DECADE OF DARRAGH: An experience full of highs, lows and eye-opening moments

It was September 18, 2006 when the Peterborough Telegraph revealed Peterborough United by a brash, wealthy Irishman called Darragh MacAnthony.

Friday, 16th September 2016, 9:05 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:21 pm
The press conference to announce Darragh MacAnthony's purchase of Posh. Pictured are, from left, Barry Fry, Darragh MacAnthony, Keith Alexander, Bob Symns.

Few would have predicted the next 10 years would see such great highs and huge lows. Well apart from Darragh himself.

He stated Premier League football within seven-10 years was his ultimate goal, along with the construction of a 30,000-seat stadium.

The ET’s front page story from 10 years ago carried quotes from Darragh. They included: “I am not just investing in a football club. I am investing in a city.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Darragh MacAnthony after purchasing Posh in 2006.

“Before I tok the plunge, I checked out the city and it is obvious Peterborough has massive growth potential. If we can grow together, hand-in-hand, that would be perfect.

“I know some people are sceptical because I am a property developer, but I can assure everyone that I am here purely for the football.

“I am no Roman Abramovich, but I want success, and I also want some fun on the way. I won’t be treating this club as a plaything.

“You have to dream (about Premier League football and a new stadium) and why shouldn’t it happen?

Darragh MacAnthony with employees who have become great friends, Barry Fry and Bob Symns.

“I am passionate about the important things in my life and that now includes Peterborough United.”

10 Years on Darragh has kindly penned a piece summing up his decade at London Road...

“My experience has been an incredible one, high and lows included, and more then I ever expected when buying a football club.

“Of course no-one saw 2008/09 happening in the financial world and this of course changed my plans for Posh overnight in a way, but if I’m being honest owning the club kept me sane, busy and with a purpose between 2008-2012 as there was a lot of horrible stuff going on in my business life and for that I’ll always be thankful.

Darragh MacAnthony after purchasing Posh in 2006.

“I have met so many interesting characters within the game and experienced some real eye-opening moments through negotiating transfers which for somebody who has sold real estate in 20 different countries says something about the football industry!

“The fans took to me from day one and have, 99 per cent of the time, backed me with patience, support and understanding, and have always been fantastic with my wife and children whenever they attend a game.

“People like Barry Fry and Bob Symns have become like family to me over the last 10 years and, regardless of some of the stick they get thrown at them, have been nothing but incredible for me by taking care of the club whilst I operate it from abroad.

“The travel is always difficult as I have a young wife and three young children and the club has taken me away from them for sometimes over 80 plus days in the year as we live in Florida, but again they are understanding and supportive of it and of the necessity in making those trips to be at the club.

Darragh MacAnthony with employees who have become great friends, Barry Fry and Bob Symns.

“I have tried to do it the right way without endangering the club itself and no doubt have upset some fans and possibly some owners within the game, but I stand by my methods, policies and the general running of the football club in these 10 years.

“Looking back over nine seasons the club has achieved three promotions, a cup win at Wembley, a play-off campaign, three years of Championship football, two relegations and a couple of sub-standard seasons which statistically, from nine seasons, isn’t bad going at all, but that’s up to others to decide.

“To make it four promotions from 10 full seasons would be the icing on the cake.”

NEXT: The best amd worst of Darragh’s decade at Posh