SportsNewsIreland’s Trevor Keane caught up with Peterborough Chairman Darragh MacAnthony and was lucky enough to get him to take some time out for running a Championship club to answer some questions.
What attracted you to become a chairman at a football club? – I love football and have supported Liverpool since the age of 12 and have always dreamed of owning a football club. It was one of my aims later in life to buy a football club as a kind of hobby but one with a business plan and high long terms aims and targets.
You seem very passionate about the club, what attracted you to become Chairman of Peterborough in particular? - I looked at 3 or 4 clubs at same time and Posh was the easiest deal to do thanks to Barry Fry, My passion for Posh has grown from the day I bought it and fact the fans and locals have made me and my family so welcome to City of Peterborough!! It’s a mutual love affair at the moment, let’s hope fans want me for years to come as its not always that way as shown with other clubs!
Niall Quinn earns a lot of praise for his work as Chairman with Sunderland, do you think it is easier to be a chairman if you come from a footballing background or from a business background? Not sure but for sure Niall does a wonderful job and has moved from pitch to Boardroom with ease and little fuss. As a businessman I can say that has helped prepare me for world of football and agents.
How difficult is it to be a chairman of a Championship club? Tougher then other leagues as everybody wants more money, the players, agents, staff, directors and of course the fans have high expectations which is par for the course. It is a balancing act but I would rather have these issues then still be in league 1 or league 2. It’s an amazingly strong league full of premier league clubs, but one we respect and one we will work damn hard to succeed in.
If you could bring one Irish player to the club, who would it be? Robbie Keane for obvious reasons, true legend for Ireland!
What are you aspirations for the coming season? To compete, not disappoint our fans and hold our own in a tough league and to be patient for 46 games.
Are there any league of Ireland players who have caught your eye? Plenty of young talent in Ireland but a lot of them are signed to agents who fill their heads with nonsense about big moves. These lads need to break into English football and go from there and stop putting money over ambition by coming to a club such as posh where they would play most weeks in first team and give them the stage to impress and then earn the big multi million pound move!
You’ve had your run-in’s with the English media, do you find being a chairman of a club brings your personal life more out in the open? Does the media feel they have more access to you because of football is a people’s game? The week after we won promotion I was plastered across papers with ridiculous headlines which is par for course being in public eye but the worst article was in an Irish paper which I am taking legal action against right now for the pure diatribe of crap they printed about me. The media is the media and aren’t always honest as shown with recent events but I have respect for a lot of Journalists who do a fine balanced and responsible job.
Sportsnewsireland.com will have live score updates on all GAA Championship matches over the summer.