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American consortium pledges to restore Ipswich to former glory after takeover

Ipswich Town v Burton Albion – Sky Bet League One – Portman Road
(Image credit: Joe Giddens)

Ipswich have been taken over by an American consortium.

The consortium, called Gamechangers 2020 for the purpose of buying the Sky Bet League One club, also owns American side Phoenix Rising FC and has bought out owner Marcus Evans, who had been in charge at Portman Road since 2007.

Evans has agreed to write off the money the club owes him in exchange for a five per cent share of Gamechangers 2020, who will receive additional finances from the ‘Three Lions fund’ – a group consisting of investors Brett Johnson, Berke Bakay and Mark Detmer.

The outgoing owner said on the club’s official site: “I had always wanted to take the club myself to the Premier League and sadly, for too short a window, at one time this had seemed possible.

“However, as important to me as my ambition for the club was, if it didn’t work out I wanted to leave the club in not only a more secure financial position than the perilous state in which I found it, but with ownership that provides triple-A financial backing alongside a community ethos.

“I believe I have found this and I look forward to cheering the team on every week as we work our way back to where we all want to be.”

Michael O’Leary will take the position as club chairman and will be joined on the board by Johnson, Ed Schwartz, Bakay and Detmer.

“He is a true supporter and all of us at Gamechanger 20 are extremely grateful that he has chosen to put his trust in us,” O’Leary said of Evans.

“Marcus has invested considerable money, time and energy in Ipswich Town. His decision to waive much of the club’s outstanding debt is one that deserves the gratitude of every single Ipswich Town fan.”

Johnson says they will invest heavily in order to get the club back into the Championship.

“We are humbled and excited to be investing in Ipswich Town, one of the finest clubs in the history of English football,” he said.

“We are proud of our success on and off the pitch at Phoenix Rising and are committed to restoring ITFC to its former glory. To this end, the first priority is promotion to the Championship and the management team will be given additional funds to strengthen the playing squad.

“The Three Lions have considerable experience in commerce and marketing, and in the medium-term plan to increase revenue at the club, but the short-term priority has to be the playing side, and we are committed to improving that, all the way from the academy to the first team.”