Preston North End chairman pulls no punches and one thing now crucial for Ryan Lowe

Ryan LoweRyan Lowe
Ryan Lowe | CameraSport - Stephanie Meek
The PNE chairman issued an update via the club website this week

As far as statements from club owners and alike go, chairman Craig Hemmings was pretty damning in his assessment of Preston North End’s season. Recognition of the Lilywhites’ 10th placed finish was there for balance, but those five consecutive defeats without scoring are still a great source of frustration for him.

The finish to the campaign was branded as ‘totally unacceptable’ - and PNE’s chairman went further, outlining his belief that North End ‘should have mounted a better challenge for a Play-Off place’ and ‘absolutely should have ended the season with more points’. The statement was long and refereeing decisions were mentioned - which some supporters found unnecessary.

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But, what the comment has done, is make the summer - and start to next season - even more interesting. It’s no secret that manager Ryan Lowe is under pressure from the fan base and needs to win a lot of them back. And there was little defence for him, here. The word ‘manager’ featured once in the statement and Lowe’s name was not mentioned.

However, the Liverpudlian looks set for further backing in the upcoming transfer window and it has all the makings of a make or break one. In September 2022, Hemmings said in another update: ‘In reality this doesn’t happen in one window and it may take Ryan and his team two or three windows before he is settled on his ideal squad.’ This summer will be the fourth, since then.

When asked, after the final day of the season, how important a positive start to 2024/25 now was, Lowe told the Lancashire Post: “You have to start well, because otherwise the fingers are out and people are pointing. I understand that. What I can’t get away from is that the lads have had a good season, but we wanted to have a very good season. If you ask anyone, mid table for Preston North End over the years is where it’s been. But, I am trying to take it to the next level.”

Two-and-a-half years into the job, Lowe and PNE are now at the stage where further strides need to be taken - everyone involved seems aligned on that, which is good. After 13th, 12th and 10th placed finishes, North End’s ceiling under Lowe must be raised. Most of the Deepdale faithful were always going to need convincing again, but you can now - it appears - put the most important man of all into that category too.

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