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24 September 2014

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You are in: Suffolk > Sport > Ipswich > Who will succeed Joe Royle?

Joe Royle

Joe Royle

Who will succeed Joe Royle?

The Northampton Town boss Colin Calderwood appears to be out of the running for the Ipswich Town job. It's understood he's moving to Nottingham Forest, leaving Portman Road with no appointment and an EGM next week.

Colin Calderwood out of the running

Northampton gave both Nottingham Forest and Ipswich permission to talk to the man who's just got The Cobblers promoted from League Two.  It's looking unlikely he'll choose Suffolk.  West Brom have also given Bryan Robson's assistant Nigel Pearson permission to talk to Portman Road.

Tony Mowbray - ex-Hibs manager

Tony Mowbray at Hibernian


Voting to approve a share issue is to take place at an Extraordinary General Meeting being held on Monday 5th June.  Existing shareholders and club members would be allowed to buy the new stock.  The total value of the issue would be a maximum of £1.7m.

The Portman Road board would have hoped to have had a new manager in place ahead of the share issue.


Former Ipswich captain Tony Mowbray ruled himself out of a move from Hibernian earlier in May.

The ex-Celtic defender has guided Hibs to successive top-six finishes in the Scottish Premier League. As well as guiding the club into the UEFA Cup last year, the team will compete in the Intertoto competition this July - a situation not lost on Mowbray: "A lot has been achieved in my two years here and there is a lot more to do.  We have a talented group of players and our plans are well advanced for next season."

He adds "Everyone knows I have a lot of affection for Ipswich.  I spent a number of happy years there as a player and as a coach.  It is a club with a great infrastructure and potential.  Both clubs deserve the utmost respect and it was important to me that the process was handled with integrity and that I spoke to David Sheepshanks
personally to let him know my feelings."

Mr Sheepshanks has told the ITFC website that Hibs granted them permission to talk "I had a long, friendly discussion with Tony Mowbray about the vacancy.  However, at this time he feels he is not ready to return so soon and we must respect his decision."

Jason de Vos and ITFC chairman David Sheepshanks

David Sheepshanks with Jason de Vos

Joe Royle's farewell

The news of Joe Royle's departure was announced on Thursday 11th May.  The Club chairman David Sheepshanks says it was mutual decision "The parting is very amicable.  I would like to place on record our warm appreciation and thanks for the tremendous job that Joe Royle has done - initially through turbulent times."

Ipswich reached the Play-off semi-finals in 2003/04 and 2004/05 but finished 15th in the 2005-2006 season - the club's lowest position for forty years.

Joe Royle issued this statement via the club "I would like to thank everyone involved at Ipswich Town - the fantastic staff and the players for their support and for giving their best at all times.  As the Chairman said, we are parting extremely amicably and I wish the Club, its staff and the supporters nothing but the very best for the future."

Sheepy's view

So why now? How much will it cost the club? And will it affect the amount of money available to spend on players?

David Sheepshanks wouldn't be drawn when he spoke to BBC Radio Suffolk "I'm not going to go into the details. It's not the case that the decision followed a discussion about the amount of money available for spending this summer.  We had various discussions and we agreed that this was the right time."

Jim Magilton - ITFC

"We're still to finalise the financial arrangements of the agreement by mutual consent but I don't expect any difficulties."

"We did finish the season all feeling pretty flat, but we did have problems with injuries.  I certainly think the prospects for next season are brighter if everyone stays fit and there's also a new share issue."

Hats in the ring?

Several other names have been mooted as possible new managers.  Former captain Terry Butcher has ruled himself out by signing a 2-year deal to manage the Australian champions Sydney FC.  However, he admits his ears pricked up when he heard Royle had left "Obviously Ipswich is a club very close to my heart.  However, I was out in Australia, the offer was there and it was very good in terms of the lifestyle and the team - everything just seemed to fall into place."

"I could have flown back to England if I'd really wanted to, but there was never any guarantee I would even be considered by Ipswich.  The timing wasn't right, but who knows?  In the future I would love to manage Ipswich, but at the moment I've got a 2-year contract with Sydney."

Jim Magilton is another Portman Road favourite who's without a job at the moment having just left Ipswich to move to the north west.  It was Joe Royle who made him captain "Leaving would have been a very difficult decision for Joe to make, but I think he's done it for the benefit of himself and for the club.  It's unselfish and it typifies the man."

"People know what I think of the football club, I loved it as soon as I walked in the place.  But whether I would be on the managerial shortlist - I think the board would be looking elsewhere."

Another former blue who's name is being mentioned is the Canadian boss Frank Yallop.


The BBC Suffolk online vote has been closed.  At the close of play Tony Mowbray was the people's choice with 22% of the vote.  More alarmingly, BBC Radio Suffolk's summariser Bryan Knights was second-favourite with 18%.  


Andrew Redfern is the chairman of the ITFC Supporters Club and Joe's departure has come as a shock "Joe has worked with his hands tied behind his back and he has made progress.  Fifteen debutants last season tells its own story and it really was a difficult job.  As a new manager I would hope it's someone who wants to play football - possibly someone with old ties to the club in the way the George Burley was given time to develop."

Tune into BBC Radio Suffolk's Sport Preview on Fridays 6-7pm and Matchday for full commentary of all Ipswich Town games during the football season.

last updated: 16/07/2008 at 11:15
created: 12/05/2006

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