Darragh MacAnthony has no regrets re taking on partners at Peterborough United, while he discusses the new stadium and the possibility of local board members

Darragh MacAnthony. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.comDarragh MacAnthony. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com
Darragh MacAnthony. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com
Peterborough United chairman Darragh MacAnthony insists he has no regrets about entering into an ownership partnership with Dr Jason Neale and Stewart ‘Randy’ Thompson.

That five-and-a-half year partnership ended this week after Mr MacAnthony purchased a large chunk of the shares owned by his former co-owners to become the majority shareholder again.

Mr MacAnthony has also struck a deal to settle a key debt with OKR Finance.

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Dr Jason Neale (left) and Stewart 'Randy' Thompson celebrate a Posh promotion in May, 2021. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.Dr Jason Neale (left) and Stewart 'Randy' Thompson celebrate a Posh promotion in May, 2021. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
Dr Jason Neale (left) and Stewart 'Randy' Thompson celebrate a Posh promotion in May, 2021. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

The chairman also has an option to purchase the rest of the shares. He also revealed he would sell chunks of the club to local people if there was interest.

Dr Neale and Mr Thompson still co-own the company that owns the club’s stadium. Mr MacAnthony’s priority now is to take that company out of receivership, but he insists the new ownership arrangement at the football club does not necessarily mean the end of the dream for a new stadium.

"I don’t regret going into partnership with Jason and Randy at all,” Mr MacAnthony told the club’s media chief. “They were terrific partners during Covid and we won a promotion together.

"I would work with them again in a heartbeat. There is no animosity towards them from me and I hope our fans don’t give them grief because they don’t deserve that.

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“One priority for 2023 was to get the debts sorted. It was a long, complicated, arduous drawn-out process which lasted eight-and-a-half months. It took too long really, but that was no-one’s fault. The chief negotiator at OKR was good to work with. We must have 50 zoom calls, but we got there.

"We were close to sorting it out in the summer, but articles were written that did us no favours. They made us sound like we were on life support financially which was never the case.

"Every club has debts. We’ve always had debts here in my 18 years at the club, but we've always paid our bills on time and I’m really proud of that.

"It has been a choppy 15 months, but we are where we are now and it’s time to look forward.

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"We still have debts of course and sorting out the situation with our company that owns the stadium is a priority for 2024. We have a 16-year lease and the lease favours us, but there is a debt to OKR which has to be resolved. That’s just business.

"The change in club ownership does not mean the idea of a new stadium just disappears, but we will have to wait until we have resolved the debt.

"The club is growing commercially and we still want the new stadium. It’s not just about financing through, It’s about land and licences etc,

"But we are in really good shape financially. It’s not perfect, but we can manage our debts.

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"I paid most of the bills in 2023 anyway and we have incredible assets and a club that is growing on and off the field.

"I am the majority shareholder again and that’s important as it’s my money on the line so I have to make the key decisions, but if local people want to buy chunks of the club I have no problem with that.

“I’d like more people, if they have the wealth, to get involved. I will be looking to add directors and minority stake holders could have the option to join the board.”