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Ipswich Town Premier League hope ‘runs deeper’ for businesses

Image source, Shaun Whitmore/BBC

Screenshot, Gareth Harper, owner of Bar 21 on St Nicholas Street, said this was the turning point for the city.

  • Author, Zoie O’Brien
  • Role, BBC news, Suffolk

Ipswich Town Football Club is preparing for possible promotion to the Premier League and the city is full of positive energy.

The Tractor Boys will face Huddersfield Town later and need a point to secure promotion to the top flight.

Fans from around the world have flown in to see the potential history made as businesses have transformed storefronts into blue and white to support the team.

The nervous energy is palpable throughout the city before the big game.

‘Turning point for Ipswich’

Image source, Shaun Whitmore/BBC

Screenshot, Bar 21 has been decorated with Ipswich Town memorabilia ahead of the final game of the season.

“This is huge and goes way beyond modern-day football,” said Gareth Harper, owner of Bar 21 on St Nicholas Street.

Harper decorated the bar to support the football club and asked other businesses to do the same this week.

He believed that a possible promotion of the club could bring benefits to the wider economy.

“Ipswich will be much more attractive to other companies who will want to invest in the town,” he explained.

“It’s about a bigger picture, I want everyone to benefit from this, it’s not just about Bar 21.”

‘More prosperity’

Image source, Shaun Whitmore/BBC

Screenshot, Louise Cammell hopes potential promotion will help The Station Hotel grow its business

Louise Cammell, shift manager at The Station Hotel in Burrell Road, said she was “very hopeful” for a promotion.

“It’s an extremely exciting prospect – it will mean more people coming, more people attending and more for the city,” he said.

“It feels like everything has closed down and we don’t have as much downtown as we used to.

“I would love to see more prosperity.”

‘Put Ipswich back on the map’

Image source, Shaun Whitmore/BBC

Screenshot, Peter Richards said promotion could help improve things at Ipswich

“At the end of the day, we have to try,” said Peter Richards, 70, a Town fan and resident.

Richards had “no doubt” that Town have a good team.

He also hoped that a promotion might be good for the entire city.

“It will give Ipswich back the map we belong on.”

‘The last icing on the cake’

Image source, Shaun Whitmore/BBC

Screenshot, Ipswich has turned blue and white ahead of Saturday’s match

George Burley is a man who knows very well what promotion to the Premier League feels like.

The former Ipswich Town manager led the team to the Premiership 24 years ago, in 2000.

He said the support for Kieran McKenna’s team had been “absolutely fantastic” last season.

“It’s been a build-up over the last few years with the team and the club getting stronger,” he said.

“Everyone just wants to talk about football and it’s great to see him get back to where he was before.

“Kieran has done a fantastic job bringing everyone together.”

Burley said that if the club were promoted, the next challenge “is to improve”.

“Life is like that,” he continued. “You can’t sit on your laurels, you have to say we’ve done this so far, we have to do even better next season.

“We just need to put the final icing on the cake and then everyone can look forward to Manchester City and United next season.”

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