through the salary paid to him as CEO and no doubt the dividends the holding company declares to his shareholders he is able to enjoy a more than reasonable standard of living! How he spends his money is his affair. However he is under no obligation to throw good money after bad to satisfy discontented ‘customers’. Because you can be sure he did not get into football club ownership as a philanthropic gesture with a lifetime guarantee of being an ATM to deliver cash all the time. He saw an opportunity but with misguided management the project went wrong. It has cost him millions but as a businessman, instead of baling out, he is trying through standard good business practices to repair the damage that he and his managerial appointments have inflicted on us. They are gone and will never carry the can but ME, to his credit, is trying to pick up the pieces. I am not an apologist for ME but a lot of people on this thread expect too much!

ITFCsince73 added 14:28 - Jul 10
Rabbit. I can clearly see you have had no dealings in development. Yes the ground itself could hold many units.
The training ground also.
The parcels of land for all we know maybe purchased already. This part of the development could contain a new stadium training facilities, thousands of homes, buisness parks etc etc. And yes a project worth hundreds of millions and more. As I've said, Southend Utd have recently moved there project on. 20 years in the making, losses each year covered, now will see the riches of those 20 years. Or the owner will anyway. Southend Utd currently have planning permission to create a large town. With stadium within. The council finally give in after 20 years. The purchase of our stadium ME has negotiated since day 1. With this the cooperative council would give permission for development how ever big the ME Group required. A lot of clubs have and are going through similar. This is 2019 after all. . And Rabbit as an extra sweetener to the council, all flats built on Portman Road. Will be affordable housing.

Blue041273 added 15:04 - Jul 10
ITFC does not own the ground. It is held under covenant by Ipswich Borough Council. The covenant states that the ground must be used for sports purposes so your assertion that it can be converted to housing is frankly risible. Any attempt to subvert the covenant would be challenged in court and the terms of the covenant would prevail.

ITFCsince73 added 15:10 - Jul 10
As I said blues041. It requires a cooperative council.

rabbit added 15:29 - Jul 10
Oh my God ITFCsince73 you are hilarious, I'm not even sure you believe all this drivel you continue to spit out and are acting, with presumably little else to do in your life, to get people such as me to rise to these ridiculous theories.
By the way you are wrong again I know quite a bit about development.
You and particularly one other, who shall remain nameless, are the gifts that just keep giving.
At least the majority of the ME detractors have the innocence and inexperience of youth on their side.
Enjoy your winter with your grandchildren but please don't attempt to help them with their homework.
Thanks for the laugh.

Blue041273 added 15:42 - Jul 10
No sir! It would require a lot more than that. The legal bill would be massive and the process with legal challenges and appeals etc could be protracted. And if you think that the objective of the takeover all those years ago was to build affordable homes on Portman Road incurring annual losses of £10 m for more than 10 years in the process you clearly have no business acumen. 100 starter homes attracting a profit of even £100,000 would only generate £10 m. Tell me, where’s the logic in that? ME has the power and the right to close us down in a heartbeat. Always has had! If he had any aspirations to asset strip he surely would have done so by now. Furthermore even a cooperative Borough Council would not remain in office very long if even a hint of a sale of PR got out!

ITFCsince73 added 22:02 - Jul 10
Yes Blues. The residents of Southend said the same.
And as you and Rabbit can’t grasp what I’m saying.....buying the ground and building on it is 3% of the project. Building on Playford Rd is another 3% of the project. The main development is away from the centre of Ipswich. The new stadium and training facilities will be a community based set up. Thus conforming with latest planning requirements. Look what Colchester have done. Southend are doing. Both moving to new stadiums, 5 or so miles from their former homes.
Massive development all around the new stadium. Rabbit, you really believe it costs 250m to build a stadium, on land that might already be won’t be a White Hart Lane. 25,000 seats with provision to increase. Anyway just to double check, there’s a few hundred flats on Portman Road, affordable requirements met, thus meeting planning guidance. Ipswich bourough council have a guaranteed development, delivering housing quotas set by goverment. The affordable housing quotas set by goverment will be easier to reach for Ipswich bourough council. The area gets a new stadium facility that all can use. This has already happened at a number of clubs. This is currently happening at Southend. Colchester Utd have the land and new stadium, the development around the stadium is now starting to progress. This will continue to happen at other clubs. IBC, so far haven’t played ball. IBC currently cant meet quotas set by goverment. 70% of clubs are purchased with major future development in mind. This is my opinion of why Evans got involved and continues to be involved. Massive changes of planning laws have happened over the last couple of years. Large development is now much easier when planning guidance is followed ie, job creation, tourism, leisure, a council struggling to meet its quotas, etc, etc.

