THE out-going chief executive of Ipswich Town, Simon Clegg, has had to deal with his fair share of off-field problems since arriving in Suffolk.

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There was the acrimonious departure of Roy Keane – one of three managers sacked during his time at the club – and the off-field problems of players such as Michael Chopra.

Keane often made veiled criticism of Clegg and how important transfer deals failed to materialise once talks reached boardroom level.

“My mistake was that I agreed to take the Ipswich job before meeting their chief executive,” said the former Sunderland boss.

Clegg hit back yesterday and revealed he was surprised by the nature of Keane’s comments.

“Roy’s comments disappointed me and I was quite surprised as they did not reflect the relationship we had,” said Clegg.

“He had to vent his frustration on someone though and he was savvy enough not to do that at the owner (Marcus Evans).

“I thought we had a reasonable working relationship, but so be it.”

Meanwhile, Clegg said he was able to cope with issues regarding current squad members.

He added: “I have the right background and experience to deal with those issues, in terms of my time in the Army.

“In terms of managing British athletes, I have managed them at several Olympic Games so it doesn’t phase me.

“One or two of the issues (at Ipswich) have been at the extreme end of the spectrum and my responsibility has been to remove as many of the external pressures as possible and allow players to focus on their jobs, which is to play football.”

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