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FM11: Official Preston North End F.C Thread

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In the past Preston were famously successful, being the first winners of "The Double" in English football. In 1888-89 Preston became the only team to go throughout an entire season unbeaten in both the league and FA Cup — only Arsenal F.C., in 2003-04, have managed to have an unbeaten season in any league division since, with the Gunners also achieving the feat in the top flight (although Arsenal played 38 games to Preston's 22). PNE were league champions again the following season, and have not won the title since. Their last major trophy was an FA Cup triumph in 1938.

Preston North End, as first winners of the Football League, have the right to wear their home kit at all times. This right is shared with two other clubs: Notts County (as the first registered club in the football league), and Reading (for being 'the royal club').[clarification needed] In recent years however, all three clubs have adapted to using a change shirt due to the extra financial reward this brings.[citation needed]

Preston were relegated to the Second Division (currently the Football League Championship) in 1961 and have not played in the top division since. They did reach the FA Cup final in 1964, but lost to West Ham United.

Bobby Charlton, an England World Cup winner from 1966, was appointed Preston manager in 1973, but was unable to stop them from sliding into the Third Division in his first season and left after two years in charge. A brief respite in 1978 saw them win promotion back to the Second Division, but they went down after three seasons and in 1985 fell into the Fourth Division for the first time in their history.

In 1986, Preston finished second from bottom in the Fourth Division and only avoided dropping into the Football Conference because the other Football League members voted in favour of the division's bottom four teams retaining their senior status.

The arrival of new manager John McGrath saw Preston win promotion to the Third Division a year later, and they were still at this level when McGrath left in 1990. Veteran player Les Chapman took over as manager, but left in October 1992 to be replaced by John Beck. The 38-year-old Beck had only recently been sacked by Cambridge United, where he had achieved two successive promotions and come within a whisker of attaining a unique third. Beck was unable to save Preston from relegation from the first season of the new Division Two. He endured a Division Three playoff final failure before quitting in 1994 to be replaced by his assistant Gary Peters

Peters guided Preston to Division Three title glory in his first full season as manager, and quit in February 1998 to be replaced by 34-year-old defender David Moyes. Preston quickly developed into Division Two promotion contenders under Moyes, reaching the 1998-99 playoffs (losing to Gillingham in the semi-finals before finally being promoted as champions a year later.

Preston began the new millennium by winning promotion from Division 2 in the 1999-2000 season as champions. They almost made it two promotions a row in 2001, but lost 3-0 to Bolton in the Division One playoff final.

Moyes left for Everton in March 2002, and his assistant Kelham O'Hanlon took over for the remainder of the season. Preston narrowly missed out on the play-offs and in the summer former Scottish national coach Craig Brown took over as manager. Preston were little more than a mid-table side during Brown's tenure, though they were never in any real danger of being relegated. He left in August 2004 to be succeeded by his assistant Billy Davies.

Davies guided Preston to the Championship playoff final in his first season as manager, but they lost to West Ham United. They reached the playoffs again the following year, this time losing in the semi-finals, to Leeds United. Davies then moved to Derby and was replaced by Carlisle boss Paul Simpson, who took over Davies's team and initially carried on where Davies left off. Preston spent much of the 2006-07 season in the automatic promotion or playoff places, however from March 2007 the club slid rapidly down the league. This happened even after holding on to David Nugent in the transfer window and Simpson being allowed to bring in a number of loan signings. The club failed to make the end-of-season play-offs, despite a 1-0 victory over Birmingham City at Deepdale on the final day of the season. They finished the season in seventh place.

Chart showing the progress of Preston North End through the English football league system from the inaugural season in 1888–89 to 2007–08 when Preston North End came 15th in the League Championship

On 11 July 2007 David Nugent, the first Preston player to win an England cap for 50 years, left the club to join Portsmouth for a reported transfer fee of £6,000,000. Although the club lost only one key player (David Nugent) and brought in several players including Darren Carter, Kevin Nicholls and Karl Hawley, to reshape the team they did not recover from their poor run of form. In August 2007, Simpson banned the playing of Elvis Presley's Can't Help Falling in Love, a song which had been a popular part of the pre-match music at Deepdale for over ten years, stating, "I don't know whose idea this song is at the start, because it seems to put everyone in a bit of a depression. We have to make sure we get something which the players respond to and go out and perform and the fans respond to as well. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we are losing games because of that song. But we have to do whatever we can to generate an atmosphere", a move which angered some Preston fans. After a bad start to the 2007-08 season which saw the club pick up just three wins, Paul Simpson was sacked as manager on 13 November.

