THE perception that money has driven Warrington Rylands’ rise through the leagues has been described as “lazy” by club chairman Mark Pye.

When the club were accepted into the North West Counties League in 2018, they were being sponsored by sports agent and former Blues player Paul Stretford, who went on to take ownership if the club.

It is understood that Stretford stepped back from his involvement with the Gorsey Lane side some time ago, but rumours about the club’s financial situation have continued to swirl around social media among fans of rival clubs.

When asked about such comments, Pye said: “For me, seeing that sort of stuff on social media is just great entertainment value.

“People making those kinds of comments obviously don’t know anything about us.

“Anyone who thinks we’re multi-millionaires with an endless pot of money should come and have a closer look.

“They’ll see how hard we all work to make these things happen and how hard Dave and his team work in recruitment to get these players in. We have stresses and strains behind the scenes like every other club.

“It’s a bit of a lazy comment and I think it’s poor from people who should know better.”

Pye and everyone behind the scenes have been running a relentless operation in a bid to keep pace with the club’s on-field achievements after a third promotion in four years was secured back in April.

In order for Gorsey Lane to be deemed fit to host Step Three football, a new stand has been built housing new changing rooms and hospitality facilities, with more new additions planned.

Warrington Guardian:

The new home changing room at Gorsey Lane

For a club that was only recently struggling in the Cheshire Football League, it is a long way to come.

“I came in here six years ago – it feels a lot longer than that,” Pye said.

“We didn’t have a pitch barrier, we were in Portakabins where the floor was falling through.

“We’ve come a long way since then – it’s great to be able to put in place something we’ve had planned for a long time.

“There’s been a lot of hard work from a lot of people behind the scenes at the club. It’s fitting for what sort of club we want to be.

“We always knew that with the way the team was performing, we would be playing catch-up with them.

“This is the second phase of five to get the ground to where we need it to be. There’s lots of plans in place but you can only do so much in one summer.

“We’ve got plans in place for the next ground grading if we’re in a position where we could be getting promoted again.

“We have to be prepared for that and we are.”

An added extra element to the club’s first season in the Northern Premier League’s top-flight is that, for the first time since the 1970s, they will play in the same division as neighbours Warrington Town.

The sides are due to meet at Cantilever Park on September 6 before the reverse fixture at Gorsey Lane on January 14.

Pye paid tribute to the work done by Town chairman Toby Macormac in elevating football in a rugby league-dominated town and hopes to see both teams challenging at the right end of the table.

“I think it’s great to see the banter between the supporters,” he said.

“If you take it too seriously, it will drive you mad but it’s there to be enjoyed.

“It’s a great advert for football in the town. No doubt we’ll get a lot of supporters in for both games.

“Toby has done a great job over there and has been at the forefront of lifting football in this town.

“We’re there now and hopefully, both teams will be challenging at the top of this league.”