Next step for Preston North End now clear as supporters and owners do their bit

Preston North End fans Preston North End fans
Preston North End fans | CameraSport - Rich Linley
PNE have sold more than 10,000 season cards for next season

They will always be there. Now, that’s a dangerous attitude for a football club to adopt - in this day and age it’s vital to innovate, improve and always strive for more. But the latest update on Preston North End season card sales did remind us of the strong core support at Deepdale. It was a dismal end to the 2023/24 campaign - one which peaked and troughed like never before. And you did wonder whether it’d be a challenge to shift similar numbers, once again.

But, huge credit has to be given on the back of ten thousand - and counting - sales. Firstly, to the Hemmings family for going once again with extremely generous pricing. North End’s early bird season cards were up there with the cheapest in the whole of the EFL - an offer which must be seriously hard to ignore. But, to the supporters as well, for parting ways with their money and backing their club for another season.

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Of course, this is only half the battle. Purchasing does not guarantee attendance nor atmosphere on match day, so Ryan Lowe and his team now have to deliver in as many of those 23 games as possible. It’s worth noting that things did improve on Preston’s own patch last season, although it surely had to after a 2022/23 campaign which yielded 20 home goals and seven home wins. Last season, PNE were eighth in the home form table - up from 18th. They scored 15 more goals.

There were, admittedly, some shockers in there - the West Brom and Watford thrashings and feeble QPR display. Preston had their fair share of good days at Deepdale too - Coventry, Ipswich and Leeds beaten. Ironically, one of the stand out performances delivered a draw - that being the 2-2 share of the spoils with Southampton. That night, PNE were everything the vast majority of fans want to see - intense, aggressive and brave, but dangerous too, under the lights.

If that’s on show more often than not, the odd off day will be easier to swallow - and move on from - for the North End faithful. A passive and pedestrian Preston will do nothing for perception or mood inside the stadium. There is potentially a separate debate about how PNE improve the home atmosphere, but the football on show will always be a key factor.

It’s only 45 of the 90 minutes, but when kicking towards the Alan Kelly Town End the whole stadium feeds off every positive moment; every glimpse of hope. It would be a great shame for a team not to make full use of that. North End sold just shy of 12 thousand season cards last season, so there’s still work to be done to match it.

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They did go on sale two-and-a-half weeks earlier last year, though, and Preston aren’t too far away with eight weeks until the opening day of the season. It’s another important summer and with the mood in need of a lift - after how 2023/24 finished - a dose of positivity is undoubtedly welcomed.

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