Ipswich takeover essential - Bowden

Ipswich Town's chief executive, Derek Bowden, believes that the £44m takeover of the Coca-Cola Championship club by the businessman Marcus Evans is "absolutely essential" for the club to win promotion back to the Premier League.

The Ipswich Town board yesterday agreed to the takeover which will see Evans purchase 87.5% of the club's shares in exchange for clearing the its £32m debt and investing a further £12m. Bowden insists that despite the club's fine start to the season under Jim Magilton, the extra cash was a necessity in order to push on to the top flight.

"It is a historic day in this football club's history," said Bowden. "This level of investment was absolutely essential. If you look at the clubs who have been promoted from this division in the last five years they have all had either a parachute payment or a benefactor.

"We've struggled manfully without either - most notably three seasons ago when we finished third - and this year we have done very well. But we are hovering around the play-offs and in order to have a real go at winning promotion we do clearly need to spend more on the playing side.

"Marcus is investing £12m into the club which will all be available in January for Jim to spend on a combination of fees and wages to take this club forward."

Bowden insisted that Evans would take a hands-off approach to affairs at the club despite his huge investment. "Marcus won't be on the board, he is on hardly any boards of the many businesses he owns but is the owner and ultimately has the controlling interest," he said. "But the day-to-day running of the club won't change and myself and the chairman and the rest of the management team will stay in place."

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