PNE chief’s Premier League target

PNE chief executive John Kay
PNE chief executive John Kay
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Deepdale chief executive John Kay says the Premier League is a realistic target for Preston North End and can be achieved with a ‘team attitude’ throughout the club.

Efforts to reach the top flight will be done within PNE’s means rather than ‘buying it’, with Kay of the belief that solid foundations are in place for the future after a strong first season in the Championship.

The gap between the Premier League and Football League continues to grow in money terms.

In the 2016/17 campaign, a new bumper television deal kicks-in for clubs in the Premier League.

A small amount will trickle down to the Football League through central funding, but it is the top flight where the big bucks are earned.

Kay told the Evening Post: “We can all talk about the difference between the Premier League and the rest but those are the parameters we work in.

“We will get an increase in the coming season from central support of about £2m and we have to be grateful.

“But it is a fraction of what is available in the Premier League.

“We won’t get into the Premier League unless we play as a team right the way through the club.

“We are not going to buy it – we don’t believe in buying it.

“Recently, we did a Premier League budget just to see what we would do with the money.

“I’ll reference Burnley at this stage.

“Although I’m not privy to their finances in any detail, they seem to be running it very smartly to me.

“If you go up, you don’t spend all the money – you save some of it and try to ease the burden on the shareholder who has been putting the money in for some years.

“The Premier League is in our mind – we know what we would do.

“If we did get there, it would be a test to survive but we would make sure the club was in good heart.”

Kay has been in post as chief executive since November 2014 but has worked for many years at companies owned by North End owner Trevor Hemmings.

“The club is well run, we have a very strong management structure on the football side and on the business side,” said Kay.

“We are indebted to Mr Hemmings, we know that.

“This year we have run at a deficit again and we are running at a wage level which is very competitive in this division – supported by him.”