Peterborough United's director of football Barry Fry has admitted that three of their star performers may leave this summer, irrespective of which division the club are in next season.
Posh go into the second leg of their play-off semi-final against MK Dons on Thursday evening trailing 3-2 after a thrilling encounter at stadium:mk on Sunday.
However, whatever the outcome at London Road, Fry revealed influential players such as Craig Mackail-Smith, George Boyd and Joe Lewis will be allowed to join 'bigger' clubs after steering Peterborough into the play-offs this term.
"At the start of the season everyone at the club set out to win promotion back to the Championship, with the chairman digging deep to strengthen," Fry told skysports.com.
"It has been an exciting season, with 106 goals scored over the course of this season and Craig Mackail-Smith is the country's leading scorer, with 32, but he has made a great effort to create chances for others as well and fully deserved his first international cap for Scotland against Brazil.
"He will be sold in the summer, along with George Boyd and Joe Lewis though, because the chairman promised them that if they stayed and helped to try and get us back into the Championship this season that he wouldn't stand in their way.
"So, whether we go up or not, I believe it has been a successful season, but I'm sure that both the chairman and manager won't feel the same way if we don't go up to the Championship this year.
"We've turned down big offers from big clubs in the past for all three players, with our average crowd here 6,300 this season, so we aren't a big club by any stretch of the imagination.
"We are a little club and Craig Mackail-Smith has scored over 100 goals in four years for us, so he deserves a chance to prove himself at a higher level.
"The same applies to George and Joe because, even if we do get into the Championship, we will be a small fish in a big pond, with the smallest budget in the division."