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MacAnthony: Selling Town Probably the Right Thing For Evans to Do
Wednesday, 10th Mar 2021 16:15

Peterborough United chairman Darragh MacAnthony believes it’s “probably the right thing” for Blues owner Marcus Evans to sell the club.

As previously reported, a US-backed consortium is at an advanced stage of taking over Town in a deal we understand to be worth £30 million.

Last week, Evans played down talk regarding the takeover in a statement, saying that there is no offer “currently acceptable to me or the club”.

Speaking in his The Hard Truth - Inside the Football Industry podcast MacAnthony was asked about Evans being set to sell the club.

“I think it’s probably the right thing for him to do,” he said. “I think he’s on a hiding to nothing.

“I was almost going to reach out to him for this podcast before that deal was announced and say ‘Marcus, come on a podcast with me, let’s talk, let’s let fans hear you as I’ve heard you before’ because I think fans would like him.

“I think he’s done himself a disservice from being behind the scenes so much because he’s a likeable guy and I think he could have won over the Portman Road faithful.

“I’ve done podcasts with their fans, they’re a really good set of fans and I think if he’d have applied himself better [he could have won them over].

“I don’t know who to blame for this, whether it’s his CEO or the people at the club, or maybe him himself, but if he’d put himself there a little bit more, then I think he could have had a really successful run.”

MacAnthony speculates that Evans’s businesses may have been hit by the pandemic and that could have led to him looking to offload the Blues, although admits that’s just conjecture on his part.

He believes the takeover deal is worth more than the lower figure which has been quoted elsewhere and would expect it to include further cash for Evans later on down the line. As per previous reports, TWTD understands the current owner will keep a five per cent stake in the club.

“I’d imagine there’s part of him thinking, I don’t need the hassle of club football, I don’t need the expense, I need to rebuild my business, I could be talking through my arse because I can’t speak for someone else, but I would imagine if the right offer came along [he'd take it],” he reflected.

“I would imagine there’s a lot more than £20 million on the table, knowing Marcus. I would imagine there are a lot of caveats in there and incentives with promotions, I’d say.

“Marcus has invested probably £60 or £70 million in Ipswich and by the time he’s finished and by the time they come again, he’ll probably get back 60 or 70 per cent of it.

“OK, it didn’t work for him but it’s a shame. Like I’ve always said, I don’t mind owners in the game who are good owners. And what I mean by good owners is owners who always pay their bills, owners who never let a club fall into trouble.

“I know fans give him a hard time but I don’t think there’s ever been a time when Ipswich have ever missed a payday.

“In the current times in what we’ve seen in the last few years with Bury, with Wigan, with Bolton, I think there’s a lot to be said for owners who pay their bills on time, regardless of whether the club’s winning football games.”

MacAnthony believes the Blues have made a wise choice in naming Paul Cook their new manager.

“Paul Cook is a really, really good appointment,” he said. “Whether Ipswich are promoted this season or next year, it’s guaranteed they’ll get promoted.

“Take that to the bank, put your bets on. If the bookies are listening, the odds will shorten but Ipswich are going up to the Championship.”

Photo: Action Images

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Marshalls_Mullet added 16:23 - Mar 10
Well said.

MattinLondon added 16:23 - Mar 10
That MacAnthony likes his voice doesn’t he.

atty added 16:27 - Mar 10
We don’t have a CEO. We have Evans (a shareholder(not a director or employee)running the Club from afar, with a front man with a fancy title, and just two directors Andrews and Van Os we never see or hear from.

sospier added 16:29 - Mar 10
Although I don’t appreciate people poking there noses in other peoples businesses I do think a lot of what he has said is right.We can only wait in anticipation for the future of our club and the direction it will follow over the coming months.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 16:32 - Mar 10
I think he'd have been better off saying, "I'm sorry, it's not my place to speculate on the motivation or behaviour of the owner of another club. Let's move on to the next question."

BlueandTruesince82 added 16:41 - Mar 10
Agree with most of that. 1st time for everything

therein61 added 16:47 - Mar 10
This is our club you are always having your say about it just look after your own it's a bit shaky at the minute, button it.

1RWR added 17:10 - Mar 10
What a load of sour pusses you are, give the guy a break.
Interesting article, complimentary to both Evans & the club & not forgetting you & I...the fans.
Just read it, digest what he’s saying & move on.....no need to be negative ladies & gentlemen.

