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Ipswich Town fan Zach Ward says: ‘We have reached a crucial juncture in the future of our club’

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Ipswich Town fan Zach Ward
Ipswich Town fan Zach Ward

Sports broadcaster Danny Kelly said Nottingham Forest were lucky to come up against a ‘limp lettuce’ of a side in the form of Ipswich Town in their successful bid to avoid the drop.

It’s hard to disagree. Sunday’s affair was another game so symbolic of our season.

Another game on television. Another game where the nation questions our sanity in watching Ipswich Town week in, week out

While I have no dislike of Forest, it would have been nice to have helped out one of our best servants, current Blackburn Manager Tony Mowbray.

After riding our luck in the first couple of minutes, we played pretty well. Danny Rowe was a bright spark, and Dominic Samuel was unlucky not to score.

But after Forest were awarded a spot kick – I didn’t think it was a penalty in a million years, for what it’s worth – we folded like a pack of cards.

The hosts were fighting for their lives, and our season finished a couple of weeks ago.

But that’s no excuse.

Not for the first time this season, a large away following was rewarded for their cash, time and support with a dismal second half display.

Another game on television. Another game where the nation questions our sanity in watching Ipswich Town week in, week out.

It brings the curtain down on a forgettable season – our worst for 58 years.

The highlights? Barnsley and Newcastle at home, and the loan signing of Tom Lawrence. Inflicting Aston Villa’s first home defeat was an enjoyable day out, too. I’ve been wracking my brains all weekend, but I can’t think of any more.

I’ve always been a glass half full football supporter. But I fear for the future. I fear for next season.

I’ve been a defender of Mick McCarthy. Even after this season, I am not convinced simply sacking him will make everything fine. That’s not saying I’m opposed to change.

Yes, he has said things which upsets fans, and perhaps runs them up the wrong way. The football this season has, largely, been dull. The Lincoln City replay was embarrassing, and I’ll never know how Jonathan Douglas made so many starts in the past two seasons.

In virtually five seasons, he has spent the equivalent of about one Lee Martin – £2m or so – on our squad.

With more money going to teams in the Premier League than ever before, we are in danger of being left behind.

Blackburn Rovers being relegated, and Nottingham Forest and Birmingham being involved in a fight for survival, is proof enough past glories count for nothing. If you are mismanaged, you risk going down.

I think the club needs to rethink their season ticket strategy, which has managed to alienate every age bracket possible. Let’s do a Huddersfield, or a Bradford. Make the tickets cheap. Get the ground more than half full. Create some good will between the club and supporters.

The notion that charging more brings in more cash is a false economy. Ipswich Town is still yet to reveal renewal numbers. I have a feeling they are pitifully low.

It would be good if Mick’s future could be confirmed either way. Then the real planning for next season can start.

It does feel like we have reached quite a crucial juncture in the future of our club.

Thanks to everyone who has read and supported the column this year. I’ve had some enjoyable debate about our fortunes, both online and in person. It’s perhaps not been the best campaign to take it on full time – but here’s to a better one next season. COYB.

- A good friend of mine is organising a 12-hour charity game on May 20 in Ipswich - it’s the third and final one, raising money for Clic Sargent.

If you fancy it, please do get in touch - you don’t need to hang around for all 12 hours, but an hour or two would be a great help!

And if you can’t, but were able to spare some pennies for a donation, we would be really grateful.

More information can be found here, or you can tweet me @zach_ward1989