Dons chairman Dave Cormack insists no players will be leaving Pittodrie on the cheap to plug a £3.8 million funding gap.
It comes after Aberdeen agreed wage cuts with staff, players and management for this financial year which will save the Reds £1m.
Earlier this year Cormack stated the Dons were facing a £10m financial blackhole with the agreed wage cuts – which average 20% across those who earn more than £30,000 a year – the latest measure to help combat the impact of the Covid-19 crisis. The funding gap now stands at £3.8m, but Cormack warned clubs there will be no bargains to be had at Pittodrie.
Earlier this month French Ligue 2 side Guingamp had an offer in the region of £2m accepted for Sam Cosgrove, but the striker knocked back the move.
It’s likely this summer there will be further interest in Cosgrove and other members of Derek McInnes’ squad, but Cormack said: “I’m telling you that, even though we have been transparent with our fans about filling these gaps, we will not bend over backwards and be taken for granted as far as selling players is concerned.
“That’s like a red rag to a bull to me, people not wanting to pay full and fair value for the players.
“It depends on the clubs and the position the clubs are in. Clearly we are in a different position market wise.
“Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Years ago, the English market went down because of Financial Fair Play (FFP).
“Now we have the Covid situation. All clubs, even Man United, are a selling club at the right price.
“It’s important to have the right strategy in place and to hold to your values.
“I can’t speak for other clubs in Scotland, but we most certainly have an edict where we’ll get value for the players.
“Obviously, the English season is just finishing and teams know where they are.
“We have a succession plan in place and the transfer window is open until the beginning of October, so we’ll see how it goes.
“It depends on the offers that come in and the sell-ons.
“The sell-on for Sam was significant and that was from a club that has a track record in selling players at real value, so it depends on who comes in.
“When reality sets in with clubs in England with TV money, League One from Championship is a big difference.
“If you are Championship v Premier League, the difference is there.
“It really comes down to supply and demand, so we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.
“But we are next to England and that brings wage expectations as well as transfer expectations.
“We just need to wait and see, but we are going into this season not expecting to sell a player.
“The gap that we have there, I believe we will fill that gap.
“For example, we’re well on the way to looking at a government loan, so we have many irons in the fire to deal with this.
“If the offer that comes in (for a player) is right for Aberdeen FC, whatever that is, we may take it.”
Cormack says the Dons accepted the Guingamp bid for Cosgrove because they felt it was a fair valuation, not because of the funding gap the club is facing.
Over £2m was offered up front, as well as potential adds-on and sell-on clauses.
The Dons supremo added: “The offer for Sam came in at the eleventh hour – literally.
“There wasn’t enough time for the player to consider what it might be.
“We have a £3.8m hole this season we need to fill. But, for me, it was about doing the right thing.
“The other thing is that when you get offers for players these days 99.9% of them are almost like hire purchase.
“They want to pay for the player over three or four years.
“I got talking to the French club president directly and he is a fantastic guy.
“Guingamp is the club where Didier Drogba came through, Florent Malouda and Lilian Thuram’s son, who they sold for £9m.
“They have a very, very good track record of developing players and the package for us was substantial.
“It was over £2m and it was cash up front. It wasn’t hire purchase over a few years.
“So we felt it was important to give that opportunity to Sam to have a look at it late in the day.
“If you’re going to spend more each season than you bring in, and we do that slightly, then you have to sell players down the line.
“Which is why the investment in the academy is absolutely critical because you have to have a conveyor belt.
“It is what it is and we move on.”