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[FM21] Ipswich Town: The Tractor Boys


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Welcome to the Ipswich Town Football Club thread

Club Details

Status: Professional

Reputation: National

Nickname: The Tractor Boys

Founded: 1878

Owner: Marcus Evans (loves the club)

Current Manager: Paul Lambert

League: Premier League (England)

Captain: Luke Chambers

Squad Personality: Professional

Rivals: Norwich City

Legends, Icons & Favoured Personnel:


Stadium: Portman Road

Capacity: 30,311 all-seater


Training Facilities: Great

Corporate Facilities: Average

Youth Facilities: Great

Youth Level: 2

Junior Coaching: Adequate

Youth Recruitment: Average

Finances: Okay

Transfer Budget: £0m (but 100% of sales)

Wage Budget: £116,529m p/w

Media Prediction: 4th

Trophy Cabinet:


Edited by stevemc
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Club History


Early years and entry to the Football League (1878–1954)

The club was founded as an amateur side in 1878 and were known as Ipswich A.F.C. until 1888 when they merged with Ipswich Rugby Club to form Ipswich Town Football Club. The team won a number of local cup competitions, including the Suffolk Challenge Cup and the Suffolk Senior Cup. After playing in the Norfolk & Suffolk League from 1899 and the South East Anglian League between 1903 and 1906, they joined the Southern Amateur League in 1907 and, with results improving steadily, became champions in the 1921–22 season. The club won the league a further three times, in 1929–30, 1932–33 and 1933–34, before becoming founder members of the Eastern Counties Football League at the end of the 1934–35 season. A year later, the club turned professional and joined the Southern League, which they won in its first season and finished third in the next.

Ipswich were elected to The Football League on 30 May 1938, and played in Division Three (South) until the end of the 1953–54 season, when they won the title and promotion to Division Two.


Promotion and First Division success (1954–1963)

The club were immediately relegated back to Division Three (South) the following year at the end of a poor season, but made better progress after Scott Duncan was replaced as team manager by Alf Ramsey in August 1955. The club won the Division Three (South) title again in 1956–57, and returned to the higher division. This time, Ipswich established themselves in Division Two, and as the division champions, won promotion to the top level of English football, Division One, in 1960–61.

In the top flight for the first time, Ipswich became Champions of the Football League at the first attempt in 1961–62. As English league champions, they qualified for the 1962–63 European Cup, defeating Maltese side Floriana 14–1 on aggregate before losing to A.C. Milan. Ramsey left the club in April 1963 to take charge of the England national team. Under his leadership the England team won the 1966 World Cup. He received a knighthood for "services to football" in 1967.


Decline and revival after Ramsey (1963–1969)

Ramsey was replaced by Jackie Milburn, under whose leadership fortunes on the pitch plummeted. Two years after winning the league title, Ipswich slipped down to the Second Division in 1964, conceding 121 league goals in 42 games – one of the worst-ever defensive records in English senior football. Milburn quit after just one full season and was replaced by Bill McGarry in 1964. The club remained in the Second Division for four years until McGarry guided Ipswich to promotion along with his assistant Sammy Chung in the 1967–68 season, winning the division by a single point ahead of Queens Park Rangers. McGarry left to manage Wolves and was replaced by Bobby Robson in January 1969.


The Bobby Robson era (1969–1982)

Robson led Ipswich to two major trophies and several seasons in top flight European football. The successful period began in 1973 when the club won the Texaco Cup and finished fourth in the league, qualifying for the UEFA Cup for the first time. In the 1974–75 season they reached the semi-finals of the FA Cupfor the first time, losing to West Ham United after a replay, and finished third in the league. By the late 1970s, Robson had built a strong side with talent in every department, introducing the Dutch pair Arnold Mühren and Frans Thijssen to add flair to a team that featured British internationals including John Wark, Terry Butcher and Paul Mariner, although the Ipswich squad perhaps lacked the depth of established big clubs like Liverpool and Manchester United. Ipswich regularly featured in the top five of the league and in the UEFA Cup. At their peak in the 1979–80 season, they beat Manchester United 6–0 in a league game at Portman Road, a game where United goalkeeper Gary Bailey also saved three penalties. The defeat cost United two points – the margin which eventually separated them and champions Liverpool. Major success came in 1978 when Ipswich beat Arsenal at Wembley Stadium to win their only FA Cup trophy. The triumph was followed by a UEFA Cup victory in 1981 with a 5–4 victory over AZ Alkmaar in the two-legged final. The run to the final included a 4–1 win at St Etienne, captained by Michel Platini. The club also finished as league runners-up in 1981 and 1982.

