Peterborough United owner Darragh MacAnthony has sold the club?well half of it!
After the draw with AFC Wimbledon at the ABAX Stadium last weekend, Posh Owner/Chairman Darragh MacAnthony tweeted to fans to expect exciting times in the coming days/weeks/months.
Well, since he tweeted that cryptic message, we`ve seen Grant McCann sacked as manager, Steve Evans appointed as his replacement and now MacAnthony has sold a 50% stake in Posh!
The new co-owners of Posh, alongside MacAnthony, are Mr R Stewart Thompson and Dr Jason Neale who both become Directors at Posh with immediate effect.
The duo will hold their shares through Kelgary Sports and Entertainment, a Canadian entity through which other investors participate along with Mr. Thompson and Dr. Neale.
Neale is originally from the UK and holds a PhD in Electronic Systems Engineering from the University of Essex and a joint EMBA from the Columbia and London Business Schools while Thompson is the Founder and CEO of Valhalla Private Capital.
The Canadian-based investors have been actively looking at EFL club ownership for the last two years and see Peterborough as an ideal fit.
“While I have deep background in corporate turnarounds, what`s most attractive about the Posh is that it is already firing on all cylinders,” said Neale.
“Darragh, Bob, Barry and the entire Club have a strong, clear 3-5 year plan that Stewart and I have bought into and will put our expertise and passion into bringing to fruition.”
Thompson is also a passionate football fan as he said: “It`s a testament to the reach and emotional power of English Football that I, who chased a ball across the sodden shale pitches of Canada`s west coast as a lad, grew up with a true desire to be a real part of the game.
“I always believed that my passion for the game paired with the business and commercial acumen I`ve gained along the way could and should land me where I am today. I`m grateful to Darragh for helping me achieve this goal and excited to deliver many more successes with him, Jason and the entire Posh organisation.”
MacAnthony has threatened many times to sell up after receiving regular abuse from disgruntled Posh fans admitted that he wasn`t actually looking for partners or to sell the club as he commented: “This is banner news for the football club, its staff and for the city of Peterborough.
“While I have not been actively looking for new partners or to sell the club, when Jason and Stewart were introduced to me several months ago, I was so impressed with their creative energy and brilliant business minds that it was clear the three of us in concert could really grow all aspects of this club.
“This partnership is not about going out and spending silly money on players or their agents but more about building on what the club already does very successfully.
“I am very excited both Jason and Stewart are on board and over time our fans and the city will see exactly why. This Partnership is without doubt one of the best moves I have made in my eleven years as Chairman of Peterborough United Football Club.”
The above are extracts from the official Posh statement but MacAnthony went on to explain more about how things happened:
So with news now released over the new partnership announced today; I will share with posh fans a little more detail to it all.
As you can read in the statement, this isn’t something I have actively gone out looking for or instigated. This all happened out of coincidence with being introduced to both Randy & Jason via telephone by Alexander Jarvis and his Firm Blackbridge who specialize in football takeovers, then whilst I was in Vegas watching the fight they wanted to catch up for a coffee. They were already deep in discussion about buying another football club and wanted to pick my brains on how/what ownership was really like and how I created the policy we have at posh etc and more detail on the industry itself. We had a great chat, then we headed our separate ways. Few weeks later they asked if I could come to Canada for another chat.
I jumped on a plane flew over and within an hour of being in the meeting they asked me what would it take to become partners with me. It threw me for a loop at first as I hadn’t expected it and truth be told, I have never had business partners before in my life. I was straight with them about all things Peterborough good/bad and my expectations for the club and my financial Number should I ever want to sell up or leave. They insisted on agreeing a deal but only if I stayed on as Chairman to continue running the club.
We then talked through what they brought to the table not financially but business wise, ideas wise and how the synergy between the 3 of us would work. It all blew me away. We agreed to take our time concluding the deal. They visited multiple times, went through the due diligence process, EFL vetting and it was all formalized as I went away on vacation.
I want to be very clear to Posh fans so there is no confusion or cross wires/mixed messages and everybody thinking our club will be buying its way up the football pyramid… That will not be happening. My new Partners love our policy at the club, the way we go about our football business is admired by many clubs in the EFL and this will not change at all.
This new partnership will see us be improve off the pitch commercially, invest in our facilities, improve our academy as we strive to return championship football. It will help with hopefully acquiring the stadium, redeveloping it and creating new initiatives to get more fans young and old through the turnstiles.
Both Randy & Jason are fans of the game & already passionate Posh fans having watched all our games for last 5 months or so and want us to be a really stable modern thinking top half championship club with a brilliant youth academy.
Some fans (not many) have become slightly disillusioned with how I have run the club and I am not so arrogant as to think my way is the only way and if like minded people come along who can improve the club, open my eyes to new ways/means then I am all ears and happy to change with the times. This deal is good for the football club, the city, the fans, My family and of course me personally.
With the new manager on board and new partners, I am super optimistic and so enthusiastic for the future and what it brings.
You wouldn`t expect anything else other than a glowing reference from MacAnthony but how will this affect Posh?
The club`s key objectives remain the same:
Securing Championship football and thriving once there;
Bringing the stadium back to club ownership and filling it with fans for every match;
Improving and expanding facilities and the youth system.
How much more capital this injects into the club is unknown but could it be the catalyst needed to buy back the ground from Peterborough City Council? In doing just that, Posh would save half a million pounds in rent, money that could be well spent in other areas or towards improving the ground and facilities.
It will undoubtedly take time for the newcomers to show just what they are about and the ideas they have for the club so for now, we`ll have to sit tight, see if the new manager can take us back up to the Championship and then see how things pan out.
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