Peter Ridsdale updates Preston North End fans on season tickets, club finances and player contracts

Preston North End predict Deepdale will only be operating at 25%-30% capacity when fans are allowed to return.

Friday, 7th August 2020, 8:29 pm

Priority will be given to those supporters who are ambassadors when the Government agrees to the part use of stadiums - hopefully in October.

The news was relayed by Peter Ridsdale - advisor to PNE owner Trevor Hemmings - in a statement to fans published on PNE's official website on Friday evening.

Ridsdale covered a range of topics in the statement, including the strong financial state of the club and the ongoing attempts to negotiate new contracts with several players.

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Preston North End's Deepdale ground

With regards season tickets for the forthcoming campaign, Ridsdale wrote: "We are in the process of formulating a season ticket sales policy for the season 2020/21 season which we hope will be announced in the next couple of weeks.

"Based on current Government guidelines it looks as if season tickets will initially be rationed with numbers of around 25 to 30 per cent of normal capacity being an indicative maximum.

"We will be giving priority to Ambassadors and we hope that some supporters will be allowed back into stadiums from as close to the beginning of October as possible.

"This is still subject to Government confirmation. Social distancing requirements will substantially reduce our initial capacity although social bubbles will help add numbers."

PNE advisor Peter Ridsdale

On the subject of the financial position of North End, Ridsdale reported the club being 'one of the healthiest' in the EFL.

He said: "The finances of a significant number of EFL clubs are extremely fragile with many having implemented player and staff wage cuts or deferrals and many have taken Inland Revenue payment holidays but are now being faced with substantial repayments.

"Many of our competitors cannot afford such repayments in the short term. Recent years have seen a number of clubs get into financial difficulty including entering administration and it is likely that there could be more to follow.

"Our approach to running the club properly based on the continued support of our owner, has meant that we have paid our players and staff throughout the pandemic and have paid all of our creditors, including the Inland Revenue.

"We are sure that this approach will give our supporters the reassurance that they are supporting one of the healthiest clubs financially in the EFL.

"There has been a lot of concern on social media regarding the number of players entering the last year of their contracts and also speculation with regard to investment in squad rebuilding.

"We are acutely aware of the contract situation with all of our players and are in constant discussions with the representatives of the relevant players. We will update our fans as and when there is specific player news.

"We will also continue with our policy of trying to strengthen the squad as and when the right players become available.

"One thing that we will not apologise for is our wage strategy and recruitment policy which will remain in line with the need to continue to ensure the long term health of the football club.

"Our players will return to train in the next few days and the new season is a matter of weeks away.

"Having come through one of the most challenging times in recent history we enter the new season with continued optimism and safe in the knowledge that we are financially as well placed as any of our competitors."