Robson's success with Ipswich attracted the attention of many bigger clubs, and he was linked with the Manchester United job when Dave Sexton was sacked in May 1981, but the job went to Ron Atkinson instead. The Football Association lured Robson away from Portman Road a year later, when he accepted their offer to manage the England national team in July 1982.



Relegation after Robson and promotion under Lyall (1982–1994)

Robson's successor at Ipswich was his assistant manager Bobby Ferguson. Under Ferguson, Town finished mid-table twice, but worsening performances meant that they began to struggle in the top division. The recent construction of an expensive new stand at Portman Road limited the club's budget, despite the money gaining from sales of key players including Thijssen and Wark.

Ipswich were finally relegated to the Second Division at the end of the 1985–86 season. Butcher, the last remaining key player from the successful 1981 team, was sold to Rangers that summer. Ferguson, who had remained in charge despite the relegation, resigned in May 1987 after reaching the promotion play-offs but failing to return the club to the First Division. Ipswich Town were then managed by John Duncan for three years until he was replaced by former West Ham United boss John Lyall in May 1990, with Ipswich still in the Second Division. Lyall guided Ipswich to the Second Division title and promotion to the new FA Premier League, ready for the 1992–93 season. Suffering only two league defeats before the New Year, Ipswich started the season well and were fourth in the Premier League in January 1993, but a dip in form during the final weeks of the season saw them finish 16th. Poor form continued into the following season and Ipswich only avoided relegation that year when Sheffield United suffered a 3–2 defeat at Chelsea on the final day of the season. Six months later, fortunes on the pitch had not improved, and Lyall was sacked in December 1994 with the club bottom of the Premiership.


Relegation and revival under George Burley (1994–2002)

Lyall's successor, George Burley, was unable to turn team performances around, and Ipswich suffered a Premiership record defeat, 9–0, at Manchester United, on their way to relegation. Back in the second tier of the league, Burley led the club to three consecutive promotion playoffs, but they were to endure defeats in all three semi-finals. Ipswich finally returned to the Premiership in 2000 after coming from behind to beat Barnsley 4–2 in the last Division One playoff final at Wembley Stadium. Ipswich performed well in the Premiership in their first season with Burley's side finishing in an impressive fifth place—being pipped by Liverpool on the last day of the season for a place in the Champions League. Consolation was a UEFA Cup place and FA Premier League Manager of the Year Award for Burley.

However, the team took only one win in their opening seventeen league games the following season leaving them bottom in December. Despite a good run of form in January and February, Burley could not save the club from relegation back to the Championship at the end of the season. The loss of income due to relegation also led to the club going into financial administration. There was the minor consolation of again qualifying for the UEFA Cup, this time via the UEFA Fair Play ranking, and Ipswich survived two ties before losing in the second round proper to Czech side Slovan Liberec. A slow start to the season, culminating in a 0–3 defeat at struggling Grimsby Town, meant that Burley was sacked in October 2002 after nearly eight years as manager.




Years in the Championship (2002–2019)

First team coach Tony Mowbray was given four games as caretaker manager, winning once, but he was ultimately replaced as manager by the former Oldham Athletic, Everton and Manchester City manager Joe Royle, who had played for local rival Norwich City. Royle inherited a side struggling near the Division One relegation zone, but revived fortunes such that the team narrowly failed to reach the playoffs. The 2003–04 season saw the club come out of administration and continue to challenge for promotion back to the Premier League. They finished that season in fifth, but were defeated in the playoff semi-finals by West Ham United.

