Pride of Anglia - Ipswich Town Football Club

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Chairmen & Directors of ITFC 1936 to Present (ITFC Co. Ltd/PLC Board)

PLC Board | Main Board

Following the Marcus Evans takeover in January 2008 the Club has been run by two boards, the overall football club board and a PLC board controlling the 12.5% owed by the club’s previous shareholders. Details on this page refer to the PLC board (and it's forerunner ITFC Co. Ltd).

Chairmen - listed in order of tenure


COBBOLD Capt John 'Ivan' Murray

Chairman from 1936 to 1944

A former Eton school boy and Scots Guard, Captain 'Ivan' became president of the old amateur club in June 1935, having served in a similar role at the Suffolk County FA during the preceding two years.

Became first chairman of the newly formed Ipswich Town Football Club Ltd as the club embraced professionalism in May 1936.

It was a result of his drive and determination that, just two years after turning professional, the Town were elected to the Football League in 1938.

Sadly, having witnessed just one season of league football at Portman Road, before the outbreak of WWII, he was killed during a German bombing raid on London in June 1944.


COBBOLD Phillip Wyndham

Chairman from 1944 to 1945

Following the end of WWII Phillip Cobbold was instrumental in ensuring that Town were quickly back up to speed following the suspension of football during the war years. All this despite suffering a heart attack, and general poor health, prior to accepting the position of Chairman in 1944. Died just twelve months after his appointment at Christmas, 1945.



Chairman from 1946 to 1948

Managing director at Fisons, Chevallier succeeded Phillip Cobbold as director of Ipswich Town Football Club in the early months of 1946. Chevallier had been awarded the DSO and MC during WWI. Stepped down as Chairman in November 1948 due to other commitments that prevented him from attending games on Saturdays.


COBBOLD Alistair Philip

Chairman from 1949 to 1957

As Chairman for eight years, between 1949 and 1957, oversaw the early days of the club's Football League career and the appointment of Alf Ramsey as manager in 1956.


COBBOLD John Cavendish

Chairman from 1957 to 1976

Became the youngest chairman in the country, in 1957, at 29 years of age. Mr John, as he was fondly known at the club and in English football circles, joined the board as a director in 1948 and would continue as chairman until 1976. He presided over arguably one of the most important eras in the club's history, as they established themselves in the top echelon's of the Football League. Hired Bobby Robson in 1969. Once told Robson when he entered the Boardroom: "Don't come in here talking about football. Let's have fun !" as the visiting clubs directors and management on that occasion were treated to one of the legendary post match "sessions" that were held come win or lose.


COBBOLD Patrick Mark

Chairman from 1976 to 1991

Joined the board in June 1964. Also a director of the Tolly Cobbold brewery he was second son of Captain 'Ivan' and became the fifth member of the Cobbold family to hold the position of Chairman when he succeeded his brother John in May 1976.

During his reign at the club's helm he enjoyed the success of Town's 1978 FA Cup and 1981 UEFA Cup victory's. As popular a figure as his brother John he possessed a very dry sense of humour and a laid-back attitude that made him a very popular member of the traveling Ipswich Town entourage both around the Football League and in Europe.



Chairman from 1991 to 1995

Became Chairman following Patrick Cobbolds decision to step down from the position in April 1991. Presided over Town's return to the top flight in 1992 and, over the next three years, with John Lyall and Mick McGiven in charge of team affairs, a period of the most turgid and negative football ever produced by a Town side. Culminating, inevitably, in the clubs worst ever season in 58 years of league football and relegation from the Premiership in 1995.



Chairman from Summer 1995 to date

Took over as chairman just prior to the start of the 1995-96 season. A Portman Road regular since the sixties, the Eton educated Sheepshanks had joined the board of directors in 1987. As the first chairman to take a hands-on approach to the day-to-day running of the club (playing matters excepted) one of his first acts was to announce his "Five Year Plan".

This included, increased commercial emphasis, rebuilding the clubs youth system, better community relations and returning to the Premiership by the year 2000 with a solid financial footing. And "Bingo", in partnership with manager George Burley this was duly achieved with a Wembley Play-Off final win in May, 2000.

