Darragh MacAnthony

Darragh MacAnthony
Born Darragh MacAnthony
(1976-03-24) 24 March 1976
Dublin, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Occupation Entrepreneur, Football club chairman, Author
Parent(s) Austin Macanthony
Website http://www.darraghmacanthony.com

Darragh MacAnthony (born 24 March 1976) is an Irish football chairman, author and entrepreneur. The son of Austin MacAnthony, a nightclub owner,[1] MacAnthony was educated at St Mary's College, Dublin.[2] He moved to Spain with his family as a 15-year-old.[3] He is a fan of Liverpool F.C.[4]

Peterborough United

MacAnthony became Peterborough United chairman in 2006.

Since September 2006 MacAnthony has been chairman of Peterborough United F.C.[5] Outgoing chairman Barry Fry cited a Sky One documentary, Big Ron Manager, as a factor in attracting investment from MacAnthony.[6] Legally obliged to give first refusal to a third party (Peterborough United Holdings Ltd) in the event of a sale, Fry retained 99.8% ownership of the club, but MacAnthony gained power of attorney for the club's affairs.[7]

MacAnthony took over as chairman at Peterborough at the age of 30, making him the youngest chairman in the Football League.[8] As a sign of his ambition, a printed note from MacAnthony was added to Peterborough United's match programme in August 2007. In it, he promised fans promotion from League Two to the Championship in two seasons,[3] which was duly delivered, though the club were subsequently relegated to League One. MacAnthony became owner of the club in August 2007, buying the club for a nominal £1 after taking on the club's debts.[9]

In January 2007, manager Keith Alexander was sacked and replaced by Darren Ferguson, who was at the time untried as a manager. Ferguson initially delivered big returns, delivering back-to-back promotions in his first two full seasons. Ferguson left Peterborough, by mutual consent, on 9 November 2009 after a disappointing start to the 2009–10 season.[10] Peterborough were relegated in 2010.[11]

In the 2010–11 season MacAnthony reappointed Darren Ferguson, and Peterborough United were once again promoted to the second tier.[12] The club spent two seasons in the Championship after winning promotion. On 4 May 2013, Peterborough were relegated to League One after losing to Crystal Palace 3–2 on the final match of the Championship season. Peterborough's total of 54 points during the 2012–13 season is the highest by a relegated team in Championship history.[13]

Business interests

MacAnthony attended a business college in London, but left after three months. He formed the property group Macanthony Realty International (MRI) in 2000,[14] selling overseas holiday homes to mainly Irish and British customers. From a head office in Marbella,[2] the company offered properties in countries including the Bahamas, Bulgaria, Cyprus and the Dominican Republic,[15] with MacAnthony stating in 2005 that he gave the number of his personal mobile telephone to clients.[16] In 2006, MacAnthony funded a satellite TV channel, Overseas Property TV, which was presented by his younger sister.[17]

The Sunday Times Rich List estimated his wealth at £150 million in 2007, and £68 million in 2008.[18]

MacAnthony provided £250,000 for the Helping Hands Group[19] at the time it opened, a private company which supports disabled people in the Peterborough Area.[20]

MacAnthony appeared in court in April 2012, charged with 'Theft and Swindle' relating to furniture packs purchased by clients of MRI Overseas Property which the clients claimed were never delivered. MacAnthony has constantly denied the claims but the solicitor representing the clients, Antonio Flores, claims he has further clients wishing to take action against MacAnthony once the first case is completed.[21]

In September 2011 a former employee was awarded €157,767.31, plus interest and legal fees by a Spanish Court, for the non-payment of commission by MacAnthony Realty International (MRI).[22][23]

MacAnthony published an autobiography, From Hobby To Obsession in 2012.[24]


  1. "Dubliner to buy English football club". Business World. 22 September 2006.
  2. 1 2 Guy King (9 April 2006). "Overseas – Celtic tiger cubs doing a roaring trade". Sunday Tribune. p. 6 (property supplement).
  3. 1 2 Seán Kenny (8 August 2009). "Targeting serious success is part of fun factor". Irish Times. Retrieved 29 November 2010.
  4. "Darragh MacAnthony's premiership dream". Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  5. "Fast cars, luxury homes and Tiger Woods for a neighbour, but don't call Darragh a playboy.". Financial Times Ltd. 26 September 2006. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
  6. Andy Sims (19 September 2006). "Fry hands over reins at Posh thanks to Big Ron's intervention". Liverpool Daily Post. Fry: "The documentary has created so much interest throughout the world. I have had many people flying in from France, Scotland, Portugal and Spain to come and see me wanting to help this club in sponsorship and investment. [MacAnthony] came over on August 25 and he was music to my ears because he was talking football, football, football"
  7. Alan Fraser (31 March 2007). "A story of Posh dosh, Dublin life and coffee with Tiger". Daily Mail. p. 119.
  8. Simon Carter (6 October 2006). "Brightwell is ready to show his credentials". Manchester Evening News. p. 82.
  9. Ciarán Hancock (14 August 2007). "Multimillionaire buys football team for £1". Irish Times. p. 17.
  10. Kempson, Russell (9 November 2009). "Peterborough United 'dismiss' Darren Ferguson". The Times. London. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  11. "Peterborough United relegated from Championship after draw at Barnsley". London: The Guardian. 5 April 2010. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
  12. "Manager Ferguson wants new blood at Peterborough United". BBC. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
  13. Bevan, Chris (4 May 2013). "Crystal Palace 3 Peterborough 2". BBC Sport. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  14. Lyons, Tom (21 September 2006). "Dublin real estate tycoon to buy Peterborough Utd". Irish Independent. Retrieved 29 November 2010.
  15. "Finding the right place in the sun". Aberdeen Press and Journal. 17 February 2005. p. 10.
  16. "Make a dream reality". Aberdeen Press and Journal. 17 February 2005. p. 16.
  17. Eve McGowan (22 October 2006). "The mogul of property TV ... at only 26". Mail on Sunday. p. 13 (Property section).
  18. "Darragh in 2008 Rich List". Peterborough Evening Telegraph. 28 April 2008. Retrieved 11 December 2009.
  19. "Companies House WebCheck". Wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-28.
  20. http://www.thehelpinghandsgroup.org.uk/#/darragh-macanthony/4543533893
  21. https://web.archive.org/web/20120906055316/http://www.theolivepress.es/spain-news/2012/03/08/peterborough-united-chairman-darragh-macanthony-ordered-to-appear-in-court-in-spain/. Archived from the original on 6 September 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2012. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/eboja/2012/117/BOJA12-117-00001-9438-01_00007966.pdf
  23. "BOJA nº 117 de 2012. 4. Administración de Justicia". Juntadeandalucia.es. 2012-06-15. Retrieved 2013-11-28.
  24. "Warning! This book could be bad for you". Peterborough Evening Telegraph. 29 June 2012.
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