Aim is to not rely on one man

Trevor Hemmings
Trevor Hemmings
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Trevor Hemmings is ‘totally supportive’ of PNE.

Hemmings bought the club outright in the summer of 2010 after previously being the largest individual shareholder in PNE when the club was a public company.

His involvement at Deepdale dates back to the early 1970s when he was vice-chairman to Alan Jones.

The lion’s share of North End’s debt is owed to Hemmings, a similar scenario to that at other clubs who have major investors.

Peter Ridsdale, who is advisor to Hemmings, says that going forward, PNE need to be less reliant on one person for their income.

He wants to get the club into a position where Hemmings putting money in is a wish, rather than necessity.

And the swiftest way to achieve that is by making a return to the Championship sooner rather than later.

Ridsdale 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.

“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.

“When supporters are screaming for us to spend money or invest money or whatever, they forget that there is a someone out there – if that individual wasn’t putting money in the club wouldn’t even be alive.

“We would not be able to survive.

“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.”

With the regard North End’s debt, around £8m is on the mortgage of the Invincibles Stand, £7m is owed to the bank, while a further figure of around £1m is owed to the Friends of PNE.

The reduction in the wage bill will help reduce the debt, and Ridsdale believes Hemmings remains firmly behind North End in the future.

“Mr Hemmings issued a statement to the paper a few weeks ago saying he was totally supportive.

“That comment should be taken as the fact he is 
totally supportive,” said Ridsdale.

“What he is not happy about is to put a lot of money in and not succeed on the field.

“This season we’ve had to get our wage bill down into the fair play rules almost overnight. When you are doing that, you are in effect clearing the decks and starting again.

“You hopefully get most of it right, but you will get the odd player who doesn’t fit, for whatever reason.

“So you have to wheel one or two in and out of the squad to make sure it is the right quality.

“With regards to the longer term, it’s not my place to answer what Mr Hemmings thinks.

“Where we are at now is League One and not in an acceptable place in League One.

“We have an owner who has been more than supportive.

“Everyone within the club owes the owner to create and deliver success for the investment he has put in.

“All we’re focusing on at the moment is how we deliver that success.

“What then happens in 
the future is up to the