Peterborough United chief wanted to strangle one former manager and he stopped two others getting rid of multi-million pound Posh players

Peterborough United co-owner Darragh MacAnthony has revealed some of the run-ins he’s had with managers over the future of the club’s players.

Friday, 4th September 2020, 4:23 pm
Darragh MacAnthony with then Posh boss Gary Johnson (right).

MacAnthony disclosed, during the most recent episode of his popular ‘Hard Truth,’ podcast why he wanted to ‘strangle’ Steve Evans and how he stopped Jim Gannon and Gary Johnson getting rid of big-name Posh players on the cheap.

“Sometimes I have to take a stand if I disagree with a manager over a certain player,” MacAnthony stated. “It’s not me interfering. It’s me looking after the best interests of the club. I pay the bills so it’s necessary for me to get involved in transfers sometimes.

“I was at a Kung fu class with my children in the States once when Barry Fry rang me to tell me he’d done a deal to loan Craig Mackail-Smith out. It was to Reading or Watford, I can’t really remember.

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Darragh MacAnthony (left) and Steve Evans in the stands.

“Jim Gannon was the manager and didn’t want Craig at the club and that staggered me. I stepped in and blocked the deal as I was confident we hadn’t yet seen the best of Craig.

“Jim eventually left and the following season Craig won the League One Golden Boot and we got promoted. We then sold him to Brighton for £3.2 million that summer.

“It was a similar story with Gary Johnson and Ryan Bennett. Gary didn’t rate Ryan. He preferred to play Kelvin Langmead at centre-back so he wanted Ryan out.

“We’d paid £500k for Ryan as a 17 year-old and I knew what a talent he was so I stepped in again and refused to let him leave. A year or so later, well after Gary had gone, we sold Ryan to Norwich for £3.5 million so that’s almost £7 million I’d made for the club by disagreeing with managers.

Jim Gannon when Posh manager in 2010.

“It was different with Steve Evans who kept pestering me to sign Eoin Doyle from Preston. I didn’t fancy him at all. He just didn’t fit our profile of young and hungry players and he was one of those players who seemed to turn it on when he fancied it. A great goalscorer over his career, but he just wasn’t for me.

“His wages at Preston and the fee they wanted were also too high, but Steve wouldn’t let it go and in the end I just wanted to strangle him.

“The noise coming out my office when I finally lost it with Steve was so severe my wife will never forget it as she was in the house at the time.

“I stand by my young and hungry policy. I sign very few players over 30 and that won’t change.”