On 20 November, Everton's assistant manager Alan Irvine was appointed as Preston's new manager on a three-and-a-half year deal, and he achieved his first objective as manager by achieving Preston's survival in 15th place. The following season he lead Preston to 6th in the Championship after a good run of form towards the end of the season, qualifying for the playoffs. They lost 2-1 on aggregate to Sheffield United after a 1-1 draw at Deepdale was followed by a 1-0 loss at Sheffield United's Bramall Lane.

Midway through the 2009-10 season, Alan Irvine was sacked after a poor run of results and replaced by Darren Ferguson, the son of legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. He'd left Peterborough United in November bottom of the table, and PNE finished 16th in the table at the end of the season thanks to the astute buys of Paul Coutts and Keith Treacy. Can YOU do better than Ferguson?


Nation: England

Year Founded: 1881

Status: Professional

Reputation: National

Chairman Status: Loves the club

Legends: Bill Shankly, Sir Tom Finney, Alan Kelly Snr

Icons: Dave Nugent, Graham Alexander, David Moyes, Youl Mawene, Sean Gregan, Paul McKenna, Mark Rankine

Favoured Personnel: Mick Rathbone, Matt Hill

Derbies: West Lancashire Derby (vs Blackpool)

Fierce Rivals: Blackpool, Burnley

Other Rivals: Blackburn Rovers, Wigan Athletic, Bolton Wanderers, Leeds United

Finances: Okay

Average Ticket Price: £24.00

Average Season Ticket Price: £400

Season Ticket Holders: 8,000

Estimated Value: £9.25M (Loan debt: £15M)

Media Prediction: 19th

Squad Personality: Professional

Captain: Callum Davidson

Vice-Captain: Andrew Lonergan


Chairman: Maurice Lindsay

Manager: Darren Ferguson, soon to be you?

Assistant Manager: Kevin Russell

GK Coach: Darren Ward

First Team Coach: David Unsworth

Fitness Coach: Scott Taylor

Youth Coach: Darren Finch

Youth Coach: Dean Ramsdale

Youth Coach: Jamie Hoyland

Youth Coach: Nick Harrison

Scout: Russ Richardson

Scout: Jim McCluskie

Physio: Matt Jackson

Physio: John Guy



Andrew Lonergan - Ability: 3.5*, Potential: 3.5* - First choice 'keeper and a local lad

Wayne Henderson - Ability: 2.5*, Potential: 2.5* - Injury prone goalie but good back-up for Lonergan


(RB) Billy Jones - Ability: 3*, Potential: 3.5* - In real life he's first choice but assistant thinks that David Gray is better.

(RB) David Gray - Ability: 3.5*, Potential: 3.5* - Should be first choice in FM but isn't in real life. Signed from Man Utd in the summer.

(LB) Callum Davidson - Ability: 2.5*, Potential: 2.5* - Veteran left-back is captain but should be replaced because of his age.

(CB) Wayne Brown - Ability: 3.5*, Potential: 3.5* - Signed from Leicester in the summer, Brown is a no-nonsense defender.

(CB) Craig Morgan - Ability: 3.5*, Potential: 3.5* - The most expensive signing of the summer by Ferguson, he's a bit of a liabilty in real life but good on the game. Good backup for Brown and St.Ledger.

(CB) Sean St.Ledger - Ability: 3.5*, Potential: 3.5* - The first choice centre-back. Irish international who if you want, can sell in the summer for £1.5M+ because you have adequate backup and can buy replacement.

(CB) Neal Trotman - Ability: 2.5*, Potential: 2.5* - Young defender who has been on loan to Southampton last season, could sell in the summer if the price is right.


(DM) Darel Russell - Ability: 3*, Potential: 3* - Signed from Norwich Russell can play in CM but if you want to play a holding midfielder, this guy does the job.

(LM) Paul Parry - Ability: 3.5*, Potential: 3.5* - Welsh winger who will fight for the left-midfield spot with Treacy. Can also be used up-front.

(LM) Keith Treacy - Ability: 3.5*, Potential: 4* - Signed on the cheap from Blackburn Treacy is a skillful winger looking to take the mantle of star winger from departed Ross Wallace, although in real life recently has been frozen out of the team due to personal issues.

(CM) Barry Nicholson - Ability: 3*, Potential: 3* - The Scot starts the game injured but can be decent backup when fit.

(CM) Richard Chaplow - Ability: 3.5*, Potential: 3.5* - On-loan at Southampton in real life at the moment but in this game he's great, great partner for Coutts in the middle.

(CM) Paul Coutts - Ability: 3.5*, Potential: 4* - The best centre-mid at the club in my opinion, he's good as a deep lying playmaker, and been a revelation for the club.

