Royle goes at Ipswich

Last updated : 12 May 2006 By Tony Scholes

It is news I certainly wasn't expecting and I'm not sure exactly what the Ipswich board wanted from him. After a third place finish a year ago, narrowly missing out on an automatic promotion place, Royle lost a number of key players including Shefki Kuqi, Darren Bent, Kelvin Davis and Tommy Miller who all moved on to Premiership clubs.

Apparently Sheepdip and his board expected Long Ball Joe to carry on with the good form but that didn't happen and they ended the season in 15th place with just a couple points more than us.

The departure was, said both parties, very amicable with Sheepdip saying: "The parting is entirely amicable. I would like to place on record our warm appreciation and thanks for the tremendous job that Joe has done at Ipswich during his tenure."

Royle added: "As the chairman said, we part extremely amicably and I wish the club, its staff and the supporters nothing but the very best for the future."

Not too long ago, in a television interview, he said that the Ipswich job would be his last, but he's already being linked with the potential vacancy at Stoke. Now aged 57, he's been in football management for much of the last 24 years since taking over at Oldham in the summer of 1982.