Tractor Boys Have Everything To Play For Now
Ipswich Town kick off their pre-season friendlies in just six days time when they take on Drogheda United, in their annual pilgrimage to Ireland, under the watchful eye of manager Mick McCarthy.
If you can say one thing with certainty about the 'gaffer' it is that he is usually very consistent and our warm-up matches are once again against familiar foes.
As I indicated yesterday, I think most Town supporters will be pleasantly surprised about the way owner Marcus Evans has approached the forthcoming season, as he has finally backed McCarthy with some much needed financial clout.
It is not just spending big on players that is critical to our long term success but persuading them to come in the first place.
The hidden costs are obviously a big influence on whether a player decides to join us or not and these deals do not come cheap.
Then of course there is the length of a contract, which will often decide just how committed a player is to the long term goals of the club and in the case of Emyr Huws he has signed a four year deal - which is a statement of intent I believe from owner Marcus Evans.
If you recall Huws actually paid some of his own salary to play with us on loan last term so if anyone is deserving of a long term commitment by the club then it is surely him!
Manager Mick McCarthy is finally getting the financial backing he needs to get players in and his reputation in the game is seemingly untarnished by professional footballers at least.
He obviously has persuasive communication skills as well - although without the promise of a good salary and a long term contract, he has little chance of getting his man and this is where this season, there appears to be a discernible difference at boardroom level, when it comes to loosening those purse strings.
The club has decided that they must accept the conditions they are faced with, as other Championship clubs continue to buy as if there is no tomorrow and the clubs that exceed spending limits are not being punished by the football authorities.
It is good to spend within our means but there comes a time when we also have to be competitive and with all those hefty parachute payments for relegated clubs giving them a very unfair advantage, we have to accept - just like perhaps the Conservative government, that austerity can only be tolerated for so long.
Frank Weston - Editor of Vital Ipswich