(CM) Matt James - Ability: 3.5*, Potential: 4.5* - On loan from Manchester United the youngster is England under-19's captain and one for the future. Came on loan last season and forged a great partnership with Coutts.

(CM) Adam Barton - Ability: 3.5*, Potential: 4.5* - The best youth product to come through in recent years, Barton got into the first-team this season and has been pretty good and scored against Burnley. A fantastic prospect.

(AMR) Danny Mayor - Ability: 3*, Potential: 4.5* - Another great prospect, Mayor is the only right-winger at the club so a new one should be brought in.


Jon Parkin - Ability: 3.5*, Potential: 3.5* - Parkin is a beast, literally, as PNE fans chant. Great as a target man and can get you the goals if required.

Paul Hayes - Ability: 3.5*, Potential: 3.5* - Signed on a bosman from Scunthorpe, Hayes is the best player on FM at the club according to Russell. Play him off Parkin and he'll get a few.

Chris Brown - Ability: 2.5*, Potential: 2.5* - Striker came from Norwich in 2008 but has faded away and spends a lot of time injured and not scoring. Alright backup but can be flogged to bring in a pacy striker.

Joshua King - Ability: 2.5*, Potential: 4.5* - Another United product on loan at PNE the Norwiegan teenager has pace to burn but as shown in real life, no end product. Good talent for the future though.



George Miller - Centre-Midfield - Potential: 4.5*


Bailey Wright - Centre-Back - Potential: 4.5*



This is what I would play. Weakest positions are left-back and right-midfield


If I was you i'd strengthen first at right-midfield. These 3 targets are good for the budget you are given;

Jonathan Aspas - Free Agent (Spanish 28 year old who was on trial with us last month)

Dani Abalo - Celta Vigo - £200k (Another Spaniard who is a younger option for Aspas)

Eric Odhiambo - Inverness CT - £180k (English winger who has good stats for a Championship level side)


Consolidate - £250k transfer budget/£80k wage budget

Mid Table - £300k tb/£86k wb

Top-Half Finish - £325k tb/£88k wb

Promotion - £375k tb/£88k wb

Title Challenge - £400k tb/£90k wb

Winner - £425k tb/£91k wb

The starting wage budget is £76k a week.


I hope this guide makes you choose Preston North End. Try and restore the glory days of the late 1800's and take them back to the top tier and win them the league. It'll be a great challenge.

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Nice opening post, although I don't quite understand who decides that Leeds are Preston's rivals.

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Me neither but a few of our players have gone to Leeds in the past and the matches have been quite heated. Suppose everyone hates Leeds.

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If your PNE post your progress here please, i'd like to see how your doing as I suck with them.

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Sorry for the off topic post, but everybody hates us, that's completly true. However, to be classed as a 'rival' is ridiculous. It would mean teams as far down as Histon and Kettering (who both chanted beautiful renditions of 'We all hate Leeds scum') would also class us as rivals. Just makes me wonder where SI gets their ideas from.

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Sorry for the off topic post, but everybody hates us, that's completly true. However, to be classed as a 'rival' is ridiculous. It would mean teams as far down as Histon and Kettering (who both chanted beautiful renditions of 'We all hate Leeds scum') would also class us as rivals. Just makes me wonder where SI gets their ideas from.

It isn't SI who decide who the rivals are mate :thup:. It's the researchers who do. So, as Wiggster has said a few games have been heated and a few players have moved from one to the other. Therefore the Preston North End researcher has decided that Leeds United warrant a place as rivals and they are only other rivals mate. I would assume that if you looked at the editor, the rival number would or probably is quite low and it is probably down to the reason that Wiggster gave. Although I can't be certain :thup:.

Nice OP Wiggster :thup:.

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To be fair though, every game we had in the Don Revie era was heated, hence the term 'Dirty Leeds'. That doesn't warrant a match between two teams with no history a 'rivalry'. It's almost like the researcher has just thought of the teams he personally doesn't like without considering the other factors which makes a team 'rivals'.

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To be fair though, every game we had in the Don Revie era was heated, hence the term 'Dirty Leeds'. That doesn't warrant a match between two teams with no history a 'rivalry'. It's almost like the researcher has just thought of the teams he personally doesn't like without considering the other factors which makes a team 'rivals'.

If you feel it isn't warranted then i'm sure the Preston North End would be open to your reasonable answer. Have a look in the Data Issues Forum for Preston North End and ask him why he/she has considered Leeds as an other rival. They may have different reasoning.

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Thank you mate. You up for the FA Cup game next week?

Unfortunately not mate. I work most Saturdays and although i'm meant to be off on that Saturday it's a mates party. I rarely go to any home games either because of me being at work :(.