Bergholtblue added 17:13 - Mar 10
What's it got to do with him?

Saxonblue74 added 17:14 - Mar 10
"Is at an advanced stage"? Fact?

ernie added 17:23 - Mar 10
Bang on the money. If Evans had bothered engaging with the fans from the beginning, showing his face and that he had some passion and connection to the club, it would have gone a long way to alleviating some of the rot and the culture of failure that started to set in (post 2014-5 season) and that has permeated through the club from the top down. Why he didn't, only he will know.

Edmundo added 17:41 - Mar 10
Ernie, the rot set in far earlier: 2009, may I present Keane and Clegg, asset stripper and turnstile painter.

Ipswichbusiness added 17:47 - Mar 10
The Cobbolds ran a fairly simple Suffolk based business, so they had the time to devote to this club. By contrast, Marcus Evans runs a complex global business, this Club being but one subsidiary. Even in good times his attention must be elsewhere, hence the limited appearances, use of spokesmen, etc.

Also, his other businesses are in things like corporate hospitality which will have suffered badly with the pandemic. I don’t know him and have never spoken with him, but I suspect that he is keen on an exit from the Club; it would simplify the business and get him out of a loss-making concern.

casanovacrow added 17:48 - Mar 10
I find Darragh MacAnthony repugnant at times, but at least you know where you stand with him.
Marcus and his seemingly socially awkward control freak ways really aren't a good fit for running a football club.

Bazza8564 added 17:58 - Mar 10
If you just read the headline here its a question of "why is this guy getting involved in this?"
But its a decent piece because he speaks with knowledge and a degree of empathy with Evans, a fella he knows better than we do. Fair play to him and he speaks well of us. The question is more likely to be what does Evans think about commenting on the takeover when he's so indignantly denying it?
There could be trouble ahead.....

atty added 18:10 - Mar 10
IpswichBusiness - he’s run the Club from Arafat for years and we’ve been making losses for years. The appointment way back of a CEO, a sporting director, a finance director and a sales director would have spared him the burden and meant the Ckub was being run by professionals on a daily basis, in situ, visible and in touch with the fans and community.. Why not? It’s all about control.

Bluearmy_81 added 18:10 - Mar 10
It's the right thing for him to do because he has been a spectacular, chronic and protracted failure and taken Ipswich to their lowest and most embaressing ebb in anyone's living memory. Pretty simple really.

Gcon added 18:17 - Mar 10
He talks a lot of sense.

Bert added 18:18 - Mar 10
I don't like Chairmen of other clubs poking their nose into the affairs of another but so much of what he has said rings true. On the other hand, whilst a visible chairman is what most fans want, it didn't do a lot for David Sheepshanks in the end. As a season ticket holder I want to have my cake and eat it. I want an owner who pays the bills, does the right things, is visible, engages with supporters and listens to them and provides investment at the right time. It is quite possible that Evans is a likeable bloke but we have never seen him so who really knows.

itsonlyme added 18:38 - Mar 10
MacAnthony was asked the question and he answered it full stop. No need to get our knickers in a twist. He runs his club very well and always manages to buy and sell at a profit. He is one of the better chairmen in the whole league.

BluedanW added 18:50 - Mar 10
Paying bills on time? Didn't we owe the tax man or the council a huge wedge a couple years back?

ArnieM added 19:01 - Mar 10
Oops someone hasn’t read the non disclosure thingy ...and even if he doesn’t cover those individuals outside of the reported take over, he’s kinda blown Evans cover now hasn’t he, lol

Cakeman added 20:28 - Mar 10
Good comments by a chairman who engages with the supporters. He may wind some people up but in fairness he is usually correct with his comments. We could do with someone like him at the helm of our club.

Ipswichbusiness added 20:46 - Mar 10
Atty - with hindsight, Mr Evans may wish that he had done so many of the things you suggest. However, when he took over it probably looked so simple; just appoint a star manager with a promotion track record, give him a load of money and await arrival in the land of milk and honey (aka the Premier).

It didn’t quite work out like that, so now the emphasis looks like getting out with minimal financial damage.

istanblue added 22:00 - Mar 10
Lol even MacAnthony is Evans out.

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