Kevin Nagle focused on Huddersfield Town's people, not points, to achieve Premier League ambition
A new owner often gets fans excited about what money might be pumped into their club, but although there was plenty of ambitious words from the American businessman when he visited West Yorkshire next week, there were no promises of ambitious spending.
He does, though, have his eye on reaching the Premier League, and on giving them a chance of staying there when it happens.
Nagle, who cleared the club's debts after buying it from Dean Hoyle, had to submit a business plan to the Football League before being approved as the owner.
He comes in weeks after Luton Town won promotion to the Premier League despite one of the lowest budgets in the Championship. They beat Coventry City – another of the division's poorer relations – in the play-off final.
So Nagle's main focus will be on having the right infrastructure and right people in place, which is why he was so pleased to persuade Neil Warnock to return as manager after saving the club from relegation on a 12-game contract at the end of last season he consistently insisted would not be extended.
“When people ask you a question the first thing is how much money are you going to invest,” said Nagle. “I think it’s natural (but) those of us in the business world, we tend to do assessments.
“I've just finished an assessment of what the Championship performance looked like in the table and how much money those teams invested on players. In some cases it's an inverse relationship.
“We did have two teams with very high payrolls that ended up in the (Premier) League (Burnley and Sheffield United won automatic promotion when in receipt of controversial but necessary parachute payments).
“If you have 24 teams there isn’t any semblance of logic in spending money to automatically get you to the Premier League.
“Those teams that have strong infrastructures perform better overall.
“That (Huddersfield) infrastructure I think needs to be revisited, which is being done now, and at the same time (we must) have a sustained, viable programme.
“Let’s face it, I'm not sure where anybody anticipated Town would potentially finish in a relegation position last year. We are (tipped for it) this season but that doesn’t bother me or make me afraid – we’re ready to fight on that.”
But common-sense talk is not the same as being unambitious.
“We just need better people, across the board, better personnel, but I think a lot of it already exists,” he argued.
“Never underestimate what the possibility can be. That's why it was so important to bring Neil back.
“I wanted Neil. I even wanted Neil when I talked to him the first time. I just knew he was the kind of manager that we talked about before.
“But we also knew there would be some restrictions that it was very possibly not an option.
“If you were to start off with a new coach right away, you wouldn’t know what you’re getting.
“We know what we're going to get with Neil – somebody who is going to go all-out.
“It was really worst-case scenario hoping to have him as an adviser.”
Huddersfield are yet to add to last season's squad, but Nagle pointed to his experience as owner of American USL side Sacramento Republic to show he will always try to find money where it is needed.
“Neil knows what we had coming into it,” he said of the squad strength.
“You've seen what player budgets were and where we sat (in last season's Championship table).
“We were essentially in the middle of the pack and you can argue we finished in the middle of the pack (18th out of 24) even though we were not that far from relegation.
“If you look to see the investments, in terms of return it's really poor. People just buy players hoping they’re going to help.
“It's more than that, it's the chemistry and looking at what their technical skills are.
“It's a whole lot of things and that’s what you put on the manager, coaching staff and technical side.
“You just have to keep inside your senses to have a chance to win.
“Our team in America last year got into the (2022) play-offs but we got defeated and played so many because we just ran out of gas.
“We had a great team with a lot of solid folks coming back but we need to change a few things. And we did.
“We’re halfway through our (2023) season and are at the top of our table.
“I believe we probably don't have enough firepower to win so I went to our president and our manager and said we need to bring in another player.
“We are constrained by the EFL's requirements (at Huddersfield) and that's a good thing for the league and standards across the country because people buy teams and can't handle them financially.”