Preston appoint Peter Ridsdale as chairman

Peter Ridsdale
Ridsdale has over 24 years of experience in football boardrooms

Preston North End have appointed Peter Ridsdale as their new chairman.

The 59-year-old, formerly with Leeds, Barnsley, Cardiff and Plymouth, replaces the outgoing Maurice Lindsay, who stood down as chairman last week for health reasons.

"I am delighted and privileged to be joining Preston North End Football Club," he told the club's website.

"It's a club that frankly ought to be competing to join the Premier League rather than playing in League One."

Ridsdale said Preston, currently 14th in the League One table, were a club with "an incredible football heritage" and a "large and loyal supporter base".

And he added: "I sincerely hope that working with Preston North End's existing staff and with the continued support of its fan base, I can play a part in ensuring that we return to the Championship as a minimum in the not too distant future."

Previously a successful businessman, Ridsdale first entered a football boardroom with home town club Leeds and took over as chairman in 1997.

During his five years in charge at Elland Road, the club finished in the top five of the Premier League in each season, reached the semi-finals of the Uefa Cup in 2000 and were Champions League semi-finalists in 2001.

He eventually stepped down with the club buckling under the weight of huge debts, which eventually led to them being relegated from the top flight at the end of the 2003-04 season.

After a spell as Barnsley owner, he was recruited by Cardiff and eventually replaced Sam Hammam as chairman.

The Welsh club also experienced serious financial problems before Ridsdale agreed a deal with Malaysian businessman Datuk Chan Tien Ghee, who took a 49% shareholding in the club.

He left following the play-off final defeat by Blackpool in May 2010, but was only out of football for a few months before joining Plymouth as a football consultant.

Ridsdale eventually took over as acting chairman at Home Park in July 2011, describing the situation as the "toughest challenge" he had faced in football, but his tenure only lasted four months before the club was sold on to current owner James Brent, although he remained as chairman of football operations.

Brent told BBC South West: "Peter's been a great asset to Argyle and he has helped save the club and helped start the rebuilding process.

"From a personal standpoint I'm totally aligned with his wish to move much closer to his family. It's been a huge travelling distance for him between Plymouth and Lancashire where he lives. I wish him all the best and I think they have got a very good chairman of football."