Preston management are driving close to the edge of the precipice amongst supporters, says fan John Roper

Last Tuesday saw the great communications day at Preston  as first Craig Hemmings and then Peter Ridsdale offered up their view on all things Preston North End.

Sunday, 14th November 2021, 12:30 pm

While the chairman chose the club website for his statement, Ridsdale assembled the Press to the inner sanctum of North End’s training ground.

It is probably better saying at the outset that my take on the day’s proceedings is that Hemmings likes the job which Ridsdale is doing and, in turn, Ridsdale likes the job that that Frankie McAvoy is doing.

That would appear to be a very solid status quo view and you would maybe resign yourself to the fact that nothing is going to happen anytime soon either in the Deepdale boardroom or in the dressing room.

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Peter Ridsdale

However, I think things are much nearer to a different direction than this week’s show of solidarity from the club would have you think.

The facts show that after 17 games, North End are just five points from QPR in the final play off place and nine points clear of Hull City who sit in 22nd place and the final relegation spot.

What is all the fuss about, then, a neutral might ask? Well, in my humble opinion, it’s like having several endorsements on your driving licence in the fact that one is a pain but you will get over it sooner rather than later.

Two or three endorsements and the panic begins to set it because you know that one more and you’ve lost your licence.

This is where I think North End are currently, sat with nine points on the current regime's licence and one more serious faux pas and the inevitable will happen.

Looking at Hemmings’ statement first, and I suppose it is difficult to be critical about the statement, generally, as the Hemmings family have put a fortune into the club.

Trevor Hemmings signed every deal off and managed the club in very much the way he managed his other businesses and that was to have his finger on the pulse at all times.

It would appear that it is business as usual in the short or medium term but I can see the Hemmings family possibly selling the club in the medium to long term as long as the right offer comes along.

Hemmings appears to have faith in Ridsdale and that is where a growing number of the fanbase may well want take issue with him.

Ridsdale told us that manager McAvoy is a much better manager than people think and he is disappointed at the way he has been treated by the fans in recent times.

He also said that he didn’t think the Blackpool game, and performance, was as bad as people made out.

To pour petrol on an already raging inferno, he then went on to articulate how we are better off at this time this season than we were at this point last season.

It was at this point, I was tempted to ring 999 and asked for the fire brigade to attend a blaze that was well alight under a large section of the North End faithful.

There is no doubt that the fanbase is split on both the manager and Peter Ridsdale.

Personally, I have seen good in both of them but they are driving too carelessly when it comes to commenting on, and addressing, the fans.

One more serious driving offence and no doubt that Frankie will be the first to go.

Three league points or less from Cardiff (h), Middlesbrough (a) and Fulham (h) may well see D-Day come at Ewood Park on December 4.

However, I sincerely hope that the Forest defeat was that last of that particular ilk for the rest of the season.

I want McAvoy to do well and I want the club to steadily climb the table but the last couple of seasons have been generally poor and no one, including Ridsdale, McAvoy or Hemmings is going to tell me any different.

The current situation at the club is balanced on a knife edge in my opinion and anything could happen in the days leading up to Christmas.

By the time we play Sheffield United on Boxing Day we might well be talking about who to buy in the January transfer window to underpin a play off assault such is the compact nature of the Championship this season.

Alternatively, well let’s not discuss the alternative just yet and instead just remind all at Deepdale that things are not quite what they seem on the face of it and there is a huge undercurrent of anger waiting to manifest itself if things deteriorate much further.

There is much work to do on and off the field at Preston North End.

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