Narrowly missing automatic promotion in 2004–05, Royle again took Ipswich to the play-offs, but once more they lost to West Ham United in the semi-finals. 2005–06 saw Ipswich finish in 15th place—the club's lowest finish since 1966. Joe Royle resigned by mutual consent on 11 May 2006, and a month later, Jim Magilton was officially announced as the new manager. In November 2007, the club were involved in takeover discussions with both businessman Marcus Evans and former Birmingham City director David Sullivan. In December 2007, Evans completed his takeover of the club, purchasing an 87.5% stake in the club, investing around £44 million, which included the purchase of the club's existing £32 million debt. The club agreed a sponsorship deal with the Marcus Evans Group on 20 May 2008, lasting until 2018, the longest in the club's history.

After failing to reach the playoffs despite substantial investment, Magilton was sacked in April 2009, and new Chief Executive Simon Clegg replaced him with former Manchester United player, Roy Keane. Keane's spell as manager came to an end after an unsuccessful 18 months, when he was sacked in January 2011, to be replaced briefly by Ian McParland in a caretaker role before Paul Jewell took the reins on a permanent basis. A poor start to the 2012/13 season with Ipswich bottom of the Championship after winning only one of their first twelve games, led to Jewell leaving his position on 24 October 2012 by mutual consent.

He was replaced temporarily by Chris Hutchings for a single match in a caretaker role, before former Wolves boss Mick McCarthy was appointed full-time on 1 November 2012. McCarthy led Ipswich to avoid relegation, taking them from bottom of the league in November to finish in 14th position. The following season produced a 9th-place finish and in the 2014–15 season a 6th place and play-off finish – though the club lost in the semi-finals to local rivals Norwich City 4–2 on aggregate. Ipswich ended the 2016–17 season in 16th place, their lowest finish since the 1958–59 season. McCarthy announced that he would be leaving the club on the expiration of his contract at the end of the 2017–18 season on 23 March 2018. However, following a 1–0 victory over Barnsley on 10 April 2018, McCarthy left early and announced his resignation. He was replaced until the end of the season by Bryan Klug as a caretaker manager. Ipswich would ultimately finish 12th at the end of the season. On 30 May 2018, Paul Hurst was announced as the new manager of the club on a three-year contract. However, after a poor start to the season and with the team bottom of the table, Hurst was sacked in October 2018 after less than five months in charge – making him the shortest serving manager in the club's history. He was replaced by former Norwich City manager Paul Lambert on 27 October, but he was ultimately unable to prevent relegation to League One at the end of the season, ending Ipswich's 17-year stay in the Championship.


League One (2019–present)

Lambert remained as manager following relegation to take charge of Ipswich's first season in the third tier since 1957. The Blues' 11th-place finish is the club's lowest since 1953. The standings were decided by points-per-game due to the season's suspension as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.



Edited by stevemc
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Why manage Ipswich Town?

Firstly, if you want a lower league club to bring back to the big-time then Ipswich could be the one. A few promotions are needed to get back to the Premier League and the challenge of Europe where they once were but the foundations are clearly already in place.

I have also seen a lot of people go with Norwich because of there large transfer budget and solid squad but being one of the most yo-yo clubs of recent years could you knock them off their perch once, surpass and be the best team in East Anglia.

Yes you get £0 budget (like most clubs in League One) and your wage budget is full but there is alot of moving around you can do with the squad to raise cash and bring down your wage budget. Not only that but they have some quality core players who are English (helps with the WP issues come Jan) with the likes of Woolfenden, Dozzell, Flynn Downes, Bishop & Norwood at your disposal, all but Norwood (due to his age) can be nurtured into solid Premier League players.

The club also has no debt, a huge stadium and is prime save for bringing them glory days back.

Come on the Tractor Boys!!!

Edited by stevemc
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Ipswich Town Season 1 20/21

Great thread & totally agreeing with the above is why I started with Ipswich.

