Much is made of Trevor Hemmings not splashing the cash at North End, but new figures really do show that the model is working.

North End have one of the lowest budgets in the league despite Hemmings being a multi-millionaire. The club’s record signing still sits at £1.5m for David Healy in 2001. In an era of mass spending, Preston are bucking the trend.

New figures published today revealed how much each English club spent on agent and intermediary fees over the last year. As reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, North End spent just over £900,000. This included incoming signings and new contracts.

Only Ipswich Town, Wigan Athletic, Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, Millwall and Rotherham United spent less. North End sit comfortably clear of all six in the Championship table.

Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland after Alan Browne’s goal (photo by Tim Williams/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Yet North End’s success is really summed up when you get higher up the expenditure table. The case to pick out is that of Stoke City, who were relegated to the Championship last season.

Remarkably, Stoke spent over £7million on agent fees in the las 12 months, more than £1.5m clear of second placed Swansea City. Add that to their staggering outlay in the transfer market, and Stoke have spent astronomical amounts for a dismal season.

Their signings over the course of the season cost a whopping £56million. Peter Etebo, James McClean, Tom Ince, Sam Clucas, Benik Afobe, Ryan Woods, Danny Batth and Sam Vokes all came in for huge money. They’ll have received parachute payments, and picked up nearly £20million for Xherdan Shaqiri and Ramadan Sobhi. But even with those figures, their expenditure is unbelievable.

There are many examples of North End outperforming clubs spending exponentially more, but Stoke really sticks out. The Potters are nine points adrift of Preston this season, and took just one point off us in two games.

North End’s spending is mostly smart and calculated, and whilst there is a perceived lack of drive to reach the top flight – one difficult to disagree with – we’re at least spending our money more wisely than some clubs like Stoke, certainly in terms of value for money.