Joey Barton has revealed his embarrassment at the terms he offered to former Sunderland star Ross Wallace and ex-Newcastle man Ryan Taylor.
The pair both spent time on trial with Barton's Fleetwood Town before signing deals with the League One side, but the Cod Army manager admitted that the financial proposals put to the players were far lower than he would have liked.
"The lads want to come in for money I never thought they would accept," he admitted, speaking to the Blackpool Gazette.
“I almost felt embarrassed offering it to them because it is literally the last couple of scrapes of the financial barrel with Financial Fair Play.
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"We want competition for places and have got to do that on a budget.
“If you can’t have 10 of millions to spend, then you have to be creative in the free transfer market. We have done that."
But nonetheless, the duo both accepted with Barton claiming that they informed him they weren't interested in the money and were more concerned with the positive environment he has created at the club's Poolfoot Farm training base.
The 36-year-old has enjoyed a strong start to his managerial career with his side having lost just twice in the league this season - with the most recent of those defeats coming at Southend on Saturday.
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Wallace made his debut from the bench during the clash at Roots Hall, but Taylor missed out after failing to secure international clearance in time.
But Barton is looking forward to welcoming the former Newcastle United man into his squad and has nothing but praise for him and Wallace after they put their happiness ahead of financial rewards.
“The most pleasing thing for me about Ross and Ryan is that they have shown an incredible desire to be part of this group," he added.
“If I’m honest, the money we have offered them is not in keeping with their ability and standing within the game.
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"But they have said, ‘Look, we don’t care about money. We are loving it and we want to be part of it’. “That is really refreshing to hear when two top-level players are desperate to be part of your group.
“It is not me or the finances that are attracting them here – we have a really good group.
“We are building a really good culture and a really good place to work.
"No doubt over the next few months they will be a massive part of our group.”