Financial expert gives his verdict on Preston North End’s figures and the ‘barking mad’ Championship

Preston North End's Deepdale ground
Preston North End's Deepdale ground

Preston North End’s latest set of financial figures mirrors that of many Championship clubs.

The Lilywhites lost £7m in the financial year ending June 30, 2018, although a big chunk of that was offset by money from player sales.

Their wage bill rose to £15m, which is one of the lowest in the division but still equates to an outlay above the revenue which comes into the club.

More than £5.6m was put in by the club’s owner Trevor Hemmings.

Since last June, he has put in a another £4m-plus.

Kieran Maguire, lecturer in football finance at the 
University of Liverpool, says all clubs in the Championship are posting losses as they look to try and get into the Premier League.

“Every Championship club is losing money, occasionally some break even because they sell a player for a decent fee,” Maguire told the Post.

“In terms of day-to-day running, wages equate for the income.

“On average, £101 is spent on wages for every £100 that comes in – that is before you switch on the floodlights or turn the mower on to cut the grass. The Championship is a barking mad division and Preston are not alone in their figures showing a loss.

“In 2017/18, Championship clubs lost £408m between them before player sales.

“Looking at Preston from the outside, the club is pretty well run.

“They are not paying out silly wages yet the wage bill is £15m.

“That is £113 in wages for every £100 coming in.

“The owner has to dip his hand in his pocket – he put in £5.6m which is about £100,000 a week,

“Since last June, he’s put in another £4.1m.”

Wages are the big drain for clubs, the drip effect from the top flight felt heavily.

Said Maguire: “The average Championship wage bill is £28m.

“Aston Villa for example, came down from the Premier League with a huge wage bill.

“Cardiff had a £40m wage bill when they went up.

“Stoke have come down and invested heavily this year, so I would expect their wage bill to be high.

“Even Middlesbrough who don’t come across as big-time, have a £48m wage bill.

“Preston are competing against clubs who can spend two or three times more.”

PNE’s accounts also showed they paid £1.5m for land at Ingol on which the training ground will be built.