Neil Baker says Crewe Alexandra have no high earners

Neil Baker

Promoted Crewe Alexandra insist they will not be forced into dismantling their wage structure - even if prize asset Nick Powell is sold.

"If you sell players and go up a league then people think your budget's higher and that you can pay more for players, and pay your players more," assistant manager Neil Baker told BBC Stoke.

"It won't necessarily be the case. Our pay structure remains about the same.

"There won't be any highly-paid, high-profile players coming into the Alex."

Baker, Dario Gradi's number two for the best part of two decades before accepting the same post under Steve Davis, has been around the block enough times to know that a lot of time this summer will now be spent on the phone following promotion via the League Two play-offs.

Apart from the likely loss of last season's top scorer Powell, there are also gaps in the squad to be filled following the release of Wembley winning skipper David Artell, midfielder Lee Bell and defender Carl Martin.

"Football, as life, moves on," said Baker. "All the agents that had left us alone in the previous two weeks have been in touch, with a continual rush of phone calls and players pushed towards us.

"We'll now be offered a better calibre of player. That goes with the territory. Our targets are the same but the recommendations will be a little higher.

"And we might yet have to reassess what we can bring in. Depending on the finances of the club, we might even be able to pay a small fee for one or two."

Baker also admits that going up via the play-offs is a disadvantage, the three automatically promoted League Two teams Swindon Town, Shrewsbury Town and Crawley having stolen a march on them.

"It puts you back quite a bit," he admitted, "as other clubs are getting a head start. They know the players available and can make their plans.

"We're still adjusting to the thought of playing in League One.

"We had not done a lot planning as we didn't know we were going to be there.

"We're playing catch-up and we've got a busy few weeks ahead of us."