Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony backs sanction against players

 

Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony has backed manager Darren Ferguson's decision to fine and transfer-list four players following a breach of club discipline.

Club captain Gaby Zakuani, record signing Tyrone Barnett and his fellow forwards Emile Sinclair and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing were all disciplined yesterday after an internal inquiry into an incident that took place in Peterborough city centre in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The quartet were spotted at a nightclub just hours after Posh suffered a sixth home league defeat of the season to npower Championship leaders Crystal Palace.

MacAnthony said on Twitter: "The club has made a statement and I am fully behind the gaffer on his course of action.

"I give blood sweat and tears for the Posh and invest no matter what. Personally I have helped players out many times through tough times so when our club's back is to the wall and we have been well beaten at home again, I need my lads to show some common sense, humility, class and stay focused on the battle in hand.

"If they can't be trusted to do that, then Posh will be stronger without them going forward. Harsh but true!"

Centre-half Zakuani, who has made over 150 first-team appearances for Peterborough and has twice helped the club to promotion from League One, also took to Twitter to protest his innocence.

The 26-year-old confirmed he had been in the city centre after the Palace defeat - he was an unused substitute against the Eagles - but insisted he did not consume alcohol and did nothing untoward, and actually attended church the following morning.

"I went out on a weekend where there's no midweek game, those that know me know I don't drink or smoke, I was up at 8am for church the next day," wrote Zakuani.

"Honestly, at the time I didn't feel I did anything wrong as I was home around 2am, I wasn't arrested, no fighting or anti-social behaviour.

"I understand the club are not happy as we are at the wrong end of the table and I have nothing but total respect for the gaffer and staff.

"I'm hurt it has come to this as we have made a lot of history in the past five seasons and I love the club to bits, sorry to all my fans.

"I hope it gets resolved one way or another, and I'm 100% committed, and never will give less than that. Thanks."

DR Congo international Zakuani, Peterborough's player of the year last season, is unlikely to continue in his role as captain.

He, Mendez-Laing - who joined the club from Wolves in the summer - and Sinclair have struggled to make the Posh starting line-up this season.

Barnett, a club-record £1.1million signing from Crawley earlier this year, has not been in good form this season, with his only goal coming in the 2-0 win at Barnsley on October 2. He came on as a second-half substitute against Palace.

Yesterday's statement released by Peterborough on their official website read: "Peterborough United are disappointed to report that Gabriel Zakuani, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, Emile Sinclair and Tyrone Barnett have been transfer-listed and fined by the football club following an internal investigation into a breach of club discipline.

"The club will be making no further comment on the matter."

PA

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