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Ipswich column: Will playing by the book cost Ipswich Town promotion?

If Mario had declared ‘why always me?’ perhaps I could turn up at Portman Road with the T-shirt: ‘FFP: Why only ITFC?’

Now let me start by taking nothing away from the miracles our Rumpelstiltskin (Mick McCarthy) is working; continuing to weave gold from straw, with Noel Hunt the latest to be gleamed up.

But when you have a real shot at promotion, and suspicions others are not playing by the rules, what will we get for being the good guys? A gold star, a certificate to put up in the office? Good PR?

Whereas the others will be punished with, potentially, a flood of cash in the Premier League.

I’m not an advocate of not playing by the rules, but who will have the last laugh? We’ve already had a vote carried by clubs to effectively disband them.

And how much money is one of Britain’s top 100 richest men really putting in here? You might say that the club says it’s on the verge of the Financial Fair Play (FFP) limit of £8 million. I say, how do we know that?

All I see is the sides around us seemingly stealing a march on us with not many strides left now until the finish line.

Meanwhile, leaders Bournemouth seem to be close to the edge, if not about to go over, with their reported £3m plus add-ons bid for Birmingham starlet Demarai Gray.

City have supposedly already turned down bids from Bournemouth of £.1.5m and £2m for the Football League’s Young Player of the Month for December.

Derby have been looking to add Queens Park Rangers’ duo Junior Hoilett and Matt Phillips on top of Darren Bent (who we apparently didn’t have a chance of affording) to their wage bill.

And Middlesbrough are close to signing Adam Forshaw, who cost Saturday’s visitors to Suffolk, Wigan (3pm), £4m only in the summer.

I continue to believe a midfield magician is still a must.

Time is ticking on this golden opportunity, so it’s over to you for the next move, Marcus....

***For live match updates and my observations from the press box at Portman Road in Saturday’s clash with struggling Wigan (3pm) log on to the ‘live sport’ section of this website, or, alternatively, follow me on Twitter: @russclaydon #COYB!

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