It’s generally not in our remit to take fan submissions. We have received them in the past, mostly about player recruitment, and politely declined; there are forums where anybody can make their voices heard and opening up our platform to outside voices just didn’t feel right on such subjects.

This is a rather special case though. Preston’s season ticket policy has angered a number of fans, with the club stating that no refunds will be given on season tickets in the event of a second wave of the global pandemic.

I have noted in the past that I haven’t been a season ticket holder for some time now, mostly because I don’t live in Preston anymore. I still travel back for games, but committing to a season ticket just hasn’t been right for me for a while.

The season ticket news didn’t impact me directly, but it’s clear that this is a huge issue that I maybe can’t encapsulate given my ticket status. One fan did though want to make their feelings clear, and we agreed to use this website to amplify their voice.


Lancs Live ran a similar piece on Sunday, and we encourage all to go and read that piece. We have no agenda against the club and of course want Preston to thrive both on and off the pitch, but some issues do require some frank and honest conversations.

The fan wanted to remain anonymous with their thoughts here, so we will hand over to them now…

I have been a Preston North End supporter for my entire life. My family have supported PNE as far back as we can remember. We are all current season ticket holders and have been for generations, through good times and very bad times. We have painted terraces, we have put money in to keep the club alive, we have followed Preston far and wide. Yet, as it stands, there is a distinct possibility not one of us is going to renew.

As I write this piece Preston is currently under localised restrictions due to the global pandemic. These are unprecedented times for our city, our country and the world. 

These are difficult times for football clubs, these are difficult times for football club owners but most of all these are difficult times for football supporters. For many, it is the longest they have ever gone without attending Deepdale or travelling around the country to support our club in our lifetime. Many feel uncertain about returning to a football stadium whilst the pandemic is still very much an issue. 

Watching on a computer screen or even if it is linked up to your TV just is not the same. Alex Neil and several players have commented that they feel not having the twelfth man at Deepdale played a significant part in our end of season collapse.

Therefore, it was vital that when Peter Ridsdale, Kevin Abbott, Craig Hemmings and Trevor Hemmings decided on the season ticket policy, they had to take all the above into account. 

Sadly, they have spectacularly failed.  

PRESTON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 28: A general view of Deepdale, home of Preston North End during the Sky Bet Championship match between Preston North End and Bristol City at Deepdale on September 28, 2019 in Preston, England. (Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images)

The outrage and anger at the announcement on Friday evening was then proceeded by a statement from the advisor which actually made matters worse has been a PR disaster by Preston North End football club.

I am grateful for the support Mr. Hemmings Snr has shown for our football club over the last 50 years. This despite the nature of the takeover when our shares become worthless, this despite his reluctance to make that final push, this despite the Ingol training facility situation. 

We did not need a lecture from yet another spokesperson for the owner stating that “there would be no club without him” or “Look at Bolton, Bury or Charlton”. These three clubs were owned by people who did not care about those clubs, a failure of the Football Leagues fit and proper person test. 

I believe that Trevor Hemmings cares deeply about PNE, but I also believe protecting his investment is even more important to him.

As it stands, I believe we could be at the point of no return with many thousands of current season ticket holders simply not bothering. It took PNE several years to get back missing fans from the Graham Westley era, yet those who remained season ticket holders appear to be being blackmailed or at the very least guilt-tripped into renewing. 

There are many aspects of the current offering I fully understand. I accept I might not be able to sit in my own seat, I accept I may need to arrive a little earlier, I even accept the notion that I may have to watch a number of matches online which would be out of the clubs control.

What I will not accept is the fact the football club appear to not have looked at this from a fans perspective AT ALL and purely from the owners perspective.

Many families (my own included) are being expected to pay thousands of pounds for a product we may never receive. We all hope we get to see every game, we all hope the country can recover quickly from this horrible disease, but whilst the NHS is preparing for a second wave, Preston North End believe that we should all just gamble our money to ensure that the owner gets his £1.5 million ‘contribution’. A ‘contribution’ says Mr. Ridsdale… a reminder; no one forced Mr. Hemmings to buy the football club, it is his business and of course we don’t want to see us go the way of other clubs but I can assure you Mr. Hemmings is the first name at the top of that list.

Meanwhile the prices remain the same for fewer games. If games end up behind closed doors, fans who buy season ticket holders will pay almost double per game to watch online than those who don’t.

PRESTON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 15: A general view of The Deepdale Stadium home to Preston North End during the Sky Bet Championship match between Preston North End and Millwall at Deepdale on December 15, 2018 in Preston, England. (Photo by Mick Walker – CameraSport via Getty Images)

I can feel myself getting more annoyed as I write… in order to remain calm and balanced may I propose the following to the football club. Much of which I have heard or seen in other places but I want to highlight.

Revise, rethink, amend, address, scrap, the no refund policy for this season. This simply can not stay in place, whether they can insure against losses, or ask our billionaire owner to reconsider, I don’t care how they do it, but it has to go.

Remove the threat hanging over those who choose not to renew that they will lose their seat, ambassador or Premier Member status if they do not renew. 

Ensure that all season ticket holders get access to away midweek matches on iFollow (as suggested by the Football League). 

Look at what other clubs are doing to ‘reward their loyal supporters’.

This would just be a start. 

Finally, please make amends for your statement on Saturday. Understand that we all love our football club, we all want to see us survive and thrive but please do not take our support for granted.

A loyal Preston North End fan.

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