Nick Higgs vows to give Bristol Rovers boss Mark McGhee a good playing budget
BRISTOL Rovers chairman Nick Higgs says manager Mark McGhee has one of the best playing budgets in League Two available to him in an effort to build a promotion-winning squad next season.
McGhee, pictured, is set to step up the chase to land a number of potential targets to bolster his squad after returning from a family holiday in Spain earlier this week.
Rovers have yet to start their summer spending spree after attempts to land Oxford United striker James Constable ended in failure last week – but Higgs has confirmed the likelihood of the arrival of four to six new faces to strengthen key areas at the heart of defence and in midfield.
The recruitment of a striker also remains firmly on the agenda and Higgs insists McGhee has the funds to be competitive in a market expected to be dominated by big-spending Rotherham over the summer.
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He said: "I think Mark will have a budget that is one of the best in League Two. It's not necessarily the highest but it will be in that top group of clubs – as it was last year.
"Mark is happy with the budget we have given him and has based his list of targets around that. We have a list of players we'd like to bring to the club and I'm in day-to-day contact with Mark. We've got a list of names that would strengthen the centre of defence and midfield areas, so all in all there are lots of things going on behind the scenes."
Newly-promoted Fleetwood Town and Northampton Town, who have recently splashed out on Coventry City striker Clive Platt, are also expected to make significant outlays in a bid for promotion to League One and Rovers' director of finance Toni Watola added: "Clearly we have spoken to Mark about what is available, but, being truthful, it is a broad brush figure.
"Over the next two months, we'll move it along as is appropriate to bring in the players needed to give us a good start to next season.
"We start the process (of planning the playing budget for the following season) around April time when we review things like potential season ticket income and matchday revenues.
"We also look at the teams who are to be promoted out of our division or relegated. When you lose the likes of a Leeds or a Norwich, like we did when we were in League One, then that has a significant impact on matchday revenues.
"We also can't fully determine figures until we see the fixture list because we need to take into account things like which team we are going to play on Boxing Day and whether it will be home or away.
"We then take a view on all of those factors and then look at our fixed expenditure and come up with a figure."