Crawley boss John Gregory has warned his out-of-contract players they may have to take a pay cut if they want to remain at the club next season.
Gregory insists he is keen to hang on to all 15 members of his squad whose deals run out in the summer but says the club is unable to continue to pay inflated wages as it has in the past.
It is the latest example of the cost-cutting steps Crawley are in the process of taking having scrapped their youth academy and made a number of redundancies, including head groundsman Matt Moss.
Gregory has had initial discussions with a number of the players who are in the final months of their contracts - a group which includes the likes of Paul Jones, Mat Sadler, Billy Clarke, Mark Connolly, Dannie Bulman and Mike Jones - but fears they could look for better deals elsewhere.
Gregory said: “I've told a few players that a new contract will be offered to them in the summer but it might not be what they want financially and might even be less money than what they were on before.
“I think salaries will get smaller as a whole in the Football League next season because there is less money around so it is not just us. We have been paying good wages in the past but the fact is we might not be able to match that next season. “It is a financial issue as opposed to me not wanting to keep anyone. I would want to sign everybody if we had the money to as I have been impressed with them all since I came here.”
Reds offloaded high earners Gary Alexander, Nicky Adams and Emile Sinclair last month and reduced their wage bill further yesterday by terminating the contract of defender James Hurst. Hurst started just 11 league games after joining from West Brom last summer and his prospects of featuring in the next two months were further reduced following the arrival of fellow right-back Paul Connolly last week.
Gregory said: “We gave James a few chances but I think he needs a fresh start somewhere else. He is an amazing athlete but for one reason or another it hasn't worked out for him here.
“I've had a few chats with him about various things and I just hope he sorts himself out because there is definitely a good player in there somewhere.”
Meanwhile, Crawley have announced there will be a precautionary pitch inspection by a local referee at 3pm today ahead of tomorrow's match against Peterborough United.
Crawley striker Rory Fallon has been included in the New Zealand squad for next Wednesday's friendly against Japan in Tokyo, ruling him out of Tuesday's home game against Stevenage.