Chief executive Chris Turner has revealed Chesterfield’s playing budget is in the top ten in League One.
Turner declined to put a figure on it but stated the current budget is the highest it’s ever been at the Proact Stadium, as the Spireites look to compete at the top end next season.
And, with other clubs likely to strengthen over the summer and sides coming down from the Championship, Turner expects the competition to be as fierce as ever for Dean Saunders’ side.
“This is the highest playing budget the club has had in its history - ever had in its history,” stated Turner. “It would be in the top ten in League One. Look at Preston and Sheffield United and you can see the bigger clubs.
“Next season there will be Blackpool, Wigan, Millwall and they have massive playing budgets. They have a great opportunity to bounce straight back up. It’s the same in the Championship with Premier League teams coming down.
“Barnsley, Doncaster and Coventry all under-achieved this year. Their budgets are miles bigger than Chesterfield. We can only have a budget that is in relation to the attendance. I won’t put a figure on our budget.
“We want to challenge to get in to the Championship. We want to be in with a shout of play-offs, if not positioned one and two, but when you look at the clubs going to be in the division it’s a very tough division.
“It’s very competitive and we’ve got to make sure this club stays in League One. This club has to stay in League One. It cannot go back down to League Two for the away support, the football, the teams that come here and to keep that kudos here.
“At the same time we want to produce players and get in to the Championship, which is the Holy Grail for us.”
Turner wants Chesterfield to build a team under new manager Saunders, not dismantle one, and says no player will leave if it is not beneficial to the club - even if they’re head has been turned.
“If a player wants to leave, they’ll leave,” he said. “There’s not a lot you can do these days. It’s very difficult to keep hold of them if a Premier League or Championship clubs come for your players in League One.
“Once they’ve had their heads turned they’re gone. I don’t think any in the squad have at the moment.
“If you’re a working man, in any industry, and you’re earning £300 a week and someone offers you £4,000 to do the same job, would you turn it down?
“Dean will speak to those out of contract. Everyone else who is under contract, they will only leave this club when we feel it’s right for them to leave.”
The Spireites will push ahead with plans to introduce a reserve team next season under Saunders and pointed towards prospects Laurence Maguire and Jake Beesley.
Maguire, a central defender, and striker Beesley, who netted 20 goals for the season, both played for the youth team under Mark Smith and have signed pro deals.
“Both now have the opportunity to push on,” said Turner. “Both played extremely well for the youth team last season, if we’d have had a reserve team last season they would have been playing regularly in that.
“We’ve now got a productive academy system, we’ve now got one of the best development systems in the country. We have got in our playing squad, six or seven players between the age of 18 and 22, who are at an exciting point.
“Dean will see these boys and I feel some of them will make the first team in the next 12 months. Our reserve team is back for those boys to play in and be seen. This football club is totally different to what it was three years ago.
“We’re building from the bottom towards the top and when at the top to be successful.”