Peterborough United chairman’s fury at club owners who are ‘agenda merchants hiding behind a pandemic to get their way’

Peterborough United chairman Darragh MacAnthony ramped up the rhetoric as he took certain fellow League One club owners to task over their coronavirus crisis stance.

By Alan Swann
Saturday, 18th April 2020, 11:24 am
Updated Saturday, 18th April 2020, 12:26 pm
Darragh MacAnthony
Darragh MacAnthony

MacAnthony has been angered by those owners who have placed players into furlough and who want the 2019-20 season to end now with no promotion or relegation.

He’s described the worst offenders as ‘agenda merchants’ who are ‘hiding behing a pandemic’ to get their way.

MacAnthony’s passion for the subject was laid bare in his latest episode of his popular ‘Hard Truths’ podcast, one with occasional use of bad language.

MacAnthony said: “To the owners hiding behind this pandemic to push their agenda of not finishing the season, I say ‘screw you.’

“I don’t like that message, I don’t like that excuse and I don’t like the fact you are trying to hide your real agenda. You are bang out of order.

“I’ve seen people out there on social media, people I usually respect, saying the EFL should pay us to play these nine games, that we are not bothered about playing them and if we do play them we will use kids.

“These people should grow some balls and say it for what it is. They’ve gone into self-preservation mode. These people are either at clubs who are getting relegated so it’s in their interests to not play the remaining games and get the season voided.

“Or they are at mid-table clubs who have achieved **** all this season so they have no interest in playing any more.

“Well I say to them integrity must now kick in. They are all members of the EFL. They are contracted to play 44 or 46 games this season. They have already been paid to do so by the EFL and by Premier League solidarity money so if they want to pursue a selfish agenda they should repay those monies now and if they don’t want to play the fixtures they can forfeit them all 3-0.

“We have a season to finish and we will finish it. The Premier League have said they will finish their season and so must we so stop spouting this nonsense.

“Your players are contracted to play and it’s your duty to run your club responsibly.

“A couple in particular have furloughed players so the UK Government is paying the wages of players who are not doing anything. These are the clubs who use cheap players on £600-800 a week so they can get £2,500 a month paid by the Government and these people are now lecturing me about finishing the season and that they will play kids if they have to pay!

“I’m not buying this nonsense at all. Clubs who say they are within weeks of going bust because of the pandemic are talking bull. All that shows is how poorly they were running their clubs before the coronavirus arrived. These people shouldn’t be running clubs anyway.

“I wouldn’t act like that if my club was struggling. I’m all about integrity and fairness. If my club was battling against relegation I’d still want League One to finish.

“As it is there are 9/10 clubs still with a chance of promotion and four or five clubs battling against relegation. After 36 matches our season just has to finish.”