After reading Gav's piece on Notts County I have been very curious about the type of characters investing money, big money, into Football clubs in the UK. One individual in particular caught my attention more than a few others, a certain Irishman named Darragh MacAnthony, Chairman of Championship side Peterborough United. I rcall being slightly taken aback at this move and by this gentleman in general. A 30 year old Dubliner, with a massive personal fortune of allegedly over €50 million.
I remember all the publicity and meda attention on the club three years ago when MacAnthony invested heavily in the club and took over from Barry Fry as the club's Chariman (Although Fry did remain on as owner and director of football). The club at this stage were positioned in League 2 & struggling for survival in both financial terms and footballing terms. Fry's 'Knight in Shining armour' promised 'Boro would be "Knocking on the door of the Premier league in 5 years time". It was a bold and brash statement to make, but you don't expect anything less from the Playboy Chairman of a company turning over £200 million pounds a year.The club achieved great success following the appointment as manager of Darren Ferguson, son of Sir Alex. They achieved back to back promotions and attracted the highest quality players from the lower English leagues. Playing the Championship is a big step up, especially this season with a number a very strong sides, so most people expected them to struggle, and they have done. However the sacking of Ferguson came as a huge shock. The press conference held by Fry & MacAnthony last week made for interesting viewing. They seemed almost at odds with each other & claimed Ferguson as ready to step into another job immediately. This claim has been vehemently denied by Ferguson.
Looking a little closer at the company MacAnthony set up, MRI Overseas Property, gave me an unnerving feeling. Blog after blog have pages dedicated to the rip off merchants & dodgy dealings of this company
Just a few examples of the stuff being said about them. Just curious if Mr. MacAnthony was subjected to the FA’s fit & proper persons criteria for club ownership. He might be 100% above board, in fact he probably is, to be the chairman of a multi-million Euro generating company he must be… I just find the whole thing very curious indeed.