Verdict – Preston North End owner’s update is welcome but changes little
The frustrations of the PNE fanbase have been mounting in recent weeks, especially since the summer transfer window closed, and it seems that was enough for Hemmings to put his side forward.
Kudos to the president, he didn’t have to. . It’s not often the case that clubs get the level of communication that North End fans have grown accustomed to, whether from Peter Ridsdale as manager or now from Hemmings on behalf of the property.
First and foremost, Hemmings is a North End supporter and often sees him arriving to watch the Lilywhites in the stands.
The declaration, however, did not satisfy everyone. There were plenty of takeaways from the 1,500 words Hemmings collected. He covered the budget, Premier League and parachute payments, the academy, Deepdale and Euxton Training Ground and future ownership.
One point that has calmed some of the supporters is that the Hemmings family currently invest £12m a year to run the North End. That’s after all the TV revenue and income is accounted for, it closes a big gap in the club’s finances.
It is certainly not an insignificant sum of money, irrelevant to the value of the owners and even to take into account that most clubs operate at a loss.
But overall, there wasn’t much about the statement that we didn’t already know.
There needs to be clear communication between those at the top and those spending their hard-earned cash following their club across the country in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis.
One thing that’s clear in the update is that Hemmings cares deeply about North End. Writing 1,500 words for no other reason than to update fans and show that the Hemmings family still cares about the club is very welcome and heartwarming.
We already knew that budgets have gotten tighter since the death of Craig’s father, Trevor Hemmings. We knew PNE couldn’t spend much more and they basically ran out of funds towards the end of the window. I reported in July that North End needed Matthew Olosunde to leave in order to bring in another right-back. There is consistency, though it won’t necessarily be welcome.
Hemmings also wrote about not getting in the way of the next “big checkbook” provided they didn’t have a tire-kicking propensity this time around. Even when Trevor Hemmings was the owner, the club, like everything, had a price. The main thing to take away from the statement I feel is that the president clearly cares about the club and even partly shares some of the fans’ frustrations.
Does it change a lot? Not particularly. But it is good that the hierarchy of the PNE responds to the concerns of the supporters.