There’s no denying that, in the sphere of English football, Ipswich Town are a rich club.

They were already backed by a wealthy US ownership group, received significant extra funding from Bright Path Sports earlier this year and will see income explode following promotion to the Premier League.

However, Financial Fair Play (FFP) and Profit and Sustainability (PNS) regulations restrict the losses that clubs can record, with significant penalties are put in place for those who breach them. Everton and Nottingham Forest both docked points last season.

“I think we saw in the case of Nottingham Forest that the rules, as they are currently written, are harsh on a newly promoted club,” football finance expert Kieran Maguire told the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star.

“The way that it works is that Ipswich Town, in 2024/25, will be assessed over a three-year period.

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“What the Premier League says is that for every year you’re in the Premier League you’re allowed to lose £35 million and for every year you’re in the EFL you’re allowed to lose £13 million.

“Ipswich Town will be allowed to have an FFP/PSR loss of £61 million next season, yet Forest will be allowed to lose £105 million. Brentford will be allowed to lose £105 million, while Southampton will be allowed to lose £83 million because they only had one year in the EFL.

“You go, ‘Well, surely if anything, Ipswich need assistance because it’s their first season in the Premier League for a considerably amount of time’. Therefore, it does seem very harsh when you look at the numbers.

The Premier League's FFP restrictions could make life harder for the Blues next seasonThe Premier League's FFP restrictions could make life harder for the Blues next season (Image: PA)

“At the same time, the club will be receiving substantial amounts of money on the back of being promoted. Last season, when Ipswich had just been promoted [from League One], they would’ve earned just over £8 million from the EFL TV deal.

“Next year, worst case scenario, is that the £8 million will go to £105 million. If they do get relegated, they’ll get £42 million in parachute payments in year one. That drops to around about £35 million in year two.

“This is why it’s the biggest promotion in English football, or in world football.”

On top of that, the money coming into the club can’t solely be spent on signing big names in the summer transfer window.

Work will soon begin on redeveloping the training ground at Playford Road with the aim to bring the academy up to Category One standard. Significant changes are already underway at Portman Road to get it up to the required standard to host top-flight football.

Maguire explained: “If you take a look at the Premier League handbook and see the expectations – and the Premier League is very much driven from its success as a TV product, it’s exported to 197 countries around the world, spectacularly successful – it does mean that you’ll have to upgrade for the media interest that will be coming to Ipswich Town.

“When Ipswich are at home to Spurs, you’ll have two or three South Korean film crews come to town, they’ll be doing vox pops and sending journalists. There will be a Japanese journalist or two when Brighton are playing at Ipswich and so on.

Work has already begun to get Portman Road up to Premier League standardWork has already begun to get Portman Road up to Premier League standard (Image: PA)

“You have to have more space available for the media partners, and there’s even things like having a minimum amount of space available for broadcast trucks, which has implications for the car park. You’ve got to make sure that the floodlights are of a minimum wattage in order for HD-quality broadcasts to go around the world.

“That’s what you want, you want to see the best possible pictures coming from the stadium, all of which costs money. It’ll probably cost anywhere in the region of £10 million depending on where we’re up to in terms of the existing facilities at Portman Road are concerned.

“I think sometimes fans focus on, ‘we’ve got this extra £100 million – players, players, players, players, players’, but I think Ipswich are doing the right thing. We want Ipswich Town to be in a position of not just getting to the Premier League, but being able to be there for a period of time. Therefore, by doing the housekeeping things such as improving the training ground, improving the academy facilities and so on, what you’re trying to do is to create a legacy.

“The benefits of a legacy are the things that you look back on in a few years’ time and say, ‘I’m really glad we did that, even if that Bulgarian centre-forward we were linked with five years ago for £18 million didn’t get signed at the time. We’ve been in the Premier League now for five years and I’m prepared to forgive the owners’.”

One of the biggest expenses so far will be Kieran McKenna’s new contract. The Northern Irishman, who guided Ipswich to back-to-back promotions, received interest from Manchester United, Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion.

Town rewarded him with a new four-year deal, reportedly worth £6 million a year, which Maguire believes to be the right decision given his influence at the club.

Kieran McKenna's new contract has reportedly made him one of the highest-paid managers in the Premier LeagueKieran McKenna's new contract has reportedly made him one of the highest-paid managers in the Premier League (Image: PA)

“I think he’s more of a magnet than anything else,” he argued. “For those players who are looking to determine where they’re going to play in 2024/25, they’ll be looking for a bit of stability. He’s a young coach who’s established a very positive reputation in the time that he’s been at Portman Road.

“I’m very fortunate – I work for the Professional Footballers' Association [PFA], so I talk to footballers and I listen to them in terms of my job as a teacher. In my view, there’s a huge misconception spread about by people looking for a cheap and easy story. Footballers want to be successful, they want to feel that they are also developing. We all want to develop within our own careers.

“If I was a player who was considering a move to Ipswich, either from a domestic club or an overseas club, what you don’t want is uncertainty. If the club has started negotiating and we didn’t know who the coach was, you might be saying, ‘Well, the new guy might come in and might not like me, I’ve got two or three offers, I’ll go elsewhere’.

“The fact that we do have continuity in regards to Kieran McKenna’s position at Ipswich Town - and I don’t want to pour cold water over anything, it’s a very good contract, I’m not denying that at all – if Manchester United do seriously put in a bid, he goes where the money is.

Ipswich Star: Graham Potter left Brighton for Chelsea, despite being on a long-term contract.Graham Potter left Brighton for Chelsea, despite being on a long-term contract. (Image: PA)

“Brighton did this with Graham Potter. They gave him a six-year contract and then Chelsea said, ‘We’re going to quadruple your wages’. We’d all do the same, so I’ll never criticise a player or a manager for moving elsewhere in what is a short career, in what is a precarious career.

“I think it’s a reward for his efforts, it’s sending out a signal to those clubs perhaps in the ‘other 14’ that this is essentially a hands-off, so it’s restricting the number of opportunities that will become available to Kieran McKenna, especially if it’s a successful season, and it’s a vote of confidence in him.

Ed Sheeran has confirmed that he'll continue to sponsor the club's shirts next seasonEd Sheeran has confirmed that he'll continue to sponsor the club's shirts next season (Image: PA)

“I’m sure everyone in Ipswich is delighted and I think they’ve done the right thing.”

Asked whether the financial weight of the deal could impact Town’s transfer budget, Maguire replied: “No, not at all.

“Ipswich have got an extra £100 million of TV money coming in,” he said. “I don’t know how long the deal with Ed Sheeran is with regards to the front-of-shirt sponsorship, but that’s probably got a step-up in terms of the value of that deal. They’ll be selling a record number of shirts this season.

“The extra attention and the extra revenue coming in will far outweigh what will be a modest and probably very much deserved increase in security, both financially and in terms of the length of the deal, for Kieran McKenna and the club.”