Why I’m glad Peterborough United missed out on promotion

Posh co-owners from left Darragh MacAnthony, Stewart 'Randy' Thompson, Dr Jason Neale.
Posh co-owners from left Darragh MacAnthony, Stewart 'Randy' Thompson, Dr Jason Neale.
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My disappointment at Peterborough United missing out on the League One play-offs lasted until about 30 minutes after the final whistle of the final game.

Sometimes you need to be careful what you wish for. I’m not sure winning promotion this season would have been a good thing.

Posh player-of-the-year Marcus Maddison.

Posh player-of-the-year Marcus Maddison.

Of course success is always desired, play-off football is usually thrilling and there is no better feeling than gaining promotion in that way.

May 29, 2011 at Old Trafford remains the second greatest day in my Posh life, just after the Division Three play-off semi-final win at Huddersfield Town in May, 1992.

But the gulf between League One and the Championship is bigger than the gap between the Championship and the Premier League in my opinion. You need to be fully prepared on and off the field to have a chance.

That wasn’t the case when Posh won back-to-back promotions under Darren Ferguson a few years back and it wouldn’t be the case now.

Posh manager Darren Ferguson.

Posh manager Darren Ferguson.

Posh have already announced the departure of 15 first-team squad members for next season’s League One campaign. If Posh had gone up they might have been counting the squad survivors on one hand, with hardly any time to recruit efficiently.

It’s irritating that Doncaster pipped Posh for sixth place given the poor behaviour of their players and manager when the teams met at the Keepmoat, but the gap between fifth and sixth in the final reckoning was 13 points and promotion to the Championship from that position would surely lead to a miserable time in the second tier?

I’m happy where Posh are now. The club looks in good hands with a refreshed and re-invigorated chairman and manager, a board boosted by a couple of enthusiastic co-owners with big business brains, a much-improved, and now well-funded, youth set-up under Nicky Sheppard, Matthew Etherington and Simon Davies and a hugely successful campaign to get youngsters interested in supporting the club, rather than accepting they’ll follow Premier League teams.

I don’t like the idea of moving the home ground from London Road, but if it helps finance success I can certainly live with it.

There is a lot to admire about Posh. The club has never spent so long outside the bottom division and they consistently finish in the top half of League One on modest home gates. League One is littered with teams who push the boat out and enjoy a couple of good seasons before financial reality sets in. Scunthorpe contested back-to-back play-offs before their relegation this season.

I’m confident a more lasting promtion bid will be launched next season as long as recruitment is better this summer. Posh don’t need disruptive influences like Josh Yorwerth knocking about.

The feelgood factor is back and Marcus Maddison looks set to stay. What’s not to like?