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Future of Crewe will not be risked, says Dario Gradi

Crewe Alexandra manager Dario Gradi
Dario Gradi first became manager of Crewe in June 1983

Crewe manager Dario Gradi says the Alex's future as a professional club will not be risked in the pursuit of short-term success.

Last season Crewe were relegated to the bottom tier of the Football League for the first time since 1994.

Gradi told BBC Radio Stoke: "People have always asked me what the long-term aim is at Crewe, and it's to stay in business and full-time football.

"We can't go for glory, we'll never have the financial backing to do that."

Gradi returned to the helm at the Alexandra Stadium in October after the sacking of previous boss Gudjon Thordarson.

In his first spell in charge, he led Crewe from the old Division Four to what is now the Championship.

Between 1997 and 2006, the Alex played eight seasons out of nine in the second tier but have since fallen back to the bottom rung of the League ladder and currently lie 15th in League Two.

"We haven't had so many good times recently here," Gradi added. "But if we could build a team here that could get promotion out of this league in the next couple of years or so, that would be exciting again."

The Alex have long had a reputation for developing young talent in their academy, with Danny Murphy, Neil Lennon, Dean Ashton and Robbie Savage amongst the names to have been sold on after a spell in South Cheshire.

But in January, Gradi revealed that he would not be able to sign any new players during the transfer window because the club did not have the money to do so.

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