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Mike Harris - no open cheque book.
TNS managing director Mike Harris has hit back at accusations that he is the Roman Abramovitch of domestic football - and has bought success for the side that bears his company name.
A letter in the Non-League Paper suggested Harris' cash had bought success for his league champions and cup holders as effectively as Abramovitch at Chelsea.
"There is hardly a club in Wales, including the League clubs, who can compete with the TNS buying power," said the letter writer.
But Harris says:
* TNS have never paid a penny in transfer fees in his seven-year association with the club.
* Manager Ken McKenna must use academy players if any of his 17-strong playing squad are unavailable
* One-fifth of TNS’ budget is ploughed directly into the club's highly-successful academy
"I must say I always have a bit of a giggle to myself when people compare us to Chelsea because for one thing - we’re not in debt!” said Harris.
"Secondly, we’ve never played our football based on just buying players and if I look back at matters, I don’t believe we’ve ever bought a player.
"And as we re-invest in the club, it’s not just based on players’ wages. When we won the league the first time five years ago, our budget was only about the tenth largest on the league.
"What we believe we’ve done with the budgets which we do use, is we’ve managed to invest it wisely.
"We create a great spirit and then once you start to get yourself on to a winning roll, then it’s a lot easier to attract the right player because people do want to come and appear for the best team.
"As we’ve moved forwards, we improved slowly rather than try to win everything at once by bringing in player after player."
Harris told the Non-League Paper that he makes manager Ken McKenna work within a limitation of a 17-man squad.
"Our manager is always challenging me to go out and bring in some seasoned professionals, but I keep saying no," added Harris.
"What we believe we’ve created here is an atmosphere and a place which is growing with belief. Yes, we’ve got to make some investments into a new ground, but it’s certainly not an open cheque book here.
"And I’ll never let this club run in a debt position."
17 October 2021