Blue041273 added 22:32 - Jul 10
If, as you have said the overall project absorbs just 6% of the total development, do you not think that the problems (hidden or otherwise) are too much to handle for the developers? Do you really believe that the electorate in Ipswich are going to countenance the demise of their football club? There will be massive issues for any potential developers to deal with. As previously stated PR is subject to a covenant and you do the the representatives on the IBC a huge disservice in assuming that they would lie down and kowtow to the wishes of the supposed developers! ITFC is one of Ipswich’s jewels. A new out of town stadium might not work. It hasn’t worked in Colchester! It might not work in Southend! We have enough issues with things on the pitch please do not scare people with non existent off field nonsense.

ITFCsince73 added 23:25 - Jul 10
Blu3 041. I’ve tried to explain the best I can......
Where does the demise come from?
The club currently pay a small fortune to the council to rent the ground.
An out of town community stadium owned by the club, makes ITFC a better proposition should the clubs owner decide to sell.
Portman Road is prime development land, along with Playford Road. The main development is out of town. For all is known this land maybe have been purchased at the time the club was bought by ME. It’s happening along the same lines at a lot of clubs currently. Southend, Brentford, York City, AFC Wimbledon, Aberdeen. All selling old grounds. Moving to new sites. Housing and development being the order of the day. Bournemouth recently stated it wasn’t viable to stay at their present ground. They needed to own their own ground. Weather this was to kick the council into selling remains to be seen. But there current home isn’t premier league standard. This will be another to join the list. This is my opinion of why ME is here. You have yours. If the future of the club hinges on plans such as this, there’s not really a lot the public can say. ME needs the council to sell him the ground and to get them onside. A new community stadium for the people of Ipswich, won’t bring to many objections. And to redevelop a dated stadium, slowly getting into disrepair, and looking unsightly, into much needed housing in the centre of Ipswich won’t receive to many objections either. And the financial future of the club being secured I won’t object things stand the club is worthless. And within the next couple of years, if the last few years is anything to go by our stadium will be an embarrassment. It’s falling apart around us as it is.

Blue041273 added 10:43 - Jul 11
Wow! As conspiracy theories go this is up there with the moon landings denial! The financial numbers simply don’t stack up. ME is not into property development and I cannot believe that he has waited more than 10 years racking up debts to the tune of £80m plus just to be forever known as the man who closed down Portman Road! PR is already a community stadium held, as previously stated, under a covenant. The ME Group, in their acquisition of the club, bought the responsibility for the debt incurred by the development of the North Stand. That debt is still due to the ME Group. If, and it’s a monumental if, a housing project on PR is on the cards, what advantage can there be for ME?

Blue041273 added 11:29 - Jul 11
One further point and then I will shut up! You dismiss the theory of the demise of the football club. It would make better sense for the IBC to simply give notice to the club to quit PR without any financial benefit to the football club! The bottom line is they won’t! The town needs a football club with all the economic benefits that go with it particularly if at any time soon we might actually have a successful season. That does not go hand in glove with an out of town stadium. Neither of us will be able to claim victory in this spat but I am truly confident that our Saturdays will be spent at Portman Road rather than in Felixstowe or the like. And now it’s goodbye from me!

ITFCsince73 added 11:30 - Jul 11
Wow. You still don't understand.
Do you think Col U would still be in buisness if it wasnt for the out of town stadium and huge development attached?
Southend had losses every year for 20 plus years. Covered by the owner. Now having a new out of town stadium being built and huge development attached. He purchased Southend with these plans in mind, 20 odd years ago. Or we can stick to the theory that it's some tax fiddle.
ME not into property development??? Really...

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