Tag: Preston North End

At The Sharp End… Dispatches From Southend, Cardiff, Watford, Preston & Portsmouth

One of the most useful research tools for football finance writing is the “Football Management” site run by Dr. John Beech of Coventry University. Dr. Beech took ten days off recently, and came back to an in-tray” of HMRC-related football fun which would have blocked out the light from his office windows. Indeed, any hopes that any of us had of football’s financial woes holding themselves in abeyance while the world’s finest – and John Terry – were strutting their South African stuff were short-lived in the extreme. Instead, it’s almost as if certain clubs regarded the World Cup as a time to bury bad news. The worst news has come from Southend-on-Sea where the extent of the football club’s reliance on Sainsbury’s (Sainsbury’s!!) for survival has been laid bare. The local Echo newspaper has over recent months run numerous stories in its sports, business and general news pages about the funding issues surrounding Southend’s stadium project at Fossett’s Farm. Last month, they joined the dots in an impressive resume of the football club bills Sainsbury’s have recently paid, i.e. pretty much all of the major ones. To cut a very long story short, Sainsbury’s could soon be in control of Southend United if Martin puts them any more in hock to “the supermarket giants.” And while they were joining these dots, another two appeared; yet another winding-up petition...

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Will Deep Debt At Deepdale Leave Preston In Deep…?

Before the news broke of a “possible offer” for Preston North End, I couldn’t quite understand why “leisure tycoon” Trevor Hemmings hadn’t bought the club months, maybe years ago. He has, after all, paid for it, many times over. Preston North End, founder members of the Football League, have been spending more than they have been earning for a very long time. They are the sort of club Premier League supremo Richard Scudamore might label a “victim” of the “debt-is-bad” culture which he believes is wrong, for reasons which are not obvious on Planet Earth. But they have been increasingly financially reliant on Hemmings since he became Preston North End plc’s largest individual shareholder in 2004. And their financial decline can be charted by his ever-increasing number of loans to the club. The loans started as “funding for on-going working capital requirements.” But in more recent months, as Preston’s financial position became more perilous, the announcements got more specific. They read: “The loan will be used by the Company…” to “meet the cost of the players’ wages” or “to make payments to HMRC in respect of PAYE tax deductions and National Insurance.” Each concluded with an increasingly weary “the total amount to date that has been advanced…now totals (insert figure)…including accrued interest.” And they served as a build-up to the almost inevitable winding-up petition from HM Revenue and Customs,...

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The Championship – The Final Day

They’ve been stumbling, lurching and tripping on their shoelaces, but Birmingham City are a Premier League club again. As it turned out, it was a surprisingly untense day. Kevin Fahey’s early goal at The Madejski Stadium meant that events at Selhurst Park, where former Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock had a tug of love going on in taking two points off the club that he never tires of telling everyone that he supports. Kevin Phillips added a second Birmingham goal before Reading pulled one back, but by this time everyone knew that the game was up and that Reading, who had briefly threatened to look like a steamroller during the autumn, would join Sheffield United in the play-offs. The race for the final two play-off places was between Preston North End, Burnley and Cardiff City. Cardiff should have been absolutely nailed on for one of them, but they had failed to win in their previous three matches – seeing off Ninian Park in the process with a 3-0 home damp squib against Ipswich Town – and they failed again yesterday, going down 1-0 at Sheffield Wednesday. This result left a window of opportunity for the two Lancashire clubs, and they both took full advantage of Cardiff’s end of season implosion. Burnley brushed Bristol City aside by four goals to nil in the manner that one would swat at a...

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The 20 “Most Important” Football Clubs In The World

It doesn’t do any of us any harm to occasionally remind ourselves of the sheer blustering pomposity of the biggest clubs in football. Tonight’s ambassadors for “giving the fans what they want” (as ever, a thin mask for “making more money for ourselves”) are Milan, who had some very important opinions to give on the subject of a European Super League. “”I still believe a European league will be an unavoidable step, though it may take more time than expected,” said the Milan director Umberto Gandini. “Between the 50 most important continental clubs, none would give up playing in their respective countries”. Disregarding the increasingly popular opinion that perhaps the “most important” clubs should perhaps be expelled from all other competitions, packed onto a space shuttle with anyone that likes the idea of Milan playing Manchester United every week for the rest of eternity and sent to Jupiter so that they can get on with it there without inflicting it upon the rest of us, the use of the phrase “most important” which is the giveaway. The winding up of G14 and subsequent inclusion of the biggest clubs into the European Clubs Association was supposed to put an end to all of this, but it was simplistic to assume that the more atavistic tendencies of the biggest clubs would vanish merely because Michel Platini invited them for tea and...

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Match Of The Week – Preston North End 1-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers

The term “sleeping giant” is a misused one, often used to describe a club that had a few glorious seasons, many years ago. If there are two clubs that deserve this particular epithet, then it would probably have to be Preston North End and Wolverhampton Wanderers. These are clubs that have hit the highest heights and plummeted the depths. Two of the original twelve founding members of the Football League that haven’t troubled the top division too much over the last couple of decades or so. It’s now impossible to be able to remember Preston North End’s glory days unless your the owner of a bus pass. The club’s true glory days came in the sepia-tinted days of the 1880s, when the “Invincibles” won the very first league championship with a team that won eighteen of their twenty-two league matches and the FA Cup in the same season. Much of their last thirty years, however, have been spent between the last two divisions, and in 1986 they finished bottom of the Football League. In recent seasons, things have improved for them slightly. They were promoted back into the second tier in 2000 and have spent much of the last eight years or so trying to get back into the Premier League. Last season, however, they had a disastrous start to the season, and relegation looked a distinct possibility until...

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