Ipswich boosted by £44m deal

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The Ipswich board have agreed a deal to sell a majority stake in the club to private businessman Marcus Evans. The proposed investment will see Evans buy the club's £32m debt, as well as investing a further £12m through the issue of new shares.

Should contracts be agreed after a period of due diligence, the transaction will see Evans become the majority owner and shareholder in the club. The chairman David Sheepshanks – who will remain in his post – believes the deal will help the club return to the Premier League.

Sheepshanks said: "Marcus Evans's investment is potentially great news for Ipswich Town. The board have been in discussion with Marcus for some time.

"We are pleased now to be able to make this announcement about the deal that, when completed, will enable further investment in Jim Magilton's team-building and our quest to bring Premier League football back to Portman Road."

Evans insisted that it was the club's potential – they are currently fourth in the Championship table – which attracted him.

"I believe that Ipswich has great potential to build on its rich footballing heritage. The club has an excellent reputation, both off the pitch and on it.

"The board has done a good job under difficult conditions under the stewardship of David Sheepshanks, who will continue in his role as chairman," Evans said.

"Jim Magilton and the squad have made a terrific start to the season and will have my full support."