Ipswich Town on the verge of American investment takeover

A group of American investors are nearing a takeover of English Football League (EFL) club Ipswich Town, according to a report by The Athletic.

The five-man consortium, led by Los Angeles-based businessman Brett Johnson, is said to have tabled an offer of £17.5 million. Johnson currently co-owns a handful of sports clubs, including United Soccer League Championship franchise Phoenix Rising, Danish top flight side FC Helsingør, and also owns USL League One club FC Tucson.

Fellow Phoenix Rising Co-Chairman Berke Bakay is said to be part of the investor group on the verge of taking over the EFL side.

The club, which parted company with manager Paul Lambert yesterday evening, has been under the ownership of British businessman Marcus Evans since December 2007. According to reports, the multi-millionaire will retain a 5% share in the club, whilst selling off his majority stake.

Evans, who spent more than £100 million on the club over the course of the last 13 years, is said to have written off his debt to give Johnson a ‘clean slate’. 

Evans has been in talks to sell the club for some time, saying last year: “I have always said I would step aside for an owner who would be prepared to spend more money on Ipswich so long as they are fully committed financially over a period of time to take the club up the league tables.”

The club was relegated at the end of the 2018/19 season, dropping down to the third tier for the first time since the 1950s. Ipswich placed 11th in League One the following year with league rankings calculated on a points-per-game basis after the season was curtailed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In December, US management firm ALK Capital completed its takeover of Burnley FC, naming Alan Pace as the Premier League club’s new Chairman. Pace, who founded Real Salt Lake, floated the idea of the top flight side partnering with a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise.