SCOTT Brown has expressed hope he can achieve his managerial ambitions at Ayr United thanks to the Somerset Park club’s new-found financial stability on the eve of the Scottish Cup fifth round game against Rangers at Ibrox.

Ayr this week announced they had achieved a turnover of over £2m for the first time in their history and had recorded a profit of just under £20,000 for the year ending June 2023 – a figure that does not include the sale of Dipo Akinyemi to York City for a six figure fee in July.

The Ayrshire outfit were £1.4m in the red back in 2019 and are now £68,000 in the black and former Celtic captain and ex-Scotland internationalist Brown, who took over from Lee Bullen last month, feels that augurs well for their future on the park.  

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“We’ve got a chairman David Smith that’s here all the time,” he said. “We’ve got people backing us, willing us all the best and that’s what you want for a football club. You want people all driving in the same direction. You don’t want people talking behind your back, saying we should do this or that should happen.

“We’re honest people, we’ll have those honest discussions between myself, the chairman David and managing director Graeme (Mathie). I’m not always going to get everything right, and they aren’t always going to get everything right. That’s part and parcel of football, but it’s about how we drive forward in the right direction.

“It’s like a home away from home here. Everyone wants to be together, the lads want to be together. There’s a nice tight bond. There’s no egos in the dressing room, with the chairman or myself. We all want the best for Ayr United.”

The Herald: Scott BrownBrown’s time in charge of English League One outfit Fleetwood Town was complicated greatly by off-field issues – their former chairman was jailed for fraud last year and the Highbury Stadium club was put up for sale.

“For me, that’s in the past now,” he said. “I had a great time at Fleetwood, I really enjoyed my time there. It was a great stepping stone for myself, to go from being a player and move straight into management.

“They put that trust and faith in me. That first season when we were all together was really good. You can fail and it’s your fault. At times you have to take that on the chin. At other times, we need to make sure we drive the club forward.

“There’ll be times when I’m told ‘you can’t sign him and you can’t sign him’. We’ll either have the budget or we won’t. It’s simple. Can we squeeze it? Yes, the chairman wants to try and squeeze it as much as we can and Graeme does as well. But we’re trying to build something that can be maintained for a long time, making sure we’re bringing profits in that isn’t just from people’s pockets.

“He’s trying to build a training ground, trying to do everything properly. He has an ambition to make sure he can make Ayr as good and as profitable as it possibly can be by the next 10 years. So he’s got that drive and we all have that drive, too. We are all in a good position at this moment in time.”

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Meanwhile, Brown has expressed his satisfaction at having referee Willie Collum – who Rangers asked to be taken off their matches after their defeat to Celtic in December - in charge and VAR in place at Ibrox this afternoon. “We’ve got VAR, so we should be alright,” he said. “So no matter what happens VAR will not lie.”