Why Peterborough owner Darragh MacAnthony believes Portsmouth will 'have the hump' with him

Darragh MacAnthony admitted he expects Mark Catlin to ‘have the hump’ with him after voting in favour of introducing a wage cap to League One.

Monday, 17th August 2020, 1:00 pm

But the Peterborough owner explained he has sympathy for Pompey’s position after a ceiling and squad restrictions were narrowly voted to be introduced in the third tier.

MacAnthony revealed he’d been in contact with the Blues CEO ahead of the landmark vote earlier this month, which Catlin has been campaigning against.

Pompey have acknowledged the need for reform in the game with the sustainability of clubs brought into sharper focus amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Catlin feels playing budgets should be indexed to turnover rather than the blanket £2.5m cap, which the EFL brought to the table.

And MacAnthony revealed he’s in agreement with Catlin and a club he has respect for, despite taking an alternative position to Pompey on the vote.

‘I have a great relationship with the Portsmouth CEO, Mark Catlin, and we were emailing about it.

Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony, right, with Barry Fry. Picture: Michael Regan/Getty Images

‘He’s probably got the hump with me because I didn't vote that way, but that's fine because we're very transparent with each other.

‘I understand his perspective. He's at a club which gets 15,000-20,000 and they have a really well-run ship under the Eisners

‘They have no financial issues whatsoever and he feels they are being punished.

‘He feels they have players now who are looking at him saying "s***, we've got a year maximum to get this in order and now this stops us trying to get out of League One".

‘As I said to him I'd love both of our clubs to get out of League One so we don't have that issue.

‘You then have Sunderland and I have a friend who runs that, Jim Rodwell.

‘They've got the same problems and there's Ipswich - these are big clubs with big crowds so you can understand where they're coming from.

‘They want to be judged on turnover, so if they have fans generating £8m-£10m more than Peterborough they want to spend that.

‘That's where my original idea was based on turnover, not like the current thing we had before the salary cap came in, but a fixed turnover.

‘So if we turnover £5m we can spend £2.5m, if we turnover £7m we can spend £3m and that gives a bit of leeway for the bigger clubs - that's probably what we should've done.’

Despite feeling the cap should’ve taken a different shape to the one implemented, MacAnthony is supportive of the concept and feels clubs like Pompey now have to bite the bullet and adapt.

He does believe, however, there is likely to be court action moving forward following its introduction.

MacAnthony added: ‘I think it’s going to work great for football.

‘There’s going to be a lot of kicking, screaming and moaning about it.

‘There’s going to be lawsuits, there’s going to be all sorts.

‘But if we want our teams to play full seasons in pandemics and people not feigning not having money, financial issues and getting everything under control, giving a reality check to agents to players about League One and League Two.

‘I said this two weeks ago, the days of big pay days in those leagues are gone.

‘You have to earn your move to the Champ and above to get paid.

‘This is the world we’ve living in and f*** we have to get on board with it. That’s what I’m going to do.’

A message from the editor

Thank you for reading this story. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on our advertisers and thus our revenues.

The News is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. You can subscribe here for unlimited access to Portsmouth news and information online.

Every subscription helps us continue providing trusted, local journalism and campaign on your behalf for our city