City of Peterborough and Posh owners sign MOU on stadium ownership
The owners of Peterborough United Football Club and Peterborough City Council are pleased to announce the joint signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the purchase of the ABAX stadium and grounds.
“As stewards of The Posh we are building a better, bigger club,” said Dr. Jason Neale, the Posh co-owner who led negotiations with the city council. “Having control of the ground will allow us to create Championship-grade facilities and grow ancillary commercial income, both of which are critical to our longevity. While there is still work to be done, this is a significant moment for both the community and the club.”
The MOU anticipates the sale to be finalised over the next six months and both parties are committed to working together on this.
“As a lifelong POSH fan, I’m pleased the London Road ground will once again be in the club’s ownership. Peterborough United is at the heart of our community, both geographically and culturally.
“By making the purchase back in 2010, the city council was able to ensure the ownership of the ground remained in the city and ultimately returned to the club. It was also able to unlock the development of the surrounding land to create the Allia Future Business Centre, 295 carbon zero homes on the Vista development and space for future affordable Medesham Homes.
“Our city benefits both economically and socially from the club’s continued success, bringing in over £7million of revenue into the city each year, boosting tourism and improving the fitness, health and wellbeing of over 1,000 children from all communities per week. Once the transfer of the land is complete, it will be able to make the changes needed to step up to the Championship and work closer with fans across the city and beyond,” said Peterborough Leader Councillor John Holdich.
Beyond the basics of the real estate transaction, with the purchase price based on fair market value, the MOU envisions investment in new and improved grass roots training facilities serving footballers from U4 to the senior level across the greater Cambridgeshire region with a strong focus on Peterborough.
“At Posh we remained focussed on three key objectives,” said PUFC Chairman and co-owner Darragh MacAnthony. “1 - to secure Championship football and thrive once there, 2 - to return the ground to club control, and 3 - to improve and expand our facilities and our youth system. Clearly delivering on this MOU will help us achieve all three and we look forward to closing the deal in the near future.”
The proposal also calls for a major community development initiative that will serve to further deepen the relationship between the Posh and the community. The club and City will work in concert to create a Peterborough-based accelerator focussing on sports science, digital arts, software, and other technologies traditionally not found in the region. An accelerator implementation plan will be presented to the community for input within a year of the sale being completed.
Building on the background and expertise of the club owners, the MOU also lays the groundwork for establishing an angel investment network in the area to support the accelerator.
"The discussions with the City were always encouraging as everyone involved wanted a positive outcome for all parties,” said Dr. Neale. “On behalf of my partners and everyone at the club I want to thank the council for seeing and sharing our long-term vision.”