Mark Ashton CEO 1st interview - live link via EADT

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hallamblue
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Mark Ashton CEO 1st interview - live link via EADT

Post by hallamblue » Tue Jun 01, 2021 10:54 am

(for those not working )....

from 11.15am this morning

https://www.eadt.co.uk/sport/ipswich-to ... ss-8015174

hallamblue
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Re: Mark Ashton CEO 1st interview - live link via EADT

Post by hallamblue » Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:05 pm

Ashton: "Too big an opportunity to turn down"........



Incoming Blues CEO Mark Ashton says it was time for a new challenge and Town was too big an opportunity to turn down following five and a half years at Bristol City.

Ashton was first mentioned in connection with the CEO’s role at Portman Road by TWTD in February with his appointment announced in April before he finally took charge today.

The 49-year-old held a short 10-minute meeting with club staff - from Playford Road as well as Portman Road - in the FanZone this morning to introduce himself and outline his plans for the future.

Ashton says it was good to finally speak to those working at the club face to face: “It was really important, particularly as the club has gone through a takeover as well.

“A number of the staff actually haven't been onsite for 12 months because of the pandemic, so to invite them in, albeit socially distanced, in the FanZone, just to try and give them a little bit of confidence that we're here to try and help and build the club, and we have plans in place to take it forward, and I think to just try to reassure them a little bit, so it was great to see them.”

Asked what appealed to him about the project, he said: “Just look at it [indicating the Portman Road stadium]. I'll tell you a quick story. A couple of weeks ago myself and my family drove down one evening – it was a good three-hour drive – and we drove to the back of the Cobbold Stand.

“And there was literally a lump in our throats just looking at the size of the stand, the tradition of the stand, the font of the writing on the stand. My other half said to me, ‘whatever you do, don't you get rid of that font on that stand. That means something’.

“And when you walk around a club, you see it, and you feel it. I said to the staff this morning, I was 16 years at West Brom and I always thought that was a club that carried a huge tradition with it.

“Walking around this place this morning, my word. The memorabilia, the tradition, the history, the success that this football club has had.

“It's just too big an opportunity to turn down, to help be part of turning this around and taking it back to where we think it genuinely belongs.”


Looking back on his five and a half years at Ashton Gate, he said: “An amazing time, amazing people. Amazing ownership and there was a group of people that build the stadium, I can’t take credit for that but there was a group of people behind the scenes that built an incredible stadium.

“The training ground was my project, I think we leave them with an incredible legacy in the academy with a production line of players, nine or 10 first-team debuts this season.

“On the pitch they’re going to go through a big change of players and squad. I think they’ve got a great manager in Nigel Pearson. He was messaging me yesterday wishing me all the best and thanking me for my support and vice versa to him.

“It’s a club that I believe is destined for the Premier League, and they’ll be the first set of results I’ll be looking for after the Ipswich one. I only have good memories.”

Ashton has wasted no time in getting himself settled in town: Already moved, we have a house in Ipswich, which is great, so I got up this morning and it was five minutes to the stadium and five minutes to the training ground.

“You've got to do that. You can't run football clubs remotely and I passionately believe that.

“You've got to be all in, totally committed, and it's long hours. This isn't a job, this is a way of life. Those who know me from other clubs, from Bristol City, I haven't missed a second of a game.

“Every second, every game, you have to do that, you have to have that commitment, and we'll get decisions right on the way through, and we'll get decisions wrong, but the one thing that I can promise the fans that they will get my total commitment, all my energy and everything we've got to try and move this club forward.”

He’s already aware that there will be plenty of lengthy trips with Suffolk well away from plenty of teams in the division, and not even particularly close to his native region.

“The Midlands, I've worked that out already,” he laughed. “But that's great, I travel a lot to the games anyway and I do a lot of my thinking and my calls in the car, and I'm just really looking forward to help building something.

“I know keep saying it, but I'm just overwhelmed by the size and the tradition of this football club.

“I was in the office this morning and I was looking at the '78 FA Cup-winning team, and I think my very earliest memory of football was being at my friend's house and listening to West Brom play Ipswich in the '78 semi-final where John Wile and Brian Talbot headbutted one another in the first five minutes.

“Brian scored and John's got his head bandage on, and that's an iconic picture. It's just bizarre how things come back.

