Former Preston North End striker Kevin Davies believes that the business model at Deepdale is one which Bolton Wanderers need to follow in the long term.
Davies, who retired from the game last summer when his PNE contract ended, is involved in efforts to try and guide the Trotters out the severe financial plight they find themselves.
Bolton sit bottom of the Championship and face a winding-up petition later this month over an unpaid tax bill.
Financial support has been withdrawn by their owner and the club is desperately looking for new backers.
In an interview with Talksport, Davies said: “I was at Preston last year and they are well run.
“They are running as a business even though they have Trevor Hemmings, who is worth millions.
“Preston make a small profit every year and that is the model Bolton have to get back to in the short term, medium term and long term.
“Bolton have a £16m wage bill, while Preston’s is between £6m and £7m a year.”
PNE owner Hemmings and his advisor Peter Ridsdale, were shown around Bolton’s training ground at Euxton last month.
The venue, in Euxton Lane, is an asset which could be sold to raise funds for Wanderers.
It is understood though, that North End’s interest has not gone any further than that initial visit.
Davies, 38, spent a decade with Bolton, making more than 400 appearances.
After being released by them in the summer of 2013, he joined North End on a Bosman.
He played 90 times for PNE, his last appearance being as a second-half substitute in the play-off final at Wembley. Davies had hoped to earn a new contract with North End. But when an offer was not made, he hung up his boots.
In October, he was at Deepdale to watch PNE’s goalless draw with Bolton.
Wanderers owner Eddie Davies has withdrawn his financial backing for the club, with Trevor Birch appointed as an advisor in November to help find a buyer.
Former Bolton players Dean Holdsworth and Stelios Giannakopoulos have both headed consortiums who were interested in takeovers.
But as yet, no offer to buy the club has been close to being acceptable.
Ex-striker Davies said: “I just want somebody to come in and get control, it doesn’t matter who really.
“Nothing has happened yet, which is worrying.
“No one has got the amount of money up front to even get to the table and start looking into the books – the income, expenditure, the debt.
“As far as I know nobody has come up with the right business plan which is right for the club or is right for the new owners.
“At the moment it’s come to a stumbling point for all the parties concerned.”
Bolton beat North End in the 2001 play-off final at the Millennium Stadium to win promotion to the Premier League.
They stayed in the top flight until 2012 – Davies scoring their last goal at that level before they were relegated.
“I can only guess they have been taking a gamble on players’ wages to be losing so much money,” he said.
“The parachute money has now run out.”