Pat out to make Sports the pride of Peterborough

Pat Rayment wants to give the city a non-league club to be proud about.

Thursday, 3rd March 2016, 9:19 am
Updated Thursday, 3rd March 2016, 9:24 am
Peterborough Sports chairman Tommy Cooper (left) with president Colin Day, director Pat Rayment and manager Jimmy Dean.

Rayment has joined ambitious Peterborough Sports as a director – a role which formally takes effect on July 1 and sees him matching the investment of chairman Tommy Cooper pound-for-pound.

Rayment enjoyed a long playing career and tasted success in management when guiding Spalding to the United Counties League Premier Division title in the 2013/14 season , but this is his first foray into a behind-the-scenes role.

And he is confident he can be successful after being approached by Sports boss Jimmy Dean to climb aboard a team with designs on rising to Step 3 of the non-league system in the coming years.

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Rayment said: “As soon as I spoke to Jimmy and Tommy, the club’s huge ambition became clear – and it matches my own.

“Peterborough has long been crying out for a higher-level non-league club and that is what I believe Sports can become.

“Tommy and I will look to match each other’s input pound-for-pound in all aspects of running the club. I know that I can use my experience to help the club achieve its goals and also have some fun along the way.

“I bring a lot of understanding of a higher level to the table and knowing what to do, but just as importantly what not to do. We are not just going to throw money around and this has the feel of a longer and better-planned project than where I have been most recently.”

Rayment’s arrival will ease the burden on Cooper who has driven the city club’s rapid rise in recent times.

Five years ago they were playing in Division One of the Peterborough & District League – now they are powering to United Counties League Division One title glory by a country mile.

They won 1-0 at Lutterworth on Saturday thanks to a David Cobb strike to go 13 points clear at the top and are hopeful of attracting a decent crowd to PSL tomorrow when entertaining Oakham in a rare Friday-night game (7.45pm).

Cooper said: “I have consistently maintained that it is in the club’s best interests to not be reliant on a single individual source of investment.

“There have been some positive and significant changes to my business and personal life which brought the need to address this more sharply into focus.

“Myself and Jimmy sat down recently to talk through what is needed for us to be competitive next season if, as expected, we are playing in the Premier Division.

“Jimmy approached Pat to see if there would be an interest in coming on board and it quickly became obvious we all share a vision of what our future could look like.

“This is an exciting time for the club and I am delighted that Pat will use his experience to lighten my load and act as an additional sounding board for Jimmy.

“It will allow me to really focus on the next phase of our ground development to bring it up to Step 3 standard. This involves taking over the lease of our ground from Parkway, which is actively being worked through at present with both them and the city council.”

Sports have sparkled on the pitch this season. They enjoyed a 26-game winning streak earlier in the campaign and boasted the last remaining 100 per cent record in the top 10 levels of English football until it was ended last month. They’ve also claimed a handful of top scalps in cups.

Boss Dean said: “I have enjoyed a fantastic start to my managerial career and this appointment means that I can continue to concentrate on developing the side and to keep moving us forward

“The strategy of offering money to players to step down to help us get out of Step 6 has been hugely successful.

“We’ll need a bit more fine-tuning to be competitive again next season, but we won’t be bringing in any players who are just in it for a payday.

“They have to be equally as ambitious as myself, Tommy and Pat. The opportunity of playing for such a progressive club should be enough of a lure in itself.”

Sports are also keen to hear from other potential investors.