Preston North End front man Tom Barkhuizen says money doesn’t guarantee anything in the rough and tumble of the Championship.
Although there is plenty of cash swilling around – much of it in the pockets of clubs in receipt of Premier League parachute payments – it doesn’t always shape the final look of the division.
Barkhuizen points to play-off winners Huddersfield as an example and believes they can be used as an inspiration that money doesn’t always success.
The Terriers reached the Premier League on quite a modest budget.
North End operate towards the lower end of the division when it comes to financew but have made some astute buys over the last two seasons.
Barkhuizen can be placed in that bracket, having arrived in a cut-price move at the start of the year from Morecambe.
“This division is probably the hardest in the Football League in terms of trying to get out of it,” Barkhuizen told the Post.
“If you are not quite right on the day, you won’t get away with it.
“Huddersfield have shown that it isn’t necessarily all about money.
“They were being tipped to go down yet went up.
“If you do things the right way, work hard, you can do well.
“We can take inspiration from them when it comes to the money.
“For example, Daryl Horgan, Andy Boyle and myself came here during the January window.
“We probably didn’t cost £200,000 between us but we managed to make an impact, so it shows you don’t have to spend a fortune.
“There were clubs spending £15m on strikers in the Championship and they finished below us.”
Barkhuizen, scorer of six goals in his first six starts for PNE last season, underwent hernia surgery in May.
Fully recovered from that procedure, he will report back for pre-season training next Thursday.
The aim for North End in 2017/18 will be to kick-on from last season and improve on the 11th place finish.
They looked on course to finish higher only to fall away in the final few weeks, taking only one point from the last six games.
Reflecting on that late slump, Barkhuizen said: “I think the nature of how our play-off push came to an end at Huddersfield, hit us.
“We had lost Tom Clarke in that game and then Greg Cunningham.
“We weren’t able to sustain the level of performance we had been putting in.”