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Preston North End: Risdale- debts signicficantly reduced, but promotion needed to secure long term stability

  

Peter Risdale spoke candidly today about the amount of debt at Preston North End, and in particular where that debt is distributed.

Speaking to the Lancashire Evening Post, the advisor to club owner Trevor Hemmings said;

'“The annual accounts will come out – it’s the executive which will publish the results.

“If you look at the last set of accounts, as far as the club’s debt is, I’d roughly say it is in the mid-40 millions.

“There is mixture of bank debt and mortgage on the new stand of circa £15m, a high proportion of which is on the mortgage.

“Then the balance is 99% to Mr Hemmings. The critical thing is that, as a result of relegation, clearly the amount that Mr Hemmings has to put in each year to keep the club alive is far too high."

Hemmings bought the club outright in 2010 with the club in trouble with the taxman, having been the majority shareholder beforehand.

Since then the club has been relegated to League One, and now has to comply with the Financial Fair Play rules, but Risdale insisted that despite relegation, the club is moving in the right direction with regards to it's debt.

“It is now significantly less than it was a year ago. But it’s still requiring him to write a cheque far bigger than he ought to in order to keep the club on a break-even basis."

“The challenge for us is to get that to a position where we are not relying on an individual – even if he is the owner – to have to write a cheque as opposed to writing a cheque because he wants to."

“We need to get the finances sorted out."

“Our challenge is to get that financial stability into the football club. The quickest way is to get into the Championship because the central television money there is substantially higher than in League One.

“All the energies within the club – the executive, the football management, all my advice and input – is designed to find a way to get us back in the Championship as soon as possible.”

Whilst promotion may be the club's ambition, and the sooner the better, the team's form on the pitch is going in the opposite direction. The club may have improved financially from last season, but  they are currently 17th in the league , two places worse off than their finish last year, and have only one win in their last 12 league games. 

It has been a turbulent time at Deepdale for the last couple of years, but with the club's spending being reigned in and reaching a more managable level, it is now the problems on the pitch that the powers at be at Preston must now turn their attention to.

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