City have promised to push the boat out again with next year’s player budget – but not to the same level as this season.
Julian Rhodes revealed that boss Phil Parkinson will be handed “very, very competitive” resources for the extensive squad revamp that is expected in the summer.
The club are willing to go “£500,000-£600,000” over budget in the same way they did before last term’s promotion campaign.
Next season’s sums will be further swelled if they win the appeal against the Mark Stewart compensation demand.
City are due to receive the adjudication from the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the end of the week.
The £250,000 earmarked to pay Falkirk and the legal fees will be added to Parkinson’s pot if City’s argument has proved successful.
Joint-chairman Rhodes said: “Whatever the outcome is will have direct input into next year’s budget.
“Even if we lose the case against Falkirk, we’ll at the very least break even. Obviously if we don’t, that means we’ll be somewhere between £200,000 and £250,000 better off and that will go into next season’s budget.
“We can’t afford to set another budget at £1m over what we can really afford. We could do that this year because we always knew we had Nahki Wells to sell.
“That was the back-up plan but we’d probably always have had to do it because of the state of Nahki’s contract. You’ve got to run the business properly and cash in assets when you can.
“Next year, we’ll probably have a similar gamble to the extent we did in the 2012-13 season.
“Maybe we’ll go £500-£600,000 over budget. It still means we’ll have a very, very competitive budget in League One.”
Parkinson reworked his dressing room in the January transfer window. Aaron Mclean replaced Wells and Kyle Bennett, Chris Atkinson and Adam Reach arrived on loan.
Ricky Ravenhill, Alan Connell and Luke Oliver also left Valley Parade as the turnover began after the City boss had stayed loyal with the promotion team up to the turn of the year.
Matty Dolan will join from Middlesbrough by the weekend after the Bantams ran out of time trying to tie up a permanent deal on deadline day.
With Mclean, James Hanson and Andrew Davies the only regular senior players currently still in contract after this season, there is likely to be plenty of change to come.
Rhodes added: “There are a lot of contracts up, so we can wheel and deal and learn from our first year in League One. That’s what it’s all about.
“There will be players we want to keep for next season and those talks will be ongoing as we try and perform on the pitch. We’re in for a busy few months.
“What we’ll try and do is replicate what we did in 2012-13. That summer we had a great recruitment drive and look at the success we had.
“But we’ve got a big job on our hands this season. We need to make sure we’re still a League One club.
“Once you’ve gone up a level, I think it takes ten games for the opposition to suss out your strengths and weaknesses. We capitalised on those first ten games very well with 21 points.
“Thank goodness we did because that is the buffer zone we have now between us and the bottom.
“I don’t want people to get all doom and gloom. We’ve had a lot of draws but we need to pick up some wins.
“The main thing is that we secure our status so we can have another go.”
* Apprentices Sam Wright and Nathan Curtis scored for City’s reserves as they drew 2-2 in a private friendly against Leeds yesterday. Noel Hunt scored one of the replies.