Peterborough United chairman defends decision to charge in excess of £2,000 to stage two local cup finals which will now be played elsewhere

Whittlesey Athletic celebrate their 2016 PFA Senior Cup FInal success at the ABAX STadium.
Whittlesey Athletic celebrate their 2016 PFA Senior Cup FInal success at the ABAX STadium.
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It has emerged Peterborough United wanted to charge local football competitions over £2,000 to stage two cup finals at the ABAX Stadium this season.

It’s been a tradition for many years for the PFA Senior Cup Final and PFA Under 13 Cup Final to be staged at London Road at the end of the season.

Action from the Presidents Shield Final at Nene Valley Community Centre in 2018.

Action from the Presidents Shield Final at Nene Valley Community Centre in 2018.

Those competitions have been re-branded this season as the Peterborough Senior Cup and Peterborough Under 13 Cup and the finals will now be held at the Peterborough League headquarters, the Nene Park Community Centre, on Candy Street.

Minutes of the December meeting of the Peterborough League reveal Posh had asked for a fee of £1,900 plus VAT to stage the games. Posh had, on occasion, previously staged the matches for free.

Member clubs have now voted reluctantly to switch venues.

Peterborough League chairman Keith Sharp said: “Sadly, this year we have had to move the Senior Cup Final from London Road as the owners have asked for a payment that is no longer viable. We have had many discussions with them, but their lack of movement means we have no choice.

“We have facilities at Candy Street to showcase these finals, which over the past year has played host to the Peterborough & District Football League Cup Finals. These have been a great success.”

The club did not respond to a request for comment earlier today (February 7), but chairman Darragh MacAnthony responded to negative comments about the switch on Twitter tonight.

MacAnthony pointed to the £500k spent on installing a new playing surface last summer and to the good work the club do within the community, particularly the very successful schools initiative undertaken this season, and with local charities. He also stated many Football League clubs always charge local football associations for the use of their facilities.

MacAnthony said: “Big shame all this is made out in local press, and on twitter today, like we are the bad guys here & small memories from some re how many times we did it for free in the past. It wasn’t feasible to continue like this.

“We wish all those involved in the Peterborough Senior Cup/Under 13 cup great success in the finals & hope to see them back at the ABAX in the future. Thanks & apologies for not being able to please everybody.”