James McPake doesn’t know when he’ll be able to sign players – or how much money he’ll have to spend on them.
But the Dundee boss revealed his phone is still ringing off the hook with agents shopping their clients for next season.
Clubs in the Championship are desperate for clarity on when they will be allowed to return to action following the coronavirus shutdown.
The nearest current estimate appears, according to a reported “provisional agreement” between club chiefs, to be October 17.
If that date turns out to be accurate, it means second tier clubs face up to another three months of inactivity before training resumes.
However, that hasn’t stopped agents from sounding out potential opportunities for their jobless clients.
“The phone’s still non-stop with agents regarding possible players that are on the move,” revealed McPake.
“But I’ve only got the standard answer that every manager is giving them – we won’t know until we have our budget and our start date.
“It’s a tough time, particularly for the players, I feel sorry for them because there are a lot coming out of contract.
“I get there are a lot of worse things going on outside of football, but it’s a tough time for players who are coming out of contract. There’ll be real worry there.
“But that echoes every industry.”
Transfer plans would ordinarily be in full swing at this stage of the summer, demanding huge amounts of time and attention from head coaches and sporting directors.
This year, with little to no movement anywhere, gaffers have been freed up to put the hours in on different fronts.
McPake has spent his lockdown painstakingly analysing individual and collective performances from last season, in an effort to better understand how his side can hit the ground running in the coming campaign.
As a result, he feels he has a strong grasp of why things went the way they did last time out.
Now he is desperate for a firm start date to work towards, which, he believes, will be the catalyst for an explosion of activity on every front at Dens Park.
“We’ve managed to get loads [of work] done, but it has been more from an analysis point of view on last season – what worked well, what didn’t work, what we need going forward,” McPake said.
“There has been a lot of work done, but in terms of ingoing and outgoings, not so much of that at the minute until we get a date.
“Everything’s up in the air.
“We’ve had enough time now to go over last season and we’ve done that.
“Now we’re ready for next season. We feel we’re in a better shape than last summer.
“But, again, everything is dictated by the date.
“I can’t stress enough – that’s what we do need.
“It’s not a get out. We need a date so we can plan. Once we do get that date we’ll see things picking up quickly on every front.”