CLARETS boss Sean Dyche admits players will have to be realistic about negotiating new contracts at Turf Moor.
As the club move into the fourth and final year of parachute payments, amid the start of Financial Fair Play regulations in the Championship, the deals handed out to players pre and post-Premier League are a thing of the past.
Of the current first team squad, Martin Paterson, Chris McCann, Lee Grant, Dean Marney and Brian Jensen are all out of contract in the summer, with Ross Wallace and Kevin Long having agreed new terms, and Michael Duff having earned another contract - and, potentially, a testimonial - having passed 25 appearances this season.
And Dyche said: “The players have to decide what they think of the club, of being part of the club, the future, where can we go?
“All of those things will be a player’s decision, we can only offer them and guide them according to what we have available.
“If our resources help with that, great. If they don’t help with that we shuffle the pack.
“The market place is what it is. There are bigger clubs out there financially who will throw their weight around.
“It’s open house now with agents.”
Paterson, who has attracted a number of Championship clubs, including Wolves, as well as Greek giants Olympiakos, believes the next stage of his career is the most important.
The 25-year-old, speaking while on international duty with Northern Ireland, said: “I’m fully fit. This campaign and the next year in terms of club football will be the best I have; I am ready to explode. I definitely have a point to prove and I want to make up for lost time.”
Whether that will be with Burnley or not remains to be seen.
But Dyche is prepared for all eventualities, and spoke of the challenge facing him in terms of his budget: “If you go back to finance I’m pretty sure we’re not going to be in a position to just cherry-pick players.
“We are building a recruitment department so they will be aware of that, that’s one of the many changes that are going on behind the scenes so that will be searching for players that will be one: available, two: affordable and three: good enough to take the club forward and to remain competitive.
“All of that goes into the melting pot.
“Your wish list as a manager is often money.
“If you look at the Championship and the teams about us, they are all really the powerful spenders. Nine out of them have foreign investment, and very large foreign investment.
“We have to build accordingly. I don’t think as a club there will be massive investment.
“That may change - player sales, money available etc - but at this moment it is about aligning the best talent we can afford, the best players that we can work with, the idea of making it into a real team.
“Burnley is a club that pulls together and that’s going to be really important going forward because the one thing I’m sure of, if there’s money for investment it won’t be millions.
“Not because they don’t want to, but because the club has to be solvent. We have to have a club. You only have to look at Portsmouth.
“We are going to have to shop accordingly, develop through youth possibly - if we can, when they are ready and when appropriate, and re-model accordingly.”