Sean McCaffrey admits he was not aware of the depth of Dundalk's financial plight when he accepted the manager's position ahead of the 2012 Airtricity Premier Division season but is determined to steer the Louth side towards safety from relegation.
The 52-year-old knew that the club would be facing hardship during the course of the campaign but concedes that he has been working on revised budgets throughout the season thus far.
“I knew the club was in difficulties but I didn't think they were as bad," he told the Dundalk Democrat. "I knew we would only have a budget of €5,000-6,000 a week but we never even seen that amount. And now we have to cut it again by another two. It’s very difficult."
The club was put up for sale on Tuesday by the board and the club's fans also held a fundraising night in order to find funds to complete the season. Despite the off-field setbacks, McCaffrey went on to say his chief priority for the rest of the season is ensuring the club stay in the top flight.
“My main concern is that we stay up and also that the players are treated well and looked after, and that the platform is there for them to try and concentrate on playing and not be worried about off-the-field situations," he said.
"At this moment in time, there is that much stuff going into the press and that much stuff coming out of the club that it’s very difficult,” he added.
The former Republic of Ireland under-18 and U19 manager also went into further detail about remarks he made concerning fans of the club.
“I think at the start of the season when the lads were playing reasonably well and not getting results, the fans were very unforgiving," he said.
"There are 200 to 300 fans who come every week who are great and they were great again on Friday. But there are masses of fans or spectators, whatever you want to call them, who if they were still coming to the matches and getting behind the team, there would be far more finances and the club wouldn't be in the state that it’s in,” McCaffrey said.
“It's a chicken and egg situation. The club hasn't won a trophy in 10 years yet they expect us to come in and be top of the league with a crowd of teenagers.
“You’re not going to win an awful lot with a young squad like we have; what you’re trying to do is establish a style of football, stay up, keep it solid and try to add to it next year. That was the aim at the start of the year and I expected that.
“But I didn’t expect after eight or nine matches to be told that the budget is being cut and then be told after another four or five after that that it has to be cut again."
The Lilywhites are currently second from bottom in the Airtricity Premier Division and have won just three games this campaign.