Why there is still a bit of hope Peterborough United can avoid relegation this season

Posh are unlikely to get a surprise stay of execution from relegation to the Championship.

By Alan Swann
Friday, 13th May 2022, 9:04 am
Peterborough United manager Grant McCann alongside Blackpool manager Neil Critchley on the touchline. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com
Peterborough United manager Grant McCann alongside Blackpool manager Neil Critchley on the touchline. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com

Speaking after Posh had finished the season with an emphatic 5-0 win over Blackpool at the Weston Homes Stadium last weekend, manager GRant McCann hinted relegation rivals Reading could be in danger of further sanctions for financial misdemeanours.

The Royals, who finished four points and one place above Posh, were deducted six points in November with a further six point deduction suspended in case the club make additional breaches.

The latest accounts published by Reading in February revealed pre-tax losses of £35.7m. The EFL only permit a maximum loss of £39m across three seasons.

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McCann said: “There is something going on in the background with Reading which we are aware of, but it’s just a bit of hope more than anything. I don’t really want to go into it. You can never say never though.”

But the Peterborough Telegraph understands the EFL are confident Reading have not made a further breach of of their stringent financial regulations. The ruling body have not started a separate investigation into the club so Posh will go down to League One, alongside Derby County and Barnsley, after just one season in the second tier.

In any event if there were further points deductions in the pipeline for Reading they would be more likely to be imposed next season. The EFL took that course of action with Derby which led to legal action from Wycombe Wanderers last season. Wycombe finished in 22nd place as Posh have done.

Posh finished the Championship season with just 37 points from 46 matches so it would have been a remarkable reprieve if they had been allowed to stay up. They only finished three points ahead of Derby who suffered a 21-point deduction with the possibility of more to come next season

Posh should take heart from Wycombe’s recovery from relegation to earn a place in the League One play-off final later this month after a 2-1 aggregate semi-final win over MK Dons.

Posh players have pledged to bounce back quickly next season, if only to reward the patience and support of the club’s fans.

Midfielder Jeando Fuchs said: “Not the way we wanted the season to end, but you (the fans) didn't let us down in the tough times! Thank you all for your welcome and support since I arrived here a few months ago. We don't fail, we learn.”

And winger Joe Ward added: “We were really pleased to end the season with a win, and give something back to the fans. Time for a good break and some time off and then back to it ready for next season.”

Defender Josh Knight said: “Obviously not how we wanted the season to go, but we’ll be back. I just want to say a big thank you to all the support we’ve had this season.”