Rotherham United won’t be held to ransom as they look to bring in the players who can help them become a top-half Championship side next season.
Boss Steve Evans plans to make up to seven signings, but any new arrivals will have to fit into the club’s carefully-planned wage structure.
The Millers, despite operating on arguably the smallest budget in the division, achieved safety with five points to spare in the second tier last term.
Evans said: “We proved that you don’t need every player earning £25,000 a week.
“Wage bills may help you get better players and may help you win some points at times, but it’s not the be all and end all. Blackpool, Wigan and Millwall all got relegated with bigger budgets than us, especially the likes of Wigan and Millwall, so it doesn’t really come down to that.”
The Millers manager has had talks with several targets and wants to complete the majority of his transfer business by the time his squad report back for pre-season training at the end of the month.
“We still expect the majority of our signings to happen in June,” he confirmed. “Our first day back is June 30, which is almost five weeks of work away.”
Evans’ pre-season policy is quality over quantity, and character will also be a key consideration for a club famous for its team spirit.
“You focus on making sure first and foremost you have people who want to play the right way, who turn up and are good professionals, and who want to work hard on the training ground,” he said.
Evans was the man who decided to free Daniel Nardiello early in the 2013/2014 League One promotion season even though the striker had been top scorer in the Millers’ rise from League Two a year earlier.
“People were like ‘what are we doing?’ when we moved him out in League One because we didn’t feel the application was right every day,” he recalled.
“We just feel in the Championship there is a lot more quality - and the quality can hurt you - but if you are meticulously organised and work hard you will always earn a crust.”
The Rotherham boss would love to see last season’s loan stars, goalkeeper Emi Martinez, right-back Jack Hunt and Daniel Lafferty, back to AESSEAL New York Stadium, but his preference is for players to join full time.
“We want permanent signings in the main,” he said. “We recognise that we brought in too many loan signings last season, but sometimes you have to bring them in to cover for injury or just to make you stronger. I think the loan players who came in from January onwards all played a key part.”
The draw for the first round of the Capital One Cup will be made on Tuesday, June 16, at 10am.
Ex-Millers right-back Richard Brindley has signed a permanent deal with League One Colchester United.