Tommy Wright hopes to invest from sale of Michael O’Halloran

Michael O'Halloran was sold to Rangers for a fee that could rise to half a million. Picture: SNS
Michael O'Halloran was sold to Rangers for a fee that could rise to half a million. Picture: SNS
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St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright hopes to persuade chairman Steve Brown to give him a slice of the profits from the club’s Michael O’Halloran windfall.

The Perth club stand to bank up to £500,000 after O’Halloran finally clinched his long-rumoured switch to Rangers on deadline day.

But Wright is concerned that the financial stakes in Scotland have risen in recent weeks and he feels the McDiarmid outfit have to respond.

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Aberdeen and Hearts have both been prepared to spend cash sums on targets during last month’s transfer window while Saints’ rivals for fourth place Ross County found the resources to land Dons striker David Goodwillie on loan.

Wright told Press Association Sport: “I’ve spoken to the chairman about it and feel we need to be a bit more pro-active. I’ll try my best to get him to loosen the purse strings because it is getting tougher.

“It looks like the [financial side of the Scottish game] is coming back - but we’re not in a position to [spend a lot]. That makes it more difficult.

“Ross County can go out and get Goodwillie on loan, we couldn’t afford that.

“So we need to find ways to maximise what we’ve got and possibly look for an increase in the budget to help us achieve that.

“That doesn’t always guarantee you success but I do feel the league is getting tighter and it’s tougher to maintain top-six status. We can’t afford to stand still. I think the chairman is on the same wavelength.”

Wright was disappointed to lose O’Halloran so late in the window.

He was able to land Danny Swanson for a second time after his exit from Tynecastle but Wright would have liked more time to find a replacement.

“The disappointing thing for us is that we missed out on a couple of targets,” he admitted. “I think it would have been better for all concerned if the timing of Michael’s deal had been done earlier.

“But it’s happened now and he deserves his move.

“We’ve got to get on with it. He’s been a key player for us but we’ve lost important players before and moved on. That’s what we will do this time.”

Saints take on Aberdeen this Saturday and Wright hopes his men can deny the Reds the chance to draw level with leaders Celtic at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership.

The Pittodrie men slashed the gap to just three points with a well-deserved 2-1 win over Ronny Deila’s side on Wednesday.

But Wright has reason to be confident after his side claimed an emphatic 5-1 triumph in the Granite City when the teams last met in October.

“I’d take a repeat of that,” he joked. “That was a day when we scored goals at the right time.

“But Aberdeen did the same on Wednesday night. Celtic started brightly but then Aberdeen got the goal and I thought they dominated after that.

“That proved what a good side they are. It’s a massive game for both us and them this weekend. They have the chance to draw level at the top.

“But hopefully we can be their Achilles heel this year.”

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