Would you welcome Joe Royle back?

Former Ipswich Town manager Joe Royle would return to football if the right opportunity was to present itself.

The 71-year-old is now a 'free agent' having left his position as director at Wigan Atheltic following their slip into administration.

The man nicknamed 'Big Joe' quickly became a much-loved figure at Portman Road and has since arguably become Town's most popular manager in the last twenty years.

This was largely down to the effective and entertaining way Joe had his teams play through his time in Suffolk despite the budget restraints he faced.

This was no more evident than Royle's 2003/2004 team that won the label of 'The Entertainers'

Royle told the Saddleworth Independent: “I have retired three times, but I am not very good at it."

“It would have to be a good offer and not financially driven because it would not be about money."

“It is because I love the game and have been involved from making my first-team debut aged 16 for Everton, to still being so aged 71.”

Would you welcome Joe Royle back to Ipswich?

Editor Opinion

Would I welcome Joe Royle back?

Without a shadow of a doubt, the answer is a resounding YES! YES! YES!

Big Joe is someone who has proven results within England's third tier, having guided Manchester City to promotion in that unforgettable playoff win over Gillingham.

A manager who gets teams playing the right way, and as he proved during his time at Portman Road, is someone who is shrewd in the transfer market.

Don't forget, during his time at Ipswich, the club really was penniless having just come out of administration.

As fans, have we been as entertained and happy as we were during the four years he spent as our manager?

Having said that, I am also very aware of the fact he hasn't managed since 2009 and is now 71. There will be many out there crying he is too old and possibly out of touch with modern football. This seems unlikely considering how close he has remained to the game.

So, how about Joe comes back in the position of GM of Football Operations or whatever title you want to give.

I would absolutely love Joe Royle in that much-needed role.

Can you imagine Joe Royle with his years of proven success and ability in a role that allows him to;

  • oversee a manager and their performance ( 5-year contract anyone? )

  • oversee our hit and miss recruitment policy.

The prospect of Joe Royle being in a position to oversee recruitment should start to excite Town fans.

Furthermore, Joe is someone who can hold an owner to account.

In fact, if we could persuade the owner to just give Joe a budget and let Joe lead, success would follow. I’ve got no doubt.

In addition to being the much needed 'popular' figurehead, this club desperately needs, he would start to repair the broken trust and confidence some fans currently appear to have.

Either capacity, any way you shake it, I'd love Big Joe back at Portman Road.