This summer could be a very exciting one for Ipswich Town fans – if not very stressful and busy behind the scenes.
The Tractor Boys will spend a third consecutive season in League One, with the shortened 2019/20 campaign seeing them fall short of the play-offs and a similar story occurred in 2020/21 as they finished five points behind sixth-placed Oxford United.
After arriving in March to replace Paul Lambert, Paul Cook is going to oversee a huge rebuild, having let go eight senior players and reportedly telling most of the rest of the squad that they’re free to find new clubs should the club receive the right fee.
The former Wigan boss was clearly unimpressed with what he witnessed in the final two months of the season and he looks set to have the full backing of the new ownership group – Gamechanger 20 – who purchased the club from Marcus Evans in April.
One of the owners is Brett Johnson, who has invested in American side Phoenix Rising and was instrumental in getting Didier Drogba to the United Soccer League outfit – whilst he’s said that there will be no Drogba-esque signings at Portman Road this summer he has full faith in Cook and the other staff that will be in charge to get the club into the Championship.
Can you name the Ipswich Town player who has been carded the most in each of the last 16 seasons?
“I think Paul’s track record is exactly the kind of guy that we need at Ipswich,” Johnson told Tribal Football.
“He knows how to get a team, certainly at this level, up to the next level so I think the two of them (Cook and incoming CEO Mark Ashton) are going to work very well with each other and be very busy in this transfer window.”
Cook certainly has the backing of Johnson and the rest of the Ipswich owners to get them to the second tier, and it seems as though he will be given the freedom to construct his own squad this summer.
It’s no secret now that Cook wants to rid of a lot of Paul Lambert’s players – including some of the promising youngsters who have perhaps stagnated recently.
You can probably guarantee some ex-Cook players from the likes of Wigan Athletic to come through the door but with the links to the likes of 26-goal striker Charlie Wyke, the new Americans in charge may be throwing some money behind a potential automatic promotion charge this coming season.