“I look at the team picture and Brian Talbot was my manager when I was a player at West Brom, Cyril Lea was my youth team coach when I was at West Brom, and the dots all join up, it's incredible.

“I just want to embrace the heritage, bring everyone together and play a part in taking what is a very, very special football club forward.”

Why did he want the challenge? Why leave a Championship club for League One?

“I'm a builder and if you look at where I've worked in the past and what I've done, that's what I've done, I've built.

“And I think the easier choice would be to stay where I am working for an amazing owner at Bristol City with some amazing people having just completed the training ground and having a really good relationship with the new manager.

“But you get to a point, I'm 50 this year – my word that frightens me – and I just felt it was time for a new challenge and I think the people who have acquired this football club, have invested in this football club are really special and want to do the right thing.

“And I just think sometimes in life things line up, and this just felt right from the moment they contacted me, and I love a challenge, and I think we've got one.

“But as I just said, I think this is a really special football club. It's amazing, and I'm amazed about how many people have contacted me in different walks of life who are Ipswich Town fans and have said, 'oh my God, I'm so pleased you're going there, you can do this, and you can do this’.

“And want to talk to me about the history and want to talk to me about the tradition, want to talk to me about what areas we can improve, what we should do, what we shouldn't do.

“It's a club that seems very dear to the football industry’s heart – just look at the former managers that have been here, it's incredible. And I'm just honoured to play a part in hopefully taking this club back to where we believe it should be.”

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number 9
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Re: Mark Ashton CEO 1st interview - live link via EADT

Post by number 9 » Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:29 pm

Ashton seems genuinely excited about being here. Interesting are the WBA connections...the cycle of life sort of thing. With all the staff appointees since the take over, it makes me wonder what the hell Evan's was doing. We now seem to be getting back to being a 'Football Organization'. I like that Ashton regularly attends matches and doesn't hide behind smoked glass. I look forward to seeing what he brings to the club.
Asked whether he has spoken to manager Paul Cook about targets, Ashton said: “Oh yeah, we had dinner last night, and that's what we talked about for three or four hours with [chairman] Mike [O’Leary].

“I've had a number of conversations on the phone with him as well where he's wanted to get me up to speed.

“He's clear on the type of individual he wants and I love the fact he's really clear that anybody who comes to play for this football club has got to be committed.

“This isn't a stop-off for someone to go and play for someone else, this isn't where journeyman come to finish their careers, this is a football club that deserves better, and he's adamant that he wants players and staff totally, totally committed, and he's already setting a tempo. So, we'll be working on those later today.”

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Re: Mark Ashton CEO 1st interview - live link via EADT

Post by Bluemike » Wed Jun 02, 2021 7:35 am

Excellent interview and says all the right things, if he achieves half as good as he speaks we are laughing. I always thought Cook saying everyone can leave was not correct and so it proves given that Ashton has stated there are players here Cook definitely wants to keep and work around.

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Re: Mark Ashton CEO 1st interview - live link via EADT

Post by tangfastic » Wed Jun 02, 2021 8:48 am

I thought this quote was interesting.


"This isn't a stop off, for someone to go and play for someone else, this isn't where journeymen come to finish their careers, this is a football club that deserves better, and he is adamant that he wants players and staff totally, totally committed.


I do think this club has been too comfortable a place for players to come into. The bar has been set too low and I can’t help feel this club has been a soft touch. So hopefully we bring in players with the right attitude.

Not totally agree about the comment about players coming in so that they can leap-frog to a better club. That would suggest they improved themselves and the team during that time - and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. And i would prefer a player who excels for a season and then gets sold on for a profit, rather than players who go through the motions on a three year contract and do nothing here.

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Re: Mark Ashton CEO 1st interview - live link via EADT

Post by Dubai Blue » Wed Jun 02, 2021 9:28 am

Agree with all of that Tang. But at this point there is a certain amount of just saying the right things going on.

Actions will be starting to occur soon. Getting exciting isn't it.....

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Re: Mark Ashton CEO 1st interview - live link via EADT

Post by Kerry Blue » Wed Jun 02, 2021 9:47 am

Very good interview it's got me thinking it seems he has found and bought a house in Ipswich and moved in very quickly maybe he knew long before we did he was coming here, it was April before the takeover so about 8 weeks not that it matters as long as he gets it right.👍

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Re: Mark Ashton CEO 1st interview - live link via EADT

Post by tangfastic » Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:01 am

Dubai Blue wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 9:28 am
Agree with all of that Tang. But at this point there is a certain amount of just saying the right things going on.

