Peter Ridsdale defends Preston North End's recruitment record

Peter Ridsdale thinks some of the criticism levelled at him by Preston North End fans has been unfair.

Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 4:40 pm

The PNE director has taken stick for a number of things – recruitment, performances on the pitch and Frankie McAvoy’s appointment.

Until the passing of Trevor Hemmings last month, Ridsdale was the owner’s representative, a job he had done since December 2011.

He will continue to run the football side of the club which is under the umbrella of the companies owned by the Hemmings family.

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Peter Ridsdale, Frankie McAvoy and Paul Gallagher

Ridsdale answered questions for an hour at a press conference at Euxton on Tuesday afternoon.

That followed a statement from North End chairman Craig Hemmings about the stewardship of the club by his family going forward.

Ridsdale said: “Some of the criticism is unfair but I would say that wouldn’t I?

“People have been saying recruitment has been terrible but we have spent £4m on players in the last 12 months.

“Emil Riis, no one is saying we should not have signed him, the same with Ben Whiteman and Ali McCann who came in recently.

“We have got two Premier League loan signings who took some fixing last January and then we renewed them.

“Those renewals weren’t a forgone conclusion. Daniel Iversen and Sepp van den Berg had done a very good job last season.

“On the back of that, there were other offers in the summer for them.

“Because of the way we treated them since they’d come in, we were able to do deals with their clubs and keep them for this season.

“Things like that don’t just happen, they take work.

“When you look back over the years at who we have signed – in that moment in time with what funds are available and where we might have been in the table – we have got a lot more right than wrong.

“We recruited quite a few who we made a lot of money on, that reinvested in the losses the club had to sustain.

“I’ll also say that we have got a number wrong in the transfer market.

“That can happen when you are in a market we are which are often free transfers and if not free, not big numbers.”

Ridsdale accepts that criticism will continue to land at his door, results always a big factor in that.

It’s part and parcel of the job but that doesn’t mean he is immune to it.

“I’m a human being so the criticism does upset me,” said Ridsdale who will soon hit 10 years working at PNE.

“I could shut the door and never step out or I can come to work and do the best I can.

“The people who pay my wages decide whether they want to keep me here at the football club or fire me.

“At the moment I’m told they think I’m doing a decent job and want me to stay.”

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