MIKE MULRANEY has said new Alloa Athletic manager Barry Ferguson could have an increased budget as the club look to bounce right back into the Championship.

Speaking at Ferguson’s unveiling earlier today, May 27, Mulraney confirmed the club would not be reducing their transfer budget and would possibly increase it.

Mulraney said: “After a hard season we’re delighted to announce Mr Ferguson as our new manager.”

“I think obviously Barry’s experience in football, you’re not going to better it. His recent track record is as strong as his career has been. He’s just had a really successful couple of years and, critically, what attracted me was his enthusiasm and his ambition. We’re an ambitious club…it was a bit of a no-brainer as far as I was concerned.

“We had a long chat but it took me about five minutes to be convinced that Barry could take our club forward.”

Asked if he’ll be given the financial backing he needs to get the club back to the Championship, Ferguson laughed and said: “I hope so. There’s money available because there’s space for players to come in. The players that are already signed up are players I rate very highly.

“I’ve got a lot of hard work over the next three or four weeks to try and add to the squad [and] that’s already started, I’ve got a few meetings over the next few days so hopefully in the coming week or two we’ll see players coming in.”

Mulraney continued: “I think that the Championship and [League One] are two incredibly difficult leagues so, financially, not only will we not be cutting our budget from last season, we’ll probably increase it.

“That’s not because Barry’s asked us to, it’s because we feel, to ensure we put together a squad that we feel is capable of competing in what will be an incredibly difficult league, [will require] an appropriate budget.”

“As the chairman of Alloa Athletic, my main target is to give my manager the tools to do the best job he can and have confidence in him setting his own targets. I’ve not given Barry an objective other than to do his best because I’m absolutely convinced his best will be good enough for Alloa Athletic.”

Mulraney continued: “We’ve had a load of really good managers, including Peter [Grant] and it was important we got another one and I really believe we have.”

The club have been virtually silent since the season ended but have been making moves behind the scenes to tie down a core of players, including Stefan Scougall.

On re-signing Scougall, Mulraney described him as ‘critical’, adding: “As a number of them are, he’s a truly gifted player and it was critical that we got him. We have, I’ve spoken to Barry at length, he knows him, knows his qualities and he’ll be absolutely instrumental to our success moving forward.

“We decided we weren’t going to release [the names of players who have re-signed] until we had our new manager. Barry’s got targets who we’ve discussed at length and we’ll see more coming in over the next few weeks.”