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Oh right. I ain't bothering going because of yesterday's horror performance.

Well, I'll try another Preston save and let you know how I got on.

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I started a PNE save, but edited it slightly so we had some trialists from real life in our side and the loanees (before they went back). I'll post my results up later but I had good success, using the Benfica assymetric tactic.

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I'm PNE at the minute. Decided to start unemployed and got the job when Ferguson got sacked at the end of October. I've been in the job for about a year now and really loving the challenge. The board are hardly giving me any cash for wages or transfer fees. I'm having to put any money they do give me onto the wage budget. I'm finding that the most frustrating part - the amount people of players I've tried to get only to have to "walk away" because I can only give them £500 is annoying...but, it's the situation.

I'm going with a 4-5-1. I had to make us tough to beat when I first took over and sure up the defence. We were 23rd and we didn't go any higher than 21st until about March, when finally it felt like everyone was feeling used to my tactics and I had gotten to know the players better in order to lift their morale. I ended the season in 14th, so quite happy with that.

As I've said before, I have about £90k to spend on wages so I had to get rid of some of my fringe players who were on big money. Parkin, Chaplow, Nicholson, Brown, Trotman and Brown have all left plus all the loans have ended too. That's been quite a big dent but I've been able to pick up some decent freebies and loans throughout my time there so far.

I'm bringing George Miller in more this season, now we're out of the relegation battle from last year and he's doing ok. Treacy's been really good but his morale goes up and down a lot! Coutts and Barton are a good CM partnership, but my DM keeps changing - it's not a very settled position yet. Sometimes I play Jones there, just because I'm finding it hard to put him anywhere else. Gray has been quality at RB - his tackling and stopping the opposition has been a big part of our success so far. Towards the end of last season I had Jones playing at CB and he did really well with St Ledger but I have Gioda there now and he regularly gets 7.5+ ratings for me. I like Jones though. A problem I have is that St Ledger's contract runs out this summer and at the minute I cant increase his wages so one possibility I have is to sell St Ledger and put Jones at the back and invest any money I get in a DM.

My other option for DM is Roberto Baronio. He's 33 and cant really hack the fitness side but his through balls from deep (he's my Pirlo) are brilliant for Hayes, Treacy and Odhiambo (Ferguson signed him) to run on to. So I'm currently looking for a younger version of Pirlo/Baronio for Championship level.

My wingers are Treacy and Odhiambo with Lee Holmes and Mayor as back-ups. I like Mayor but he doesn't score as many as Odhiambo.

Up front Hayes is doing well as a lone striker. I try to get him support from the midfield and wings and that seems to be working so far. I have Nanni as his back-up, a strong Argentine striker (he looks a bit like Martin Palermo).

I have Butland on loan as a reserve for Lonergan but I tend to play him quite a lot. He's a very good Championship level goalie at 17. I have Rhys Murphy on loan from Arsenal too, just to make sure I have enough cover up front. Again, he does well when he comes in. I think if he was given a run of games he'd do very well at this level.

So, yeah, thoroughly enjoying the battle so far. The only reason I'd be open to leaving is because of the financial restraints. I really wanted Danny Graham or Austin from Swindon but I couldn't afford them. I am liking the team I'm creating though. Jones, St Ledger, Gioda, Barton, Coutts and Treacy could stay with me for a long time no matter what level we were playing at.

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not sure if anyone is even looking at this thread anymore but il post anyway :), started a game up with wallys transfer update database..

brought a few players in including; khizanishvilli, button, banton, jordi gomez. needed a strong cb with experience, button on loan from spurs for a back up GK, banton is a young winger i brought in when Blackburn released him, and managed to get jordi gomez to drop down to league one on loan.

only players to go we're; arestidou and nicholson 110k.

pre season i went unbeaten including a 1-1 draw against a full strength man city side..

my strongest 11; turner, gray, khizanishvilli, carlisle, billington, hume, ashbee, gomez, parry, mellor, daley.

only played 1 league game (beat hartlepool 2-0) and carling cup game (beat chesterfield on pens, 10 men for 80 mins)

will update my season if anyone replies lol


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interested to see how gomez and khizanishvilli get on for you matey.. as they did excellently when i got them for my championship sides...

also... no room for barton in your starting lineup? im shocked

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gomez has been injured a bit so hasn't really had a run of games yet, khizanishvilli is doing ace! hmm barton is in and out, some times i swap him with ashbee and put him in the b2b role just depends, knocked out of league cup 2nd round b boro, winning 1-0 last kick of the game they scored a worldie free kick, finished the game with 7 players lol! you started one with Preston pal?

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no had one a while ago.. but they're a great team to be , too good to be in league one for sure

good luck with your save mate

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