Why Peterborough United will lose money if they win the EFL Trophy Final at Wembley

Peterborough United chairman Darragh MacAnthony wants to lose money on EFL Trophy Final day.
Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony. Photo Joe Dent/theposh.comPosh chairman Darragh MacAnthony. Photo Joe Dent/theposh.com
Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony. Photo Joe Dent/theposh.com

A win for Posh over League One bogey side Wycombe Wanderers at Wembley on April 7 would trigger lucrative bonuses for the players.

And with the crowd size at the national stadium set to be considerably lower after Wycombe beat a well-supported Bradford City side in their semi-final on Wednesday, MacAnthony insists victory would cost him money – and he wouldn’t care at all!

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The Posh chairman wanted Bradford to win because of his friendship with his ‘Hard Truth’ podcast host Philip Ideson, a long-time City supporter.

Posh celebrate their EFL Trophy semi-final win at Blackpool. Photo Joe Dent/theposh.com.Posh celebrate their EFL Trophy semi-final win at Blackpool. Photo Joe Dent/theposh.com.
Posh celebrate their EFL Trophy semi-final win at Blackpool. Photo Joe Dent/theposh.com.

However MacAnthony is not unhappy about playing a Wycombe side who have inflicted a lot of pain on his side in recent seasons, most recently a 5-2 League One defeat earlier this month, but most notoriously through the farce of the points-per-game nonsense introduced by the EFL to settle promotion and play-off positions in the 2019-20 season.

It was on the latest edition of the ‘Hard Truth’ podcast that MacAnthony spoke about the two Trophy semi-finals this week. Posh beat Blackpool 3-0 at Bloomfield Road in their semi-final on Tuesday.

"I was gutted for Bradford,” MacAnthony insisted. “I was really impressed how dominant they were. It was the most one-sided game I’ve seen in my life.

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"But football can be cruel and credit to Wycombe. They’ve not had the best of seasons, but they showed resilience and togetherness. They didn’t play well, but dug in and took their chance when it came. People can say they like Wycombe or they don’t like Wycombe, but this is what they do,

"Watching them I did find it hard to believe they beat us 5-2, but that’s football. It’s what can happen.

"I wanted Bradford to win to set up the Hard Truth final, but I also wanted Wycombe as they’ve inflicted a lot of pain on us. Maybe they raise their game against us, but we will just have to sure we double our efforts against them.

"We will actually lose money on the final if we win because of the bonuses in the players’ contracts and because Wycombe won’t bring as many fans as Bradford, but I’m happy to lose money if we win a trophy.

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"I was delighted with our own display. I spoke with the manager after we’d lost to Blackpool in the league game a few days before and we agreed we had to own our decision of going down the route we have with young players performing with style and an identity. We want away from that on Saturday after Blackpool equalised.

"And after Saturday Darren told the players to reset. The simple message was ‘this who we are and this is what we are doing’ and after 10 minutes at Blackpool I could see we were back. It was one-way traffic and we could have scored more than we did.

"We needed to get back to being us regardless of the importance of the game and fair play to the players as they have stuck together and fair play to the fans who have stuck with us all season. I was delighted for them and for the manager and his staff. We handled the occasion great. The changes we made were good and every player was good. It was a sublime display and a joy to watch. And If we stick to that for the last 14 League One games we will have a good end to the season. If we don’t we won’t.

"We need to attack every game now and win as many as we can to see where it takes us. When we win one game we will win a load.

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"I’m expecting the players to turn up at Cambridge on Saturday because we didn’t turn up there last season, but I would hope the confidence we will have gained from the win at Blackpool will carry on into this game. It won’t be an easy game. They are to beat and pushed Bolton all the way the other night.”