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Even though their old transfer record remains unbroken, Preston North End have come pretty close to finally splashing enough cash to dethrone Neil Mellor in 2019/20. Of course, the centre-forward’s switch from Liverpool in 2006/07 for a reported fee of £2m is still topping the charts but some of the recent purchases were quite big as well.
Tom Bayliss’ transfer from Coventry in 2019/20, for example, cost the club a total of £1.9m and is currently their second most expensive purchase in the history of the club. But it’s also quite telling that five of their ten biggest arrivals happened prior to 2010 and that it’s been 15 years since they last set a record in that regard.
Of course, the arrivals of Brad Potts and Declan Rudd, one in 2018/19 and the other in 2017/18, were also big-money acquisitions but could only slot into fifth and seventh place respectively.
As far as departures go, the records are quite bigger, to say the least. Jordan Hugill’s move to West Ham United in 2017/18 for a reported fee of £9.1m is still the biggest piece of business they’ve ever done.
Hugill actually eclipsed the previous record holder, David Nugent, who was transferred to Portsmouth for a fee of £8.1m in 2007/08. In 2019/20, they made a pretty big sale of Callum Robinson to Sheffield United for £7m.
There might have been some famous and big transfers at Preston in the modern times but hardly anything can compare to the legends who arrived at the club in the years gone by. Of course, even among them, not many can go toe to toe with Bill Shankly, who joined the team from Carlisle United back in 1933 and ended up etching his name in the history books.
Of course, right beside him is also Tommy Docherty who was transferred from Celtic back in 1949, and then there are the likes of Alan Kelly Sr and Graham Alexander, both of whom can be described as highly influential signings that ended up impacting the club throughout their stay.
We can also mention Nugent and Hugill as two very lucrative transfers to happen at the club with both players having great stints donning their colours as well.