Date:Thursday April 20 2006
Cast your mind back to last summer and the hype surrounding the arrival of the newly formed Peterborough Lions rugby club to London Road.
Barry Fry hailed their decision to ground share with POSH as a good deal for the football club. After all it works for Reading (London Irish), Watford (Saracens) and Stockport (Sale Sharks).
The first match with Oundle attracted nearly 1,000 fans and the club food outlets were bustling with monies they wouldn't normally see.
The POSH shop stocked Lions merchandise. It was ideal, I picked up a United scarf for my girlfriend and a Lions pen for my desk at work. It was a match made in heaven and the cross branding took people into London Road who wouldn't normally have been there. Spinning that round, it also took football people to rugby matches...win/win.
But recently it seems the relationship has become a little diluted. Crowds have dropped for rugby at London Road. I went the other week and the tea huts in the main stand were all bolted shut.
The POSH shop was closed and after a conversation with an employee it would appear that Lions product is no longer going to be stocked in the official POSH shop.
(Lions merchandise is now only available on a match day from trestle tables in the concourse).
The main thing that has caused distress for football regulars has been the pitch.
It has been blamed for anything from a POSH defeat to the closure of the Peugeot factory... everything wrong in the world revolves around that bit of grass.
It feels from the outside looking in that both parties are losing a bit of interest in the partnership. Rumours abound that local Non-League side 'Peterborough Northern Star' are going to sell their ground to the Lions and next season could be their last with POSH.
If I am honest I hope not.
The experiment has had some issues, but for me it has been a success. Both clubs have benefitted from a higher profile as a result of the arrangement.
Lions have got promoted for the second successive season and lifted the Hunts Cup.
POSH may be in a bad run at the moment but could also still get promoted...
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