David Martindale is braced for an “extremely challenging” summer transfer window as he tries to convince his targets to look beyond the relatively low finances being offered by Livingston.
The Lions’ wage bill is set to be slashed from £1.4m to £1.2m after they missed out on the top six in the Premiership this term.
Martindale admits he is even struggling to recruit from the Championship, but he remains confident he will be able to find enough quality players who will see the value of taking a financial hit to expose themselves to Scottish top-flight football.
“Financially it’s going to be a difficult challenge,” he said on Wednesday. “I need to cut the budget by around £200,000. We already have the lowest budget in the league and we’re losing another £200,000 so that is going to make it extremely challenging.
“I’m finding it challenging this year but recruitment is a part of the job I really enjoy. I think we’ve been fairly successful at it over the years and hopefully we can do that again.
“I spent three or four hours face to face with a couple of players yesterday and I’ve got a Zoom call with a player today so I am having conversations with a view to getting players in but it’s been a little more difficult than it’s been in the past.
“We’ve missed out on probably two or three players from the Championship that we’d earmarked.
“Let’s be honest, players are not coming to Livingston for the finances but I’m hoping that by showing them round the stadium, showing them what we’re trying to do as a club and showing them the consistency we’ve had in the Premiership for the last five years that it ticks a box and helps bring them into the building.
“You’re pulling on their heartstrings a little.”
Martindale, meanwhile, is hoping that Livingston will benefit from playing at home against Dundee United this weekend. The Lions have lost 12 of their 18 league games on the road this term, including each of their last seven, while they have won their last two at home.
“Away from home, we’ve not been good enough,” said the manager. “Our away record is better than some but it’s nowhere near what it should be in terms of the goals we’ve been shipping.
“We’re different at home. It’s up to me to find that balance and correct it going into the new season. Our away record’s been terrible but we’re at home on Saturday and Wednesday so hopefully we can rectify things that have been causing us problems in games recently.”