Southend United manager Paul Sturrock has been forced to scrap plans to sign former Northampton Town striker Adebayo Akinfenwa this summer.
The new Shrimpers boss is trying to rebuild the club after a financial meltdown gave him a squad of just eight players when he was installed as Steve Tilson's replacement earlier this month.
The former Plymouth Argyle manager was keen to add Akinfenwa to his squad, but admits Southend simply could not afford to sign the 28-year-old.
"Adebayo came in to see me recently and he is a player I would have loved to have brought in, but when we discussed his wage demands it was just too far stretched as far as our budget is concerned," Sturrock told skysports.com.
"He would have been a great signing on the pitch, but we simply couldn't afford to match his wages."
Having suffered relegation from League One last season many will be expecting the Shrimpers to mount a promotion push this term, but Sturrock has warned supporters to be patient when their League Two campaign begins at home to Stockport County.
He added: "We will definitely be ready as a unit for the season opener, but it may take a wee while for us to get running because of the amount of new faces that have to gel.
"Hopefully, the players will get to grips with what we are doing here pretty quickly, but at the end of the day if you peak on the opening day of the season then you will be burned out by Christmas.
"We will be working morning, noon and night to get our ideas across to the players and build a side out of what we've got here already and those that I bring in."