Peterborough United chairman believes new stadium worth £300m over ten years to city and council offering interest free loan would be “no-brainer”

Posh chairman Darargh MacAnthony that the club’s new stadium would be worth roughly £300m toPeterborough over ten years and that the council offering an interest free loan would be a “no-brainer.”

By Ben Jones
Friday, 12th November 2021, 10:15 am
A projection of Peterborough United's new stadium.

The club’s new stadium is still in the planning stages at the moment and no agreement as to location has been finalised, but the club are adamant that their preferred site is on the Embankment, close to the site of the new ARU Peterborough campus and the athletics track.

At a recent fans forum ,Co-owner Jason Neale described the club’s other options aside from the Embankment as “bleak.”

The club are currently exploring ways to finance the potential deal but are unwilling to commit any further money to the project for now given that they are unsure if they will be given the green light for their preferred location. Peterborough City Council is currently in the middle of an independent masterplanning process and the club does not expect the results of that to come until at least February.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

A number of objectors have rallied against the stadium being built on the Embankment, so too have those in support, but MacAnthony has issued a message to those objectors, affirming just how much benefit having the club in the city centre does for the city as a whole.

He has suggested that residents would feel it in their pockets if the club that was not there and that Peterborough City Council should be willing to offer an interest free loan, in line with the millions of pounds the club would make the city in return.

Previously MacAnthony has cited Hull and Swansea as examples as Championship clubs he would like to replicate in terms of having their own community stadiums. Speaking on his Hard Truth podcast, MacAnthony said: ““What people who are not football fans and are thinking is well we’re not paying for the football club, we’re not putting money in MacAnthony’s pocket, need to realise is that it’s not about that. We’re already putting millions in your city’s pocket, so if you live in Peterborough and you own a business, our football club enables you to do better, particularly if you’re in the hospitality industry.

“If you own anything to do with hospitality and tourism that comes into Peterborough, the 25+ homes games that we have a year brings money into your coffers. If the club wasn’t around then your turnover would be less every year. So, our football club enables millions of pounds of revenue and expenditure to come into the city.

“When you go to a football game, it’s not just the price of your ticket; it’s where you park, the petrol you put in your car at the local petrol station, it’s the lunch you go and buy locally, if you come down and stay for a night away, you might go and see a show the night before and you’re staying in a hotel or B&B.

“When people start worrying about, ‘why should the council give a loan? Why should the council contribute some land?’ Well, a state of the art all-purpose stadium, that can not only host 300 events a year and bring thousands of new people into Peterborough would generate millions, we’re talking upwards of £20m a year for the city.

“That helps put money in the tax coffers to pay for the police, public services to keep the roads well, keep the infrastructure going and if they didn’t have all that thar revenue then all the local residents would probably be paying more council tax because the books need to be balanced.

“So, if the club wasn’t there, they would feel it in their pockets They must remember that when they are out in force worrying about money going in my pocket because it doesn’t.

“It’s called an investment. All city councils should be looking at it that way. That’s why I get angry about not having land sorted and not being offered interest free loans. Our city has given interest free loans to four-star hotel groups, what’s the difference.?

“Our new stadium would generate hundreds of more jobs, never mind in the construction industry itself, the rates of taxes we would then pay, the daily consumption and the money spent in the city itself. It’s an absolute no brainier.

“We estimate that over ten years, it was something like £300m would be brought into the city just from that new stadium. So, if the council had to give us land and an interest free loan of around £25-30m as a down payment on a £60-70m stadium, it’s of massive financial benefit to the city.”