The Marcus Maddison transfer saga laid bare by Peterborough United chairman Darragh MacAnthony: ‘high maintenanace, made my head go like a volcano, unreasonable demands’

Peterborough United chairman Darragh MacAnthony has lifted the lid on the trials and tribulations caused by Marcus Maddison’s long, drawn-out transfer saga.

Monday, 3rd February 2020, 10:08 am
Updated Monday, 3rd February 2020, 10:58 am

Posh eventually received a six-figure loan fee from Championship side Hull City on deadline day (January 31) for the wantaway 26 year-old with the promise of another six-figure fee if Maddison seals a permanent move to the KCOM Stadium.

But Maddison turned down moves to Charlton and Birmingham City thatwould have made Posh more money, before rejoining former Posh boss Grant McCann.

MacAnthony’s frustration with a player he’d mentored for five years is obvious in a video the Posh chairman has released on the subject on his personal YouTube channel. MacAnthony made Maddison one of the highest paid players in Posh history and a buyout clause of £2.5 million was inserted into his final club contract, but the chairman slammed the player’s unreasonable contract demands from interested Championship clubs last month,

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Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony (left) with director of football Barry Fry.

Maddison was described as ‘high maintenance’ by a chairman who has now washed his hands completely of a player he adored as he racked up some impressive stats in 249 first-team games.

Maddison, who is out of contract at Posh in the summer and then a free agent, had become toxic around London Road. The final straw for the chairman was the player suggesting he should be paid to leave Posh.

“My head was like a volcano when I heard he wanted paying to leave,” MacAnthony revealed. “I am a temperamantal person and after all I’d done for him that really annoyed me. Marcus can be high maintenance and I then became determined we got some money for him. He wasn’t going to be allowed to leave for nothing as he had suggested he would as he thought he would then get the contract he wanted.

“Marcus had told us in the summer he wasn’t interested in even looking at a new contract with us. He wanted to play in the Championship so last month we tried to make that happen for him as it looked like it was time for him to move on.

Marcus Maddison with his League One player-of-the-month award.

“Marcus won a player-of-the-month prize for League One, but he wasn’t the same player from November onwards. I don’t know whether or not he’d started thinking about next summer and he didn’t want to get injured, but we didn’t want players who didn’t fancy playing at Rotherham as they’re a bit physical.

“Charlton were the first club in for him and we did a great deal with them. They would give us £1.5 million up front with another £500k in the summer and then another £500k if they won promotion. It seemed like a great deal for Marcus as they needed someone to provide service for their strikers.

“But initially Marcus didn’t even want to talk to them. Geography was a big thing for him and he didn’t want to move to London. He didn’t like the London traffic for a start.

“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing so I rang him up. I spent two hours on the phone persuading him to at least talk to Charlton and eventually a delegation from the club visited him at his house and spent an evening with him.

Posh striker Ivan Toney.

“Marcus came to the club the next day and seemed excited about the move. They were close to the salary figure he wanted and if they could reach it he would go.

“But it never happened. Talks dragged on. His two agents went abroad for a while. Charlton wanted to renegotiate our deal so they could offer Marcus more, but I wasn’t having that and then Birmingham came in.

“Now Marcus had mentioned Birmingham before as a club he would go to. They offered a bit less than Charlton. It was £1 million up front and then £500k in add ons and we accepted it.

“But again talks became bogged down and Birmingham eventually lost interest which I fully understand.

“It was then that Marcus suggested he would run his contract down and join a bigger club. I told him we’d contacted several clubs and they weren’t interested in him.

“Grant McCann (Hull manager) then came on and initially Marcus wasn’t interested in going there either. I asked him what he’d rather do, sit on his backside for six months or go and play in the Championship and show what he can do?

“Hull had offered a six-figure loan fee and another six-figure fee in the summer if he signs permanently and thankfully Marcus went up there.

“I’m just glad the saga is over. I was getting fed up of being seen as a one-man team. The atmosphere around the camp is now excellent and I won’t talk about Marcus again. Good luck to him and Hull City, but I couldn’t care less anymore.”

MacAnthony also confirmed Posh turned down multiple bids from a top four Championship club - believed to be Brentford - for top scorer Ivan Toney.

“Ivan wasn’t very happy,” MacAnthony added. “But we will sell him in the summer if we don’t go up. Seven Championship clubs were interested in him in January and there will be seven more in the summer and probably two from the Premier League.

“I was told Bournemouth would have come for Ivan if they had sold Josh King to Manchester United, but they wouldn’t have got him.

“My co-owners have been fully supportive of the decisions taken in January. We are sick of selling our best players and if they do go we want a King’s ransom for them.”