WARRINGTON Wolves are aiming to maintain spending levels on their 2021 squad despite the difficult financial climate.

Australian legend Greg Inglis has already been recruited and a number of Wire players’ current contracts run out at the end of this season.

It is not clear at this stage whether The Wire, who last week revealed a £1.4million shortfall from the past four months, plan to bring in any further signings.

Chairman Stuart Middleton confirmed that the economic downturn from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and UK lockdown has not impacted on the area of recruitment.

“Not at the moment. We have a salary cap to work to and that’s what we’ve been working to,” said Middleton, who along with owner Simon Moran and fellow directors have recently committed a seven-figure sum to easing the burden on the club’s financial position.

“We’re very fortunate with Greg Inglis, he’s not a marquee player and not on big money – certainly not a Sonny Bill Williams salary.

“We’ve managed to get it to work within the cap. We’re not planning on making cuts in that area.”

Players’ pay ahead of the resumption of Super League next month is a hot topic.

Across the competition players have been on furlough and taken pay cuts.

Wolves chief executive Karl Fitzpatrick said last week that pay reviews would be continuing for Warrington players.

“It’s not just the players who have taken the pay cut, it’s been the coaches and staff right across the organisation,” he said.

“And also as well, we have staff who have continued to work and not been furloughed but have had a salary reduction and an increase in workload.

“The players and staff right across the board have been brilliant. They understand the commitment the directors and the chairman are willing to contribute and want to play their part as well.”

Fitzpatrick was asked how difficult it has been to have talks with players about levels of pay cuts and for how long they need to be.

“First of all we have to deal with the immediacy, what do the next couple of months look like, and it’s going to be an ongoing review process throughout the weeks,” he said.

And beyond that, he added: “There’s so many unknowns that it’s difficult to plan and budget for next year.

“For example, what is the churn of season ticket holders or sponsors.

“We’re aware that a number of organisations would have been hit, they’re marketing budget may have been hit and therefore they may not be able to invest in the club.

“So at this stage it’s hard to determine how long this challenging financial landscape is going to last, but certainly we envisage some significant issues for 2021.”

It is understood no deals have yet been completed with Jason Clark, Ben Currie, Matt Davies and Dec Patton, who are among the players whose deals run out at the end of this season.

“At this stage nothing to confirm, we’re working our way through them,” said Fitzpatrick.

“Some are at a more advanced stage than others. Hopefully a positive outcome on a couple, but at this stage we’ve not been able to confirm with the situation with Covid-19 slowing things down a bit about finances for next season.”

Wire prop Mike Cooper said earlier this week that only three Super League teams had at that point agreed what players’ pay was going to be as they come off furlough and return to training as well as matches.

He highlighted concerns about player welfare from playing three games per week, which looks likely to be a feature in parts of the new-look fixture schedule due out on Monday.

Speaking on the Woody and Micky podcast, run by former Wire players Paul Wood and Micky Higham, Cooper said: “The clubs are in the midst of negotiating with the players because we’ve all been taking a pay cut, we’ve all been furloughed since this all happened.

“I find it a bit strange that the RFL have said we’re going to have these dates to return when there’s only three clubs that have agreed pay.

“It’s probably fortunate from our point of view as a players’ union that we’ve had this time to be able to stand up because what are players supposed to do – just roll over and accept that the pay is going to be cut and that’s it?

“I know that the club are doing everything that they can. I know that the club are reasonable and the players have been reasonable.

“You’re talking about players losing thousands of pounds per month and you don’t get it back.

“It’s in the back of my mind that if you don’t agree to anything you’re going to be labelled as a player that doesn’t care.

“But do you want to be playing three games per week on a decent pay cut that you’re never going to get back.

“So there’s a lot of negotiations to be done between players and clubs.

“I know Warrington and every team will be doing their best they can for the players but it’s just a tough situation for everyone.”