Peterborough United manager receives high praise at AGM, rising costs explained and why ‘long-ball, football’ is a last resort

Top table at the Posh AGM were, from left, Bob Symns, Steve Evans and Barry Fry. Photo: Joe Dent/
Top table at the Posh AGM were, from left, Bob Symns, Steve Evans and Barry Fry. Photo: Joe Dent/
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Peterborough United director of football Barry Fry closed the club’s Annual General Meeting today (December 17) with a rousing speech in support of manager Steve Evans.

Evans was present alongside Fry and Chief Executive Officer Bob Symns to hear words that drew applause from the 21 shareholders in attendance at the ABAX Stadium.

“Nineteen players in, 26 players out, five new members of the management team and sitting fourth in the table represents a manager doing a brilliant job,” Fry stated.

“It’s all good news on the field so far and I can only see a team getting stronger and stronger as the season goes on. We could well end up back in the Championship at the end of the season.

“Steve Evans deserves all the praise we can give him.”

Evans took a few questions from shareholders and revealed a new centre-back would be a priority in the January transfer window. He also insisted long ball football is a ‘last resort’ for his team.

“Anyone who watched us in the early part of the season could tell we were passing through midfield and scoring some great goals as a result,” Evans said. “We want to play in that way, but if the pass hasn’t been on we have gone long. That’s a temptation when Ivan Toney is playing, but he isn’t really a target man. He’s a better footballer than that.”

Official business at the AGM lasted just eight minutes.

Other points raised by shareholders included a big rise in admin costs (by over £1 million compared to the previous 12 months) in the accounts which ran for the 12 months up to June, 2018 which was put down to higher wages, stadium repairs and general depreciation. Posh still recorded a profit of £481,807 for the year.

The 61 paid players at the club listed in the accounts included 35 Academy staff and an unnamed director is still benefitting from transfer dealings. Fry has been named as the best paid director in the past, but there is no longer a requirement to make this information public.

The club reverted to an all-male five-man board of directors following the arrival of co-owners Dr Jason Neale and Stewart Thompson. The board is expected to return to a more diverse make-up in the future, according to Symns.