Kilmarnock give Tommy Wright backing as decision made on player budget for Championship

Kilmarnock have insisted Tommy Wright has the backing of the board following relegation to the Championship.

Kilmarnock manager Tommy Wright is ashen-faced at full time as relegation is confirmed following the play-off defeat to Dundee. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

The Northern Irishman succeeded Alex Dyer in the Rugby Park hotseat in February, signing a contract until the summer of 2023, but was unable to save the club from the drop, with Killie’s 28-year stay in the top flight ended by their play-off defeat to Dundee on Monday night.

Kilmarnock insist the 57-year-old remains the right man to lead the club in the second tier next season and have promised to provide him with the funds to mount a challenge for an instant return to the Premiership, with no changes planned to the current player budget.

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Phyllis McLeish, club director, told Killie TV: “We were looking down the barrel for more than just a couple of weeks.

"We decided last week that whatever happened we were going to stick with the player budget that we’ve got – there will not be a reduction.

“There will be impacts in other areas of the club obviously. Turnover is going to do down. We need to manage that and we will manage that.

"We want to give Tommy and the team that he’s going to rebuild over the summer every possible chance to make it a very brief sojourn in the Championship.

“We’re all united in that we think we do have the right manager now and we have confidence in him.

“He came in a bit too late – it’s not Tommy’s fault it has happened, but we do have the right manager now and we can rebuild, and we will rebuild.”

Club owner Billy Bowie was also adamant that Killie will return stronger having plummeted from third place to relegation inside two years.

He said: "At the moment I'm really gutted. I'm gutted for the fans as well and I want to apologise for our performance this year and getting us in the position we're in.

"I'm stuck for words. It's been a tough season for us all. But we are going to bounce back.

"We've haemorrhaged a lot of money to keep the club going – but at the end of the day we're still going to keep it going."

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