Peterborough United co-owner understands fans’ concerns over Embankment stadium as new website offers chance for supporters to have say

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Peterborough United co-owner Stewart ‘Randy’ Thompson admits he can understand the concerns of fans about the club’s stadium move.

Posh are planning to relocate from their long-standing London Road home to a brand new stadium on the Embankment in January 2023.

The new ground will be owned by the club’s three co-owners - including Jason Neale and Darragh MacAnthony - and it will aim to host more than 200 non-football functions a year including exhibitions, wedding events and concerts.

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Mr Thompson, a Canadian who took a stake in Posh back in 2018, said he appreciated why there was scepticism over the move to the Embankment, whether that be from “purists” who are only interested in football, or because he is an investor from abroad.

The Groupama Arena in Budapest - the inspiration for the new Posh ground. Copyright: Lagardere Sports HungaryThe Groupama Arena in Budapest - the inspiration for the new Posh ground. Copyright: Lagardere Sports Hungary
The Groupama Arena in Budapest - the inspiration for the new Posh ground. Copyright: Lagardere Sports Hungary

But he insisted he wants the Peterborough community to be fully involved in the design of the new stadium which he hopes will become synonymous with the city when viewed by supporters of other clubs.

Speaking to Posh press officer Phil Adlam, Mr Thompson said: “I know we’re going to get some pushback. London Road is a stadium - you go for football.

“As a purist maybe you’re not going to love my plan for the new stadium because of the fact it’s really community focused and it’s going to be used for more (than football).
“But at the end of the day it’s going to be super important to the community that we bring in new businesses, that we re-inject the jobs around construction.”

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Mr Thompson said the stadium, which has been inspired by the Groupama Arena in Budapest, Hungary, will combine with the cathedral, Key Theatre and new city university as part of a masterplan for the area.

Describing the venture as “exciting,” he said the plans include transferring the history from London Road to the new ground, with the potential for a “history bar” in the centre of the whole stadium, while fans could also be allowed to go on the pitch before matches.

But Mr Thompson stressed that: “We’re going to try to open it up for other people with ideas,” with the club setting up a new website - - where fans can say what they want to see.

Asked whether he understood concerns that the co-owners may look to sell the new stadium on for a profit, Mr Thompson replied: “I remember when I got here. It’s like ‘oh no, two more foreign owners, what are they going to be like?’ We’re still fighting that. 

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“I understand there’s going to be some concern. So the more we can bring the community in, the more time people get to talk to us about it, the more we can make it feel like it’s your decision. I think that’s going to be massively important.

“We have to figure out a way that what we do with this stadium is ours, and we want to be one of those pictures on Sky, when they show our stadium, they go ‘oh yeah, that’s Peterborough’.

“So it has to be ours, it has to be community, and we need everyone’s input for that.”

Posh are currently in the final stages of buying back the London Road ground from Peterborough City Council.

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