Former Hawks, Mansfield, Leyton Orient and Wimbledon striker Ollie Palmer causes furore after false claims about Ipswich sponsor Ed Sheeran

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Former Havant & Waterlooville striker Ollie Palmer has found himself at the centre of an online storm following his ill-informed comments about Ed Sheeran.

The Wrexham front man had a dig at the pop star and current Ipswich Town shirt sponsor while appearing on team-mate Ben Foster’s Fozcast podcast.

Palmer mistakenly claimed Sheeran was a ‘part-owner’ of the Tractor Boys, before questioning the impact he’s had at Portman Road.

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He was using the multi-millionaire and awarding-winning musician to emphasise the influence Hollywood duo Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney had made at Football League new-boys Wrexham following their promotion from the National League.

The 31-year-old former Westleigh Park favourite said: ‘There’s names as big as them that own football clubs, lower league. Ed Sheeran, Ipswich. I don’t know what his share of it is, (he’s) part-owner. Has he done what these two guys have done?’

Foster failed to pick up on Palmer’s false statement when he replied: ‘Nowhere near it. They have just been promoted, in fairness to them, but still.’

Palmer then added: ‘How long has Ed Sheeran been there? Six years? Seven years? And he’s as big as Ryan and Rob, right? Ed Sheeran is huge.’

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Foster cut in by saying: ‘I’m still not putting him in their bracket, though’, before his team-mate continued: ‘I’m putting Ed Sheeran up there.

Former Hawks striker Ollie Palmer   Picture: Lewis Storey/Getty ImagesFormer Hawks striker Ollie Palmer   Picture: Lewis Storey/Getty Images
Former Hawks striker Ollie Palmer Picture: Lewis Storey/Getty Images

‘I’ll ask you: has Ed Sheeran done as much for Ipswich as Rob and Ryan have done?

‘It’s not easy what they’re doing. They make it look easy.

‘I’m sure Ed Sheeran’s a great guy, I’m just trying to leverage what Rob and Ryan have done – it’s not just the status, (it’s) the hard work they’ve put in.’

Because Palmer was so wide of the mark with his claims – Sheeran has only ever been a shirt sponsor of the recently-promoted Tractor Boys since the start of the 2021-22 season – an avalanche of criticism headed his way.

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Twitter user @marcwebber wrote: ‘Even Norwich fans are wading in to call out this stupidity by Ollie Palmer. Bet he never thought “uniting arch East Anglian rivals” would be on his CV next to a league title!’

@AKA_DanThompson said: ‘Ollie Palmer being massively off the mark? Doesn't sound like him...’.

@wozzab hilariously commented: ‘You can tell it’s exam time. There’s Ollie Palmer failing his History and Media Studies GCSEs in one sentence. Priceless.’

Meanwhile, @PhillyD55 joined in by saying: ‘I’m sure Ollie Palmer will change his tune when Wrexham realise he’s not good enough for league football and sack him off’.

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Yet it wasn’t just fans who were slamming Palmer for his erroneous comments. Current Ipswich defender Luke Woolfenden backed up the response by saying: ‘What a weird thing to make up.’

For the record, the Tractor Boys are owned by Gamechanger 20, who completed a £40m takeover of the club in April 2021. Their finances helped Ipswich earn promotion back to the Championship this season.

Palmer scored 16 goals in 45 National League appearances for Wrexham as they won the 2022-23 National League title.

The front man has been at the Racecourse ground for two seasons, joining shortly after Reynolds and McElhenney bought the Welsh outfit £2m.

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He came to prominence during his two years with the Hawks, scoring 37 goals in 69 National League South outings.

Since leaving Westleigh Park in 2013, the striker has played for Mansfield, Grimsby, Leyton Orient, Luton, Lincoln, Crawley and AFC Wimbledon.