JOHN COLEMAN admits that Stanley can only hold onto star players like Ian Craney if they can boost their crowds.
Midfielder Craney joined League One side Huddersfield Town on Monday in a deal which is believed could rise to more than £200,000.
Coleman was gutted to lose such an influential player, who has scored in two of the three games this season, but knows Stanley will continue to be a selling club unless the crowds come through the gates to boost their finances.
And he has said it is his responsibility to get his side to put on entertaining home shows, after dismal results at the FES last season, to attract supporters back - and stop such player sales.
"We know we have got to improve our home form. We have got to play attractive, winning football to attract people to come and watch us," said Coleman, whose side face Macclesfield at home tomorrow.
"There is no point moaning about the crowds if we don’t deliver the product that people want to come and see.
"It is disappointing as we are in the Football League and just 108 came to watch us against Port Vale last Saturday. I remember around 700 going to watch us at Radcliffe in the UniBond League. Where have they gone?
"I know is is more expensive and there is a credit crunch and it isn’t cheap to watch football but we have tried to meet it half-way by bringing out possibly the cheapest season ticket that we can. We are trying, off the field, to get people to come.
"We know, at home, we did not serve up winning, attractive football last season but when we do I hope the numbers will come back.
"Both our games against Macclesfield at home have finished 3-2 wins to us in the past two seasons so if that is anything to go by, there should be plenty of goals and entertainment tomorrow."
Coleman is upset to lose Craney for the second time - he left the Reds to join Swansea in 2007 before returning and becoming Stanley’s £85,000 record signing in January.
"I am obviously disappointed and not totally happy about it.
"Ian is a top quality player and, although he was disappointed with his show against Aldershot, his quality is not going to go away and he was starting to show how he important he would be for us this season against Wolves and Port Vale.
"But there is nothing I can do and I have got to get on with it. There is no point in feeling sorry for yourself.
"We have just got to knuckle down and, while it is frustrating, it now gives someone else a chance to seize their opportunity.
"I don’t envisage having money to spend on a new player but I am still looking at bringing players in.
"I have made an enquiry about one wideman but am waiting for the club he is at to bring in a couple of players. I won’t panic sign though."
Morecambe’s Craig Stanley is a name which keeps cropping up and the Reds chief has admitted to being impressed by the midfielder.
"He is someone to consider," said Coleman.
The already small Stanley squad is down to the bare bones as, as well as Craney’s departure, they will also be without young winger Bobby Grant who had an operation on a jarred knee today and could be out for up to six weeks.
Coleman said: "We knew Bobby would need an operation as it has been on the back burner for a while but it has come to the fore now. It is a blow to lose two big players in one week."
Grant missed the 2-0 victory at Port Vale on Saturday in which Craney scored his last goal for the Reds and Paul Mullin scored a classy chip at the death.
"Paul will be getting a nose bleed as he has scored his two goals this season from the edge of the area!" joked the Reds chief. "He was disappointed though with not getting a lot of goals at the back end of lastseason so two in two games is a good return and long may it continue."
Coleman does have defender Robbie Williams back as he returns from a one-match suspension for his sending off in the Carling Cup loss to Wolves.
And striker Fola Onibuje could also force his way into the reckoning after a young Stanley reserve side lost 3-1 to Preston NE at Bamber Bridge in their first second string outing of the season on Wednesday.
Chris Turner opened the scoring from the edge of the area for the Reds and keeper Ian Dunbavin saved a penalty while Peter Murphy scored an own goal.
Tall frontman Onibuje played a full game while John Mullin played an hour as he builds up his fitness following a pre-season ankle injury.
Their next game is against Macclesfield on Wednesday 3 September at the FES (ko 7pm).
STANLEY will travel to League One side Tranmere Rovers in the first round of the Johnstone Paints Trophy on Tuesday September 2. "Whoever you get would be a difficult game and Tranmere is no different but we do tend to put in better performances away from home, especially on bigger and better grounds," said Coleman. "It is a good one for John Mullin to go back to his former club."