THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Responsible for solving the nation's dinner crisis with Pizza Express Bob Allen and Sean Ingham take a closer look at Peterborough's similar sounding chairman

Distinguishing Features Rotund and white-haired, a cross between Rumpole of the Bailey and Private Godfrey of Dad’s Army. Always wears a navy suit. 

Habitat Hanging around Italy in the 1950s, he picked up a few recipes for pizza toppings. On his return to the UK he started Pizza Express and made his millions. Has brought his love of things foreign to Peterborough with Cafe Europa and Broadways American bar.

What use is he? Some fans feel he saved the club from extinction even though we weren’t in receivership and at least two other consortiums were interested in buying. Others question his understanding of the game. Still, he has reintroduced posters advertising games and the pink post-match newspaper. No one can question the investment in the youth academy when you see players like Simon Davies. (Never heard of him? You will). However, Posh fans would prefer that money was spent on new players rather than art exhibitions and film festivals.

Who remembers his birthday? Barry Fry will probably get him a present as well as a card for not sacking him when others would. So too will Paddy Ashdown (Boizot is a Liberal Democrat) and all the ageing jazz stars whose careers have been resurrected in overpriced concerts held in his hotel.

Quote unquote “Citizens of Peterborough and their chums are connoisseurs of the game.” Some, however, are “misled by the dark forces”. Fans that boo after a poor performances are “unsup-portive hooligans who don’t deserve to watch a sporting event”. “It’s only a game!” (said after we’d just been relegated to the Third Division).

Other offences to be taken into consideration
It’s not only David Sullivan that produces jazz mags. Peter Boizot pub­lishes Boz, an organ on his musical tastes among other things. He is equal 428th in the Sunday Times Rich List, along­side George Michael, Brian May and Ken Bates, all of whom have more understand­ing of the average football supp­orter. Except for Ken Bates of course.

From WSC 144 February 1999. What was happening this month

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