Conviction is Worthless Unless Converted into Conduct

by Romsey Amber

There are plenty of David Brent-esque quotes around like the one above about how having convictions is crucial in setting the standards the rest of an organisation should adhere to and aspire to in order to ensure high levels of achievement. These quotes often refer to the importance of leading by example and being of good moral character. We are therefore fortunate to be owned by a Chairman with deep links to United who has recently bought the club back and set up a shadow board made up of fans groups, we also have a manager who was a fan first and who embodies integrity. 

In contrast let us look at the those involved in running the Scum up the A1 ahead of our first proper local derby in over 20 years – Let’s forget derbies foisted on us in the intervening time against the likes of Chavenage, the Village Idiots, Looton and Braintree! If we start at the top with their Chairman Darragh MacAnthony or DMac as he likes to be known, always beware of those who give themselves chummy nicknames, we can see he made his money in overseas property selling holiday homes via MRI. However, 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) and he was in court again in April 2012 charged with ‘theft and swindle’ relating to claims furniture packs paid for by clients were undelivered.

Barry Fry is of course a clown and needs to cheer up as the song says but it was he who apparently attracted DMac to the Pish when he was looking to sell while Chairman himself claiming that the Sky One documentary Big Ron Manager attracted him to the club. They say that birds of a feather stick together though and Barry Fry has maintained an active role at the Pish since and in December 2018 he was charged by the FA for alleged misconduct in relation to betting after claims that he placed bets on matches or competitions during the 2017–18 season in breach of FA rules. He accepted the charges and on 31 January 2019 he was suspended from all footballing activity for four months, with three months of those suspended for a two-year period.

In the time the pair have been in charge at the Pish they have appointed a number of managers but the most high profile is probably Darren Ferguson, the son of Sir Alex Ferguson, who has managed the club three times to date. In his first stint as manager he was arrested on suspicion of assaulting his estranged wife on the driveway of his father’s home in Winslow, Cheshire. He was released on bail after initially pleading not guilty to common assault but on 10 April 2008 he changed his plea to guilty and was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay £200 in court costs.

Everyone’s favourite plus size sweaty sock Steve Evans has also occupied the manager’s seat at Scumdon Rd albeit only once although he may have required a seat big enough for three. Evans was a player but first really entered the popular, I use the word advisedly, footballing consciousness when he was manager of Boston United where he took Boston to promotion from the Southern Football League to the Football Conference in 2000 and subsequently to the Football League in 2002. At first glance it is commendable achievement but both promotions have since been overshadowed by revelations of off-the-field cheating. Evans was suspended by Boston as manager on 4 July 2002 after a much-publicised FA investigation into “contract irregularities”. He later resigned as manager of the club in September 2002, after still being suspended by the club. He was found guilty by The FA in December 2002 of impeding an FA inquiry into contract irregularities. Evans was also suspended from the game for 20 months in January 2003 for involvement of the affairs of Boston, in which players’ contracts lodged with the FA contained false salary details. Evans was further accused of impeding the inquiry and fined £8,000. Evans lodged an appeal against charges in May 2003, but The FA rejected his appeal later that month and the punishment stood. Evans later pleaded guilty in court to conspiring to cheat the public revenue, and was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

The current manager of the Pish, Grant McCann, is in his second spell as manager and is also a former player. McCann started his playing career at Distillery in Northern Ireland where he was born and played for the Pish from 2010 – 2015 when he was arrested and was subsequently convicted of drink driving in 2013. Journeyman defender Gabriel Zakuani played for the Pish but has managed to avoid arrest and even managed to remove himself from the transfer list, such was his commitment to the dark side, after being fined by the club after a night out by claiming he was up and in church by 8am the next day. I will therefore let a higher power be the judge of that but what is true is that he has spent his time since on twitter toadying up to the base elements of the Pish support ahead of our derby. In the time since we last met even I will acknowledge the Pish have had more relative success, however it appears to have come at a cost. I am therefore pleased and proud to support a club led by men with conviction rather than men with convictions.

2 thoughts on “Conviction is Worthless Unless Converted into Conduct

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  1. A sad essay by an even sadder club. Posh haven’t played Cambridge for 20 years and this small time rant partly reflects why. We get more at home than Cambridge’s stadium holds. We’ve outgrown you and your snipes just show you’re aware of that fact and bitter about it.


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