Football finance expert Kieran Maguire has described Ipswich Town’s promotion to the Premier League as ‘an amazing achievement'.

The Blues returned to the top flight of English football after 22 years away, securing a top-two finish in their first campaign back in the Championship.

In doing so, they finished just a point behind former Premier League champions Leicester City and comfortably ahead of Leeds United and Southampton, the latter of whom won the play-offs at Wembley.

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All three of their promotion rivals had suffered relegation from the top flight in 2022/23, boasting top-quality players and huge budgets due to the parachute payments they received. Ipswich, on the other hand, made just a handful of changes to the side that escaped League One.

“I think it was quite spectacular,” Maguire told the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star.

“What we saw in the summer of 2023, coming down from the Premier League, were three clubs who together had squads which cost over £800 million – which was more than the 24 clubs in the Championship combined.

“They were all big hitters, they all spent a wee bit of money as well, they had to sell one or two players, but they were very much the bookies' favourites.

“Ipswich, in being promoted from League One, were trying to settle in, so it’s an amazing achievement. I think everybody at Portman Road should be incredibly proud of what they’ve done. They’ve punched far above their weight."

The Blues picked up 96 points from 46 league games last seasonThe Blues picked up 96 points from 46 league games last season (Image: PA)

Ipswich's last set of accounts, for the 2022/23 financial year, came out in March. They showed that losses went up more than £5m from 2021/22, increasing from £12.8m to £18.2m. Next year's accounts will show the cost of Championship promotion.

“When the accounts come out, I think you’ll find it was financially quite a tough season," said Maguire.

"There will be substantial losses, part of which will be due to the fact that promotion bonuses will have been paid. Normally those promotion bonuses are in the region of £10 million to £15 million.

“Expect to see some quite spectacular losses in the 2024 accounts, but in terms of achievement, they had a pretty modest wage bill by Championship standards.

“It’s a hell of an achievement.”