It was 2004 and Barry Fry had purchased the playing side of Peterborough United, while businessman Colin Hill controlled the club’s buildings.
Keeping the club afloat had become a month-by-month ordeal, but Fry was lucky enough to have great contacts at the wealthiest clubs.
Fry recalled: “The responsibility of finding £150k wages a month was causing me stress, but I remain proud to this day that we never missed a salary payment.
“But it was often touch and go. One time I rang Sir Alex Ferguson up and asked him if he would buy the add-ons and sell-ons from Luke Steele’s contract. “Manchester United had signed goalkeeper Luke from us for £500k and the clauses in his contract were worth that much again.
“United didn’t have to do that, especially as Luke had a back injury at the time, but they paid us £400k which kept us going for a while longer. We made £900k on Luke in the end and he only played two games for us.
“It was still very much hand to mouth though. I took my pension early to get some funds, I gave the bank the deeds to my mother-in-law’s house for security.
“Sir Alex helped me again by sending a full Manchester United side to play in a testimonial for me including Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney. The game attracted a full house of 15,000 and that money was ploughed straight back into the club.
“But then I had another stroke of luck as Ron Atkinson rang me and asked if he could do a TV show about Posh.”
That show was called ‘Big Ron Manager’ and was to set off a chain of events that transformed Posh and Fry’s fortunes.
Read how in the Peterborough Telegraph next Thursday (June 2).
Fry talks about managing Posh for 10 years online tomorrow (May 27)...