St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson admits financial constraints forced him to let Eamonn Brophy join Ross County – and he is braced for more potential departures before the transfer window closes.
Brophy had only started one game this season and was yet to score in 14 appearances but Robinson would rather not have let the Scotland international leave on loan to their cinch Premiership rivals.
Saints recently reported a £1.6million annual loss and Robinson is expecting to be at the mercy of bids as interest grows in the likes of Ethan Erhahon and Keanu Baccus.
On the reasons for Brophy’s move, Robinson said: “Mainly it was financial. In an ideal world, I didn’t want Eamonn to go. If you’re wanting to build a squad and be really strong, you want to keep good players around.
“People suggested he wasn’t getting enough game time. Yes, but he was making other people play better so, selfishly from my point of view, you want to keep him. If you get an injury you have an SPL striker to go on.
“So we weren’t keen to do that but the financial circumstances we find ourselves in, we have no choice, we have to try and balance the books.
“We can have a squad of maybe 14-15 and the rest need to be made up of younger players, which is the reason we have brought LJ (Lewis Jamieson) and Kieran (Offord) back – young good players but who have no real experience of this level.”
Robinson is not looking forward to the final few days of the transfer window.
“It’s horrendous,” he said. “You are at the mercy of other people’s bids and you just don’t know what’s going to happen.
“If offers come in for certain people that are accepted we have to see what’s available on the day.
“I’m bracing myself. I can’t do an awful lot about it. The club are in circumstances where we have to try and balance the books.
“There were a lot of losses made before I came into the football club. I have inherited this and I’m working alongside the board to try and reduce that and keep us viable on the pitch at the same time. It’s a balancing act.
“We can’t sell too many people because it’s almost impossible to replace them but we are expecting offers for certain individuals.”
Robinson got some business done during the week in tying Marcus Fraser up on an extended contract and he is hoping to persuade others to do the same.
“We haven’t really got the ability to bring new players in at this time but it’s very important to try and get a bit of stability at the football club,” he said.
“There are still two offers there, they will only stay there for a certain amount of time and then we will have to look elsewhere, which we have already started doing.
“That’s the decision players will have to make: do they wait a bit longer?
“We cannot be a club that recruit at the last minute – when you do that you make mistakes and pay over the odds for players.
“So it’s important we start doing business for the summer as soon as we get those answers, so we will be pushing for them.”
Robinson’s side host Motherwell on Saturday looking to avenge their opening day defeat in Paisley.
“We are looking to continue the home form, 11 unbeaten,” he said. “The only team that have beaten us at home is Motherwell so, against my old club, it will be nice to see everyone after the game but first and foremost we want three points to put us into the top six.”