Burnley manager Sean Dyche believes the club’s “business-like” approach to their Championship campaign paid off.
A Sam Vokes header in a 1-0 win against QPR at Turf Moor on Monday guaranteed the Clarets an immediate return to the top flight with one game to spare.
“We’ve balanced the books and been successful again,” Dyche told BBC Radio Lancashire. “I couldn’t be more proud.”
An unbeaten run of 22 league games since a 3-0 defeat by Hull on Boxing Day helped Burnley secure promotion.
Their success comes on the back of profits of £30.1m reported in March, following their 2014-15 season in the Premier League.
But despite their relegation windfall Dyche said the amount of money spent by other clubs had made the Championship “a different league this year”.
“People have been having a real go this season financially, putting money into it,” he explained.
Burnley will clinch the Championship title with victory in their final game at already-relegated Charlton on Saturday.
Either Brighton or Middlesbrough will be promoted automatically alongside the Clarets – they play each other at the Riverside on Saturday, with a draw good enough for Middlesbrough.
- How Burnley secured promotion to the Premier League
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Dyche ‘never blinked’
Burnley, who lost striker Danny Ings to Liverpool at the start of the season for a tribunal-set fee which could rise to £8m, produced a long undefeated run to seal promotion after an indifferent first half of the campaign, which saw them eight points adrift of the automatic promotion places on Boxing Day.
Former Watford manager Dyche, who masterminded Burnley’s return to the Premier League just 359 days after they left it, said the Championship presented a “different challenge” from when the club last won promotion in 2014.
Dyche added: “The expectation rises from everyone, the money available to the club for its future – all of the things that it brings.
“The mentality of the players has been firm all year. We were questioned heavily around Christmas, but I never blinked.
“I knew what we were about, I knew the group we’d got, I knew the mentality and I knew we could go all the way.
“Last time we were under the radar, it was a fairytale. This one was organised, it was business-like and it was well-fashioned from all involved, especially the players.”
What promotion means to the players
Dyche’s sentiments were shared by striker Andre Gray, who has scored 22 league goals for the Clarets since his club-record move from Brentford in August.
“It’s crazy, it’s been a hard-fought year and the last five or six games have been very tough,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.
“It was a bit nervy as we knew the Brighton result and knew we needed to win. We got over the line in the end.”
Centre-back Ben Mee, who has been an ever-present this season, added: “All the boys have been immense and everyone has contributed to this.
“We’ll enjoy this, but we want to go and win the league now. That is the next step.”