BILLY DODDS has revealed Dundee will not be paying over the odds to players to get back into the SPL.
The Dens Park assistant manager insisted the gravy train that was there this time last year to pay money for the likes of Gary Harkins and Leigh Griffiths has left the platform.
With the financial backing of millionaire Calum Melville, the Dark Blues were expected to buy their way to promotion last season but it didn't work out that way.
Manager Jocky Scott was sacked with two months of the season remaining and replaced by Gordon Chisholm and Dodds. But Inverness made it into the SPL as Dundee's challenge faltered in the second half of the campaign.
Dodds is sure things will be better in the new season and is certain the club will be in the mix for promotion.
He said: "If players think they can come here just to earn a right few bob then they are wrong. Those days have gone.
"We have a strict budget to work within and we will do that.
"We missed out on Gavin Skelton from Kilmarnock but we've managed to sign two players - keeper Scott Fox from Queen of the South and Dominic Shimmin from Morton - and we will add a few more.
"The club is very professional and we're geared for the SPL. We have breakfast and lunch together and we have first-class technology to help the coaching staff and the players.
"At other clubs in the First Division the players still have to take home their training gear and wash it.
"I'd expect us to be up there challenging for promotion and our aim is to get back into the SPL. We have a great fanbase and they will support us this season. But there will be competition from clubs like Falkirk, Dunfermline, Partick Thistle and Ross County.
"We would have loved to have made it last season but for a number of reasons things just didn't work out. I'm not going to make accusations against any one person or other people but we do know what's required to put things right."
Dodds gave up a comfortable career in the media to go back into full-time football after he parted company with Dundee United as caretaker manager in January, 2006.
He said: "I could have taken the easy option and stayed with the BBC. On a Saturday I'd put the headphones on at 2pm and be finished by 5.30. I'd go home, have a bottle of wine, a takeaway and watch Match of the Day and the Football League show.
"Now, I have two glasses of wine and I'm asleep on the couch by 10pm. That's how tired I am, that's how much you put into your week.
"But it's what I want. I love the game and I want to be there to try to help improve the players at Dundee and bring success to the club.
"I sometimes found the media work frustrating because I could see things at games I wanted to change but all I could was talk about it. Now I'm in a job where I have an input to change things.
"We will work hard to get it right and I have a lot of belief in Gordon Chisholm "We're into our preparation for games and making the sure the players are fully informed about the opposition. We're meticulous when it comes to that side of it.
"But it all comes down to what you do on a match day and we will have the players organised and have their confidence lifted for the new season.
"We have a great chance of going up and we have to show week in, week out we have the ability to do it."