Suggestions from certain quarters that a fifth-place finish and European qualification in the 2000-01 season unrealistically raised expectations as to what the club could achieve were perhaps answered with relegation in 2002.

The Club went into administration between February and May 2003, entering into a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) which ended in 2006. The search for new investment had begun during this period and in October 2007 he secured a £44 million investment from the Marcus Evans Group, a deal that concluded with the sale of the club in December 2007.

In January 2008, following the Marcus Evans takeover, Sheepshanks also became chairman of the new board, but stepped down from that position in May 2009.

Was Football League Chairman from 1997 to 1999, and has served the Football Association in various capacities.

Directors - listed alphabetically

  To   Comments
BEESTON Kevin 2003   2009   First new addition to the board since 1999
BELLINGHAM Holly 2004   2009   First female director. Became VP December 2007
BOWDEN Derek 2002   2009   -
BRIGHTWELL Kenneth H 1964   1995   Became VP 1995
BUNBURY Sir Charles Henry Napier 1936   1963   Died June 1963
CATCHPOLE Cyril 1944   1965   Became VP January 1965
CHEVALLIER Peter Temple 1944   1950   Resigned September 1950
COBBOLD Alistair Philip 1946   1971   Died November 1971
COBBOLD Capt John 'Ivan' Murray 1936   1944   Killed June 1944
COBBOLD John Cavendish 1948   1983   Died September 1983
COBBOLD Patrick Mark 1964   1991   Died 1991
COBBOLD Phillip Wyndham 1944   1945   Died December 1945
COBBOLD Robert Nevill 1936   1944   Killed in action June 1944
COHEN Peter 2006   2007   Became VP December 2007
CRANWORTH Rt Hon Lord 1936   1964   Died January 1964
FINBOW Roger J 1996   Present   Became VP December 2007
FOSTER Herbert 1936   1942   Died January 1942
GANZONI Sir Francis John Childs MP 1936   1938   Resigned July 1938
GOULBORN Andrew 2005   Present   Elected to Board December 2005
HOOPER Lieut-Col Harold Ridley 1936   1953   Died August 1953
HOPE-COBBOLD Phillip W 1995   Present   Became Club Patron December 2007
HUGHES Anna 2005   2008   Elected to Board December 2005
Resigned March 2008
JACKSON Robert Frederick 1936   1951   Died January 1951
KERR John MBE 1983   Present   Became VP December 2007
KERR William 1963   1983   Resigned in favour of his son John Kerr July 1983
KERRIDGE John Stewart 1983   ?   -
MILNE Ian 2007   Present   Marcus Evans Group representative
MOORE Richard J 1994   Present   Became VP December 2007
PITCHER Martin 2007   Present   Marcus Evans Group representative
ROBINSON Cecil James 1950   1975   Resigned due to ill-health October 1975
RYDER OBE Rt Hon Lord 1999   2003   Resigned September 2003
SANGSTER Joseph Murray 1964   1991   Became VP 1991
SHAW Nathan 1936   1969   Died January 1969
SHEEPSHANKS David R 1987   Present   -
SMITH Harold Reginald 1964   1995   Became VP 1995. Died August 2006
STEEL Ernest John Hubert 1948   1963   Resigned April 1963
SYMONDS Jonathan 2007   Present   Marcus Evans Group representative
TERRY Major Alfred Dudley Randall 1954   1968   Died November 1968
TOLLEMACHE Hon Douglas Alfred 1936   1943   Resigned ill-health January 1943
WELLS Howard 1999   2000   -

Chief Executive Officers - listed in order of tenure


WELLS Howard

December 1999 to July 2000

Wells became the club's first CEO, in December 1999, following a distinguished career in sports management and stadium re-development. The ex-Wycombe Wanderers netminder was also chief executive of the UK Sports Council between 1996 and 1998. Resigned his position, in July 2000 (after just over 200 days at Portman Road), to "fulfil other personal ambitions".



April 2002 to May 2009

A converted "ex-Tottenham supporter", Bowden became Town's second ever CEO when he was appointed by David Sheepshanks towards the end of the 2001-02 season. A former Saatchi & Saatchi executive, who ran offices for the advertising and marketing giant across Europe and the Middle East, was also the one time boss of Adam Crozier, the former FA Chief Executive.

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