DECADE OF DARRAGH: The top buys, the biggest waste of money and what the future holds

The Posh 'Trinity' of Craig Mackail-Smith, George Boyd and Aaron Mclean.
The Posh 'Trinity' of Craig Mackail-Smith, George Boyd and Aaron Mclean.
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The best and the worst of Darragh MacAnthony’s 10 years as owner of Peterborough United in his own words...


Big Posh transfer flop Tyrone Barnett.

Big Posh transfer flop Tyrone Barnett.

“So many to mention without sounding arrogant, but the ‘Trinity‘(Craig Mackail-Smith, George Boyd and Aaron Mclean) is high up on the list costing me just £500k for three untested, non-league lads who matched the policy I drew up when buying Posh. They proved that policy worked with multiple promotions and millions from their sales and one of them is currently still playing in the Premier League.

Buying Dwight Gayle for £500k with only £50k of the installments paid before selling him for £6m (now gone past £7.1 million) is serious deal-making for a club like Peterborough.

There was massive personal satisfaction seeing Conor Washington go for £2.75 million after fighting with every manager to first recruit him, then to give him a chance, not to mention the many fans constantly moaning about his lack of quality.”


Posh have received �7.1 million from the transfer of Dwight Gayle.

Posh have received �7.1 million from the transfer of Dwight Gayle.

“Lots here to mention also, but probably the £1 million I flushed down the drain recruiting a player that went against the DNA I insisted the club was built on playing-wise, when I signed Tyrone Barnett from Crawley. The £600k spent on Jack Payne who should have gone to the top as he had the ability, but possibly not the right attitude as of yet to do so.

We spent over £700k on fees/wages on a too-young Nicky Ajose who mentally wasn’t ready for us or the Championship or League One, but is now showing what a top player he is 4/5 years later.

That’s always the risk with younger ones, some take longer then others, especially those who come from the Premier League down. The ones from lower league/non-league are the opposite.

I honestly feel Luke James will prove to be one like Ajose who will come good at 23/24 but again a lot of money invested for right player at the wrong time. “


“Lee Tomlin, Boyd, Britt Assombalonga, Gayle, Grant McCann, Ryan Bennett. I purposely won’t name current crop as unfair to do so but a good few of them would make this article.”


2-0 win at home to MK Dons in the second leg of the play-offs & the 3-0 win against Huddersfield in the final in 2011.

The away win at Cardiff when they topped the Championship and we were struggling, and we were 10-1 to win or something.

The 8-2 win over Accrington kicked the ‘Trinity’ into proper gear/flow on road to Posh greatness.

And yes that 1-0 win away to Colchester (win that clinched back-to-back promotions to the Championship).”


“The night we lost in the Championship, but other results confirmed our Championship status for the following season was a massive achievement and wonderful feeling.

The bus parades for when we were successful and the city came out to show how proud they were of their football club.”


“Honestly no idea at the moment. I’m fighting the odds constantly day-to-day owning Posh and at times it’s pretty exhausting and massively unrewarding from afar. But it’s a challenge I have an insatiable appetite for as I like to win.

After I get Posh into the Championship and sort stadium issues out, I make no guarantees of what’s next, but it’ll definitely be football for me. I love it even though it doesn’t love me sometimes.”