Preston chairman has wasted no time in stamping his authority in club, sacking the club’s manager Phil Brown barely a week in the job.
Brown took over the Lancashire club last January and was immediately plunged into a relegation battle.
Those who bet on the Championship certainly fancied Brown’s men to lose their fight against the drop, which they duly did, given the desperate nature of the situation it did not reflect poorly on Brown.
However, what was expected was a sustained assault on the League One title or at the very least a crack at the play-offs.
However, the season has not panned out as expected, with a mid-season run of 10 games without a win plunging them down to 10th – though they are still just five points off the play-off positions.
A statement released by Ridsdale pointed to a poor run of football scores as the key reason to letting Brown leave, though given Ridsdale has only been in the job eight days I suspect a clean slate was always on his mind.
It will do little to ease tensions among the Preston support, both about their league position and the arrival of Ridsdale. The spectre of Leeds United’s implosion still follows him round, seemingly becoming stronger with each rebuttal of responsibility that comes from his lips.
His repeated declaration that United’s troubles only occurred after he had left, following years of relative success under his watch, was scoffed at and mocked in equal measure, given their years of ‘living the dream’ was largely due to the irresponsible and unsustainable lending by Ridsdale and his fellow directors, and the troubles after – for which they are still paying the price – were similarly linked to his rash spending.
Is time at similarly cash-strapped clubs Barnsley, Cardiff and Plymouth has done little to repair his reputation – rightly or wrongly – and his first act at Preston has only deepened the sense of foreboding as to the club’s imminent future.