Dundee boss James McPake admits the club’s cost-cutting measures are not ideal but that they must be realistic amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Dark Blues managing director John Nelms made a statement last week saying “tough choices” would have to be made and “difficult conversations” had as they try to navigate a way out of the crisis.
The Dee have already recorded losses of £500,000 and project further financial struggles ahead. That could have an impact of McPake’s first-team and his plans moving into the new Championship season.
Although a return to action is not scheduled until October, the 36-year-old is already deep into his planning for pre-season and the summer window.
McPake insists the difficult circumstances won’t faze he or the club and it will be a case of business as usual as they look to snap up their targets.
“There are conversations almost every day with different levels of people at the club,” he said.
“That’s the same every pre-season. It was the same last summer and in January, too.
“In between that you’re always planning so conversations about the first team are ongoing.
“I can be realistic and see what’s going on in the world.
“Every other football manager has these problems now and it isn’t just in our game, it’s in worldwide business.
“First and foremost it’s a health problem and I think sometimes people overlook that.
“Am I worried about what I can do in the transfer window? No, I’m not worried about that just like I wasn’t last summer.
“We’ll do what we always do – we won’t just sign a player for the sake of signing a player.
“Whether this was happening or not, we’ve got certain targets and areas we identified in January. We’re continuing with that.
“It’s not worry for us, it’s just being realistic.
“Season ticket sales will really help the budget and the club as a whole and our fans’ response so far has been excellent and I’m sure it will continue to be.”
Another area of the club some have suggested could be under threat is the academy.
Since taking on the hotseat last summer McPake has brought the likes of Finlay Robertson, Josh Mulligan and Lyall Cameron into his first team.
Utilising youth players sits at the core of his footballing philosophy and McPake believes his young stars are in safe hands.
He continued: “It should be a big part of Scottish football I think.
“Every club is the same regarding that. You can look through teams all across the divisions and there’ll be players who’ve come through their academy.
“We had five or six academy players making appearances last season for us but it’s not a conversation I’ve had yet.
“We’ve got Gordon Strachan there and Stephen Wright so they’ve plenty experience to cope with this.”
Former Dundee boss Jim Duffy suffered a heart attack last weekend and is now back at home recovering after a spell in hospital.
The 61-year-old is a man Dens Park incumbent McPake has great respect for and hopes to see him back in the dugout with Dumbarton sooner rather than later.
He added: “We’re sending our best wishes out to him. He was a boss, a legendary player and a real fans’ favourite at this club.
“As a football club we wish him all the best and on a personal note I do, too.
“It’s never nice to hear news like that but, hopefully, he’s making a good recovery.
“I’ve never worked with him but I played against his teams when he was manager of Dundee.
“One of my first-ever starts for Livingston was against his team and I scored actually.
“He’s done great in the game. Dave Mackay speaks very highly of him having played in his team at Dundee.
“You can see why he’s very highly thought of in the game for the jobs he’s done.
“There’s more important things than football, though, and stuff like this puts it into perspective.
“Nobody is immune to anything. All I can do is wish Jim Duffy all the best and I’m sure he’ll have his family and plenty support around him now.
“Hopefully he makes a full recovery and is back in the game as soon as possible.”