WREXHAM manager Denis Smith could be forced to work with a reduced budget next season.
With a number of first-team players out of contract this summer, Smith is anxiously waiting to hear what funds will be at his disposal as he looks to shape his squad for the 2004-05 campaign.
The omens are not good, however, as play-ers' wages have been paid late on four occasions this season.
Chairman Mark Guterman is acutely aware of the need for an increase in turnover and has unveiled an ambitious business plan aimed at securing off-the-field income. But if money is not forthcoming, the club's financial limitations could have a direct impact on Smith's team-building plans.
Commercial manager Bill Wingrove said: 'Denis Smith is aware the players budget is a product of our income and it's a matter that will have to be discussed further.
'Some managers have a saying that 'you are only as good as your budget', but I suppose the challenge for managers is to create something of a greater value from what they are given.
'As a club, we are a product of our income.
At the moment, we have a wage bill that is beyond our income.
'We knew of the situation at the start of the season, but many players are on historical contracts earning substantial wages.
'Anyway, you can't fault the job Denis Smith has done.'
Wingrove's warning comes just days after PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor told the Dragons they could face a player walkout.
Professionals can walk away from clubs if their wages are late on three or more occasions. Taylor admitted he now has 'serious concerns' about Wrexham.