With less than a month to go until Football League clubs can throw themselves into the transfer market again, Chester FC will be well prepared to protect themselves in the event of someone swooping for a prized asset, according to their chief executive.
The Blues have exceeded expectations with a young squad so far this season in the National League under manager Jon McCarthy and have a number of players under the age of 23 who have caught the eye.
During the summer, Chester were dealt a financial blow when young defender Ben Heneghan, a player who the club had hoped to make some money from, left the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium for free after Scottish club Motherwell exploited a transfer loophole that capitalised on the delay from Chester in offering the centre back a fresh deal.
Heneghan made the switch north of the border for free after Chester just missed out on the deadline of offering the player new terms at least 60 days before the expiry of his deal.
And with the Blues having had their fingers burned in the summer, chief executive Mark Maguire insists that the club will be protected should bigger clubs come calling, with Championship sides already taking a look at teenage defender Sam Hughes.
"One thing I can be absolutely sure of telling you is that we will and are protecting ourselves," said Maguire, who has held similar positions with both Hull City and Stockport County during his career.
"I have dealt with some big transfers in the past and done some pretty good deals for football clubs. One thing I won't be is bullied by a supposedly larger football club in any circumstance. I will protect us and I have been engaging with the board and with Jon (McCarthy) in terms of timescales and the need to protect ourselves, and protect ourselves I will."
Chester currently have their players on 44-week contracts, but the aim is to be able to offer 52-week deals in the not too distant future.
But Maguire says that the current length of deals offered to Blues players won't affect their ability to protect themselves given the age of their squad.
He said: "Because of the age of our squad and because we have such a young squad then we still have the ability to protect ourselves properly. So the 44 weeks to 52 weeks is really so we can just build security and when the manager decides that a player is performing well enough to earn a two-year or three-year deal then it would be great to have that continuity."