PNE debt is slashed

Paul Gallagher
Paul Gallagher
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Preston North End owner Trevor Hemmings has slashed the club’s debt by more than £30m after a restructure of the Deepdale finances.

Hemmings has waived £17.7m worth of debt and exchanged £15.4m debt for ordinary share capital.

North End no longer owe anything to the bank, the Isle of Man-based owner having absorbed that debt.

The net effect is that the debt of North End’s parent company Deepdale Holdings Ltd has been reduced from £53.4m to £20.3m.

Those figures for the year ending June 30, 2013, were registered with Companies House this week.

PNE’s executive financial director Kevin Abbott told the Evening Post: “The debt reduction puts the club in a much healthier financial position.

“The board at PNE are very grateful to Mr Hemmings for his actions and continued support.”

Deepdale PNE Holdings posted a pre-tax loss of £6.3m for the year to June 2013, an improvement on the pre-tax loss of £7.3m in the previous 12 months.

But revenues fell from £6.2m in 2012 to £5.8m in the last financial year.

What really puts PNE on a more stable financial footing is the eradication of the bank debt.

Effectively all debt is now ‘in-house’ and being carefully controlled by Hemmings.

He took the club into private ownership in the summer of 2010 after it had been operating on the AIM stock exchange since 1994.

Meanwhile, North End boss Simon Grayson says that he will have to wait until the summer to determine the futures of loan pair Declan Rudd and Paul Gallagher.

Goalkeeper Rudd first joined PNE from Norwich City in January 2013, and then signed on a season-long loan last summer.

Gallagher came to Deepdale at the start of November after finding himself out of favour at Premier League-bound Leicester City.

His initial two-month loan was extended in January until the end of the season.

North End boss Grayson said: “First and foremost, what will be most relevant is which division the other clubs are in next season.

“If Norwich were unfortunate enough to be relegated, they would have to look at what their situation is.

“They would be having to think how many goalkeepers can they carry in their squad, do they need to keep a younger one or sell someone?

“Gally is out of the picture at Leicester anyway but he has got another year left there.

“Somewhere in his contract with them, there might be an increase in wages.

“These two players have contracts at other clubs.

“We respect those clubs for giving them to us in the first place and we will assess the position in the summer.”

Where PNE are playing their football next term will also be key.

Said Grayson: “It will depend too on which division we are in.

“If we go up, we might have extra cash to buy players and get different types of players and quality.”