Preston North End eye play-off cash windfall from Ben Pearson's move to Bournemouth

Bournemouth winning the Championship play-offs would land Preston North End a big cash boost.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 4:45 pm

The deal which took Ben Pearson from Deepdale to the Vitality Stadium in January included a bonus payment if the Cherries were promoted to the Premier League.

Bournemouth won 1-0 against Brentford in the first leg of their semi-final.The return leg takes place in London on Saturday.

Pearson started the game but limped off near the end with a hip injury which will need monitoring ahead of the second leg.

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Bournemouth midfielder Ben Pearson (right) challenges his former Preston North End team-mate Tom Barkhuizen

Bournemouth boss Jonathan Woodgate said: “He’s got a slight hip injury.

“We’ll have to see how he is for the next game. Hopefully he’s okay.

“If not, we’ve got people to come in and do a fantastic job also.”

Pearson, 26, spent five years with North End before his move to the South Coast.

The midfielder was in the final six months of his contract and decided a change of scene would be better for his career.

North End did not get the biggest of fees for a player of his talent because of the short time left on his contract. But the promotion clause inserted in the deal would provide further funds, so too money linked to appearances.

Pearson has started 14 games for Bournemouth and come off the bench five times.

One of those starts was against North End in March, a 1-1 draw at Deepdale with Daniel Johnson’s goal from the edge of the box equalising Arnaut Danjuma’s opener.

It was Danjuma who scored the Cherries’ winner in the play-off semi-final on Monday night to set up an intriguing second leg.

Woodgate said: “It’s half-time. We’ve got a slight advantage but we know we’ve got it all on going to Brentford.

“We know how good they are at home.

“We know how good their players are and how good the team is. They have been in this situation before – they have had that experience.

“We have a slight advantage but it’s far from over.”

It is advantage Swansea in the other semi-final, the Jacks beating Barnsley 1-0 at Oakwell.

The second leg at the Liberty Stadium is also on Saturday.

PNE beat all four play-off teams this season as well as drawing twice with champions Norwich.

Their problem was more dropping points against teams at the other end of the table.

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