Preston North End boss Simon Grayson has labelled some of the transfer fees during the summer window ‘ridiculous’.
Relegated Newcastle and Aston Villa were amongst those splashing the cash as the Championship joined the Premier League in spending big in the run up to the deadline.
One move particularly caught the eye at Deepdale though, that of Adam Reach.
The 23-year-old left-winger, who spent the majority of last season on loan with PNE, signed for Sheffield Wednesday from Middlesbrough for a fee that could rise from £5m to £7m.
Grayson admits Reach is a player he would have jumped at the chance to bring back but is adamant North End cannot complete with the division’s fancied sides when it comes to big-money moves.
The PNE boss also says he cannot break the club’s well-established wage structure, something which would risk damaging the team spirit that so many players praise at Deepdale.
Grayson said: “Some of the deals have been ridiculous.
“I would have loved to have signed Adam Reach.
“But when he’s going for five million it shows it’s not a level playing field when it comes to finances.
“It’s ridiculous. We don’t want an imbalance with earnings either.
“The players need to be in touching distance of one another.”
With some Championship clubs paying more than £10m for a player, simply entering seven figures would represent a major bit of business for PNE.
Grayson said: “If it had been a million we could have had a go (at getting Reach) but it would have still been a very rich deal for us.
“It shows the different levels clubs are working at.
“It’s been difficult. Players are always trying to get the best deals.
“There have been many other factors too.”
With that in mind, after a crazy window Grayson is more than satisfied with the work done in the transfer market.
He said: “If people knew half the things that had been going on they’d be surprised.
“My phone’s been in meltdown over the last few days.
“All we’ve been doing is trying to bring the best players to the football club within our budget.”
Details for PNE’s EFL Cup third-round tie against AFC Bournemouth have now been confirmed.
The Lilywhites make the long trip to face the Premier League side on Tuesday, September 20, a 7.45pm kick-off.
PNE have been given an initial allocation of 600 at the Vitality Stadium with tickets expected to go on sale early next week.
They are priced £12 for adults £12, £8 for over 65s and students and £5 for under 21s.
Coach travel is also available priced at £27 for adults and £25 for concessions.