Well what can I say, I did a total overhaul of the squad, getting some amazing free signings and some of the usual names from FM20 with Lincoln & Pellegri spear heading my attack, who along with others demolished everyone in the league!!!

I wasn't too concerned about raising money for transfers for the first season given the amount of decent freebies you can get, it was reducing that wage budget to allow the manouverability for wages.

Once of the first things I did do however was ask for a senior affiliate, luckily the board granted me this, I had a choice of City, Arsenal or Spurs ... I went for City as I wanted Harwood-Bellis and that's exactly who I got, here are my transfers for season 1:

Transfers In 



Transfers Out




As you can see I did a fair bit, literally giving away some of the players I considered on high wages and were ageing. The loan signings I got were unreal, Wilshire & Sturridge came in later through the season as nobody snapped them up and were brilliant additions with wages of 2.5k & 1.8k respectively.

I got a few staff for my Under 18's, Darren Fletcher & Park Ji Sung being Model Citizens.

End Of Season

All in all the first season was a remarkable achievement, whilst I had confidence I would go up I dismantled everyone in the league, I was champions with 8 games remaining, I won the JPT and made it to the 5th round of the FA Cup before Man City knocked me out (who were the eventual winners). I beat a number of Championship teams in the FA Cup early rounds and Carabao which gives me huge confidence for the new season ahead. Here are the final standings for League One, in which my team broke nearly every record going:


Keeping up with previous FM tradition one of my defeats was at home to Northampton, it was a standard game of one shot one goal and I must of had 30 on target against them, it was just one of them days. My other defeat also came at home to Portsmouth, meaning I was unbeaten away all season.

I'm currently just in pre season of the second season, I was given £3.5m to spend and have so far managed to raise it to £7.5m, I will post further once I have an update of the transfers once the transfer window is over.

They want me to avoid relegation but I feel we can comfortably achieve this. Come on the Tractor Boys (PS: Norwich got promoted back to the Premier in mine so I'm hunting them down) but more to follow!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just started as Ipswich Town - this is going to be my long term save - not sure what approach to take though - youth challenge, journeyman, try and get to a bigger club, or take Ipswich to the top.


No transfer or wage budget to start with though.

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So I've set up deals to let Judge and Huws go to the MLS, had to accept giving Judge a £65k pay off for him to leave but this should give me about £500k for transfers and free up £12k a week in wages. Now I'm going to hunt down some bargains. New GK looks a must.

I've also asked the board for a senior affiliate.

Edited by Joyboy.
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Monaco have accepted a loan offer for Pellegri, he should make his mind up n the next couple of days. I've also identified Andre Green on a free, hopefully I can set u a deal for him.


Still feel there's quite a bit of deadwood to shift from the side though, so will be looking to offload a few more players so I can get the sort of side I want at Ipswich.

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Well coming to the end of my first season in charge, after starting a complete rebuild of Ipswich we have had an amazing season which puts us 20 points clear in the league and winning the JP cup.


Then Moyes get the tin tact at West Ham and they show an interest in me, literally the only job at the moment I would leave Town for, they have now put Stuart Pearce in charge till the end of the season.


I'm unsure if they have someone lined up or they will make a decision at the end of the season. :confused:

Edited by Joyboy.
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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 07/01/2021 at 18:10, dido53 said:

lookıng for a long term challenge ıpswıch seems a nıce team.What tactic u use?any advice?

I can definitely recommend you don't sign Joe Geldhardt from Leeds. I've never seen a striker miss so many easy chances, only to bury impossible ones in my years of playing football management games. Seriously the man is responsible for many wear words in my house in the last 3 weeks. 

More positively, I've been playing 4-3-3. Worked well. Kayden Jackson does well from the left, cutting in. Andre Dozzell is an assists machine. Luke Woolfenden is superb too. Definitely the spine to build around. As has been said, a new keeper is a good shout. I signed Luke Steele on a free only for him to get a 6 month injury and retire. Holy has been ... adequate. 

Edited by LincolnCanary
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