Peterborough United fan forum: Chairman’s brutal honesty is highlight as bombshells abound in bustling forum
Fans knew they were in for a treat when, unprompted, MacAnthony kicked off the evening by addressing rumors of CEO David Paton’s absence.
Fans have learned that he is still employed by the club but will be out for an indefinite period and no further comment will be made on the matter. Operations Manager Leighton Mitchell will step into the void and liaise with fan groups in the meantime.
After the longest question in human history began, things quickly ramped up and, as usual, MacAnthony’s quick wit and charm were on full display alongside Grant McCann. who seemed to be in good spirits at the start of a season, the two are convinced. a success for Posh. When asked about his hopes for the season, it was a short and sweet answer from the president: “I want a title.”
There were some interesting revelations about how Grant McCann and Cliff Byrne arrived at the club and decided Jonson Clarke-Harris had no future in one of their sides, before being won over by his dedication, especially during the summer, and to describe him now as a “warrior” ready to carry the responsibility of running the club on his shoulders.
We’ve learned that the club have full faith in Joe Ward and Harrison Burrows as full-backs and don’t care about the lack of Clarke-Harris-like options in the squad as McCann says his side have different ways to play.
Even the gasps in the room when it was said there was a chance Posh could lose a key player or two before the window closed was quickly forgotten when the president got going.
As a flurry of fans on my Twitter feed were quick to point out, MacAnthony has threatened to quit many times in the past, but when he dropped the bombshell this time, it was more real.
He wasn’t baited by Twitter trolls, he wasn’t trying to put his trust in the team he had built; he spoke honestly about the sacrifices he’s made for the club and that as a father he doesn’t want to miss the last special years he has with his kids before they head off to college ( university in this country).
Whether you like him or not, MacAnthony has shed blood, sweat and tears at the club during his time and if he pulls off his ‘perfect’ plan and leads the club to the championship before he leaves at sunset, then his break will be well deserved.
He has vowed not to go if Posh doesn’t succeed this season, but says he planned to step down last season as the club secured league status.
As a sense of shock echoed through the room, one fan actually stood up and confronted the president with the debt figure his online vocal critics like to throw around.
In his unmistakable style, he coped with this club’s financial situation; admitting that the debt must be reduced.
The plan was to spend three or four years in the Championship to undo that, but the club won’t panic in a sellout now that the plan has collapsed.
However, he will cut his fabric accordingly if a long stay in Ligue 1 is ahead as Posh seeks to cut millions in player purchases and head towards his utopia of 30% player spend and 70% production of academy players. “We need 12 or 14 Ronnie’s and Harrison’s,” he enthused – that would be nice, right?
Not that it will satisfy his critics, but MacAnthony urged fans not to waste a wink on finances, insisting the club is loaded with assets and although some may have balked at the valuation of £40m he has placed on the team, it’s hard to doubt his claim that he could raise £16m right now if he wanted to, knowing how much the stars of the club are requested.
As no one in the modern world is ever ready to change their minds on anything, I fear his passionate and moving performance only made his followers even more desperate for him to stay and not have failed to convince the vocal minority who would prefer him to move. on that he was actually telling the truth but it was a night when big issues were put on the table that most owners would run a million miles to talk about and posh fans can be grateful .
Sorry Grant, you spoke well, but as often happens when MacAnthony is in a room, he got all the attention.
Peterborough United: Live – Darragh MacAnthony and Grant McCann host fan forum