I must confess when Darragh MacAnthony marched into London Road for the first time 13 years ago I was little unsure of his motives.
How on earth does someone get so rich so young? And why did he always appear to be accompanied by three strong-looking gentlemen? He’d actually made his millions in property which is enough to make a mild sceptic most suspicious.
I suspected Posh would have some fun with the charismatic Irishman before he found a new plaything a couple of years later.
Well, what a rash and inaccurate judgement that turned out to be. There have been rough times along the way, but MacAnthony has never made me fear his intentions for the club. He’s battled his way through the bad times like us fans and delivered some great times with some great players.
It’s why MacAnthony and his co-owners Stewart ‘Randy’ Thompson and Dr Jason Neale deserve to be cut some slack over the ownership of the ground. It was fair enough for last week’s letter writer to the PT to point out the stadium owners will be the club owners rather than the club itself, but if the board are up to no good they’re going about it in a very elaborate way by funding what is threatening to be a sustained run at promotion back to the Championship.
Predicting how a football club owner will act when in power is fraught with difficulties, but no doubt the English Football League process needs to be better.
I have huge sympathy for Bury fans who followed their club through success and despair, and for the players and staff who received no wages for a few months, but the rest of the league needs to be protected from the sort of shenanigans that blighted Gigg Lane over the last 12 months.
I actually feel more sorry for Mansfield fans though. They follow a well-run club who lived within their means and yet they were pipped to promotion by a club who were surely riding roughshod over financial fairplay rules?
Bury splashed out huge wages on players they couldn’t actually afford which led to promotion and now extinction. Was it really worth it? Not for Bury fans and if I was a Mansfield supporter I’d feel cheated out of promotion.
I’m also disturbed by suggestions Bury could reform soon and be placed in League Two next season. That can’t be allowed to happen. Bury have to go way down the football pyramid as Stockport County, Hereford and Darlington did rather than receive an effective free pass
It needn’t be the end of the world as Stockport are now back in the fifth tier under County legend, and former Posh boss, Jim Gannon and playing in front of 5,000 home fans.
This Bolton situation has also been shambolic and has led to an unfair League One competition this season.
If you were lucky enough to play Bolton in the first weeks of the season you were guaranteed a 5-0 win. That’s no longer the case as a new manager and new players have now arrived to compete more strongly against the rest of us.