BIG INTERVIEW: The day a new player was told by a manager he didn't really want him!
Darragh MacAnthony has delivered a fascinating insight into Peterborough United's transfer policy.
The Posh chairman revealed he often operates a ‘tit-for-tat’ approach with his first-team boss with players recommended by MacAnthony arriving alongside managerial picks.
MacAnthony is the man who wanted Dwight Gayle, Gwion Edwards and Conor Washington, although he insists the latter’s January sale did not cost the club promotion last season.
“We would not have won promotion last season if Conor had stayed,” MacAnthony claimed. “He had a great run of form and (manager) Graham Westley deserves credit for improving him, but I couldn’t see him keeping it up.
“Conor is a great lad, but he wasn’t worth £3 million. It was a great deal for us as there was so much going on at the club at the time he wasn’t going to get us up. We struck when the iron was hot with Conor. He almost picked up a serious knee injury seven days before we sold him.
“The money from transfers always comes in handy. We sell to rebuild the squad which is what might happen this summer, but we never have to sell to survive.
“What cost us more that season was the terrible recruitment we did with £1 million of Conor’s transfer fee.
“We only bring players in that the manager agrees to, but sometimes he agrees to a player we want because he knows that will enable him to sign one he really fancies.
“It didn’t go so well with Tom Nichols. Westley wasn’t keen on him, but he wanted Shaquile Coulthirst so he agreed to take Tom as well. Unfortunately on his first day at the club, and in front of the other players in the dressing room, Westley basically told Tom he didn’t rate him, although he’d give him a fair chance.
“It was a terrible thing to say to a 22 year-old who had moved to the area with his partner who had already found a new job. If Tom was my son, I’d have been looking at ways to reverse the contract.
“Our system works usually though. I let Gary Johnson sign two players if he agreed to sign Lee Tomlin as well and that worked out well for us.
“Westley wanted Aaron Williams and we made him take Callum Chettle as well. We’d tracked Callum for two years and if you’d seen him in the reserves this week you’d understand why.
“Sometimes I have to make a decision. Gayle was almost sent back to Dagenham on loan until I put my foot down.
“I also stopped Darren Ferguson and Kevin Russell sending Paul Taylor on loan to Stamford as soon as he signed and he went on to have a great season in the Championship.
“I don’t always get my way though. I didn’t want to sign Sergio Torres because of his injury record.
“I get on well with all the managers who have worked for me. The only one I don’t speak to now is Johnson, although I wish him well after his recent surgery.”