In the modern footballing world, it's very rare to find a team in the top two divisions that cost less than £1million to put together. Even some teams in the third and fourth divisions have spent reasonable sums of money in recent years.
Teams regularly make inflated bids which blow other potential suitors out of the water in order to try and fulfil their ambitions throughout the English football leagues. Then there is Ipswich Town.
Mick McCarthy joined Ipswich in October 2012 with the team bottom of the league and looking destined for relegation. The club was suffering from cash flow delays when he joined, meaning that he had to rely on out-of-contract players and loans.
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Money not needed to steady the ship
Ipswich ended up finishing 14th at the end of the season which, considering their financial position, was quite an achievement in itself.
In the three years McCarthy has been in charge, the club has spent less than £500k on three players, Tyrone Mings for £10k, Freddie Sears for roughly £100k and Jonas Knudsen for an undisclosed fee believed to be no more than £350k.
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The rest of his signings have been free transfers. Despite this financial state, last season, McCarthy managed to take Ipswich to sixth place in the league and secured a play off date with high spending neighbours Norwich City. They lost the tie over two legs 4-2, but pushed their rivals all the way.
Ipswich proved something last season, teams do not have to throw money at clubs to get players who can win them games. Last season's Championship top scorer, Daryl Murphy, released by Celtic, snapped up by Ipswich.
Bargains have helped Ipswich
One of the league's best holding midfielders, Cole Skuse, released by Bristol City, signed by Ipswich. This shows that with the correct scouting to acquire players who suit a certain system, success can be found.
This season Ipswich have been very impressive, beating the likes of Brighton away from home and producing some solid performances overall. They are sixth in the league table, 11 points off the top and two points clear of seventh placed Sheffield Wednesday.
Pretty impressive for a team who have spent next to nothing in comparison to teams like Derby County, Middlesbrough, Hull City and Queens Park Rangers.
At the end of the day, the chances of Ipswich winning the league are slim. They probably do not have the quality in depth to seriously mount a title challenge, but the play-offs are a real possibility for McCarthy's belligerent and hard-working side.
They have spent next to nothing, but with the team spirit they consistently show and the never-say-die-attitude shown in the come-from-behind win against big spending QPR on Boxing Day, this team could go one further than last season and, at least, get to Wembley this time of asking.
Money does not always guarantee success and Ipswich Town hope to prove that.
Can Ipswich achieve promotion this season? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!
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