Actions will be starting to occur soon. Getting exciting isn't it.....
i know. We're in a period before the real work starts. I guess we should give him a honeymoon period and enjoy the positivity.

I think hes a smooth operator who eventually might p*ss people off and split opinion - but, as long as he takes us forward out of this league, then I'm happy.

its striking how different the set up here now contrasts with the Evans era. It seemed so amateurish whereby Evans was making the decisions part-time alongside Lee O'Neil (who isn't really qualified). We'll see how it pans out.

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Re: Mark Ashton CEO 1st interview - live link via EADT

Post by Dazzz67 » Wed Jun 02, 2021 1:49 pm

Well he certainly can give a good rally cry, I genuinely hope he does well and does a good job, he has all the right intentions so that is a good start. The 'support' infrastructure is now in place and he can build and move us to a better place.

Looking forward to next season already and hoping to get to a few games, been long overdue.

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Re: Mark Ashton CEO 1st interview - live link via EADT

Post by barmy billy » Wed Jun 02, 2021 5:05 pm

He certainly talks the talk.

Mind you though, he did use the word 'incredible' rather lot.

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Re: Mark Ashton CEO 1st interview - live link via EADT

Post by hallamblue » Thu Jun 03, 2021 9:09 am

Kerry Blue wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 9:47 am
Very good interview it's got me thinking it seems he has found and bought a house in Ipswich and moved in very quickly maybe he knew long before we did he was coming here, it was April before the takeover so about 8 weeks not that it matters as long as he gets it right.👍
I suspect he knew well over a year ago Kerry , as the whole take over process took over 18 months. He also says in the eadt article today that he’d been friends with “The Three Lions” years ago and that they’d identified him as their man for when they bought a club in the UK.

None of what’s happening now is a spur of the moment thing. It’s all planned . So unlike ITFC eh 😁👍

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Re: Mark Ashton CEO 1st interview - live link via EADT

Post by saint jude » Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:42 pm

Took in now what Ashton had to say, an encouraging standard rally, the motivation and enthusiasm seems prevalent but it's just words after moving from one side of a country to another. What else is he gonna say, "I came here as over time I became a detested figure with my previous team involvement and most fans, if not all, wanted me lynched from the Severn Bridge and couldn't wait fast enough to see me gone and out and far away from all things Bristol City et cetera"

The requisite "looked around the club set-up, training grounds, trophy room and all, I was overwhelmed by the prestige and history of coming to wherever" is standard package and almost to default to some new name coming on board even more so in a higher or more substantial capacity. Thing is I want him to succeed here and always wish what's best for the club but the amount of negative reviews and hostility he's garnered can't always be overlooked. Hope it's a case of what fails at one club works for another.

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Re: Mark Ashton CEO 1st interview - live link via EADT

Post by Shed on tour » Thu Jun 03, 2021 3:26 pm

saint jude wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:42 pm
Took in now what Ashton had to say, an encouraging standard rally, the motivation and enthusiasm seems prevalent but it's just words after moving from one side of a country to another. What else is he gonna say, "I came here as over time I became a detested figure with my previous team involvement and most fans, if not all, wanted me lynched from the Severn Bridge and couldn't wait fast enough to see me gone and out and far away from all things Bristol City et cetera"

The requisite "looked around the club set-up, training grounds, trophy room and all, I was overwhelmed by the prestige and history of coming to wherever" is standard package and almost to default to some new name coming on board even more so in a higher or more substantial capacity. Thing is I want him to succeed here and always wish what's best for the club but the amount of negative reviews and hostility he's garnered can't always be overlooked. Hope it's a case of what fails at one club works for another.
SJ as you say hopefully he comes here and is a great success. One thing is for sure if some of the things that have been said by the Bristol City fans about him turn out to be true I can’t see PC hanging around for long. Also, I would assume our new owners would be asking serious questions about what was going on.

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Re: Mark Ashton CEO 1st interview - live link via EADT

Post by hallamblue » Thu Jun 03, 2021 3:44 pm

Ashton was known by the The Three Lions years before Towns takeover, so I think they know what they’ve got in Ashton. Hopefully they do anyway :lol:

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