Ross County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell has refuted suggestions the Staggies’ promotion to the Premiership will result in a blank chequebook being opened by chairman Roy MacGregor.
County are preparing for life in the top-flight after clinching the Championship title with Friday’s 4-0 victory over Queen of the South, which will see them return at the first attempt following their relegation 12 months ago.
MacGregor has previously offered generous financial backing to support the playing budget at Victoria Park and despite cuts being made following last year’s demotion, Kettlewell does not expect a sharp increase in the transfer kitty as a result of the team’s promotion.
Kettlewell said: “Our budget is not going to dramatically change at all. It is not like our chairman Roy MacGregor is going to roll into town and start chucking money at it.
“We’re going to be within a pretty firm guideline here as to what we can do next season. Myself and Steven Ferguson are really happy with that.
“You can’t overspend on your means. I know some people will want to hear we will be spending all kinds of money, but that’s not the case.
“We have to stick to our foundation, stick to our way of playing, and ultimately there is something good in the dressing room these guys have created.
“I’ve heard people say you should scrap it and start again for the Premiership. I’ve been involved where it wasn’t scrapped and the management looked to chip away at certain players and see if they could max them out and get the absolute most out of them.
“I tend to believe in the latter approach.”
While Kettlewell is keen to build around the title-winning squad already assembled, he is also braced for the possibility that County’s success will attract attention from other clubs, adding: “I would be silly not to think there could be people looking at one or two of our players as well – we get that.
“There are guys in there who have had an unbelievable season. Clubs maybe bigger than ours might think they would add to what they’ve got.
“The vibe we’ve got is that all these guys want to be here and play for this club.
“Sometimes, circumstances are removed from your hands and we understand that, but from our perspective, we’ve had a big injury list and we start to look at some of these guys under contract and what they might add to the mix next season.
“If we do lose anybody, we will then have to look to bring in somebody else we feel can add as much as certain individuals have done.”