Sydney FC have already locked up all of their senior players for next season but their shrewd forward planning could come unstuck due to a mooted cut in the A-League salary cap.
With the coronavirus pandemic shutting down the game which is facing an uncertain future, speculation is rife A-League clubs may have to reduce their budgets and wages.
It's a possibility the Sky Blues' long-standing coach Steve Corica is fully aware of, but believes the club's strong culture will overcome any setbacks.
"We thought we were in a very good position but maybe it might hurt us at the end of the day I don't know," Corica told AAP.
"It depends how the league comes back, whether the salary cap is still the same.
"There's a lot of talk that the salary cap might be less, which obviously won't help us because we've worked to the salary cap what we thought it was going to be next year.
"Obviously it's a good sign I think, it shows the players want to stay at the club. Maybe they've taken a little bit less money as well to stay."
It's the club's "no dickheads" policy that has Corica believing Sydney FC are primed to continue their upwards and onwards trend.
After five seasons as a player, Corica held several coaching roles before replacing current Socceroos mentor Graham Arnold and under them Sydney have won two Premiers Plates and two grand finals in the past three seasons.
They looked headed for another Plate this season before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the competition.
"'The players that we have are driving the culture and that's one of the reasons why I wanted to keep this group of players together as well."
Corica said there had been times over the last 15 years when the club's culture hadn't been great.
"The culture starts from the top and works its way down. That's part of my job to try and drive the culture as well and then it's up to the players to do the same," he said.
"It's all about getting the right players who believe in what you're trying to do and then that's very easy to keep the culture going.
"You don't want to bring basically dickheads into the club which can destroy that very easily.
"The whole point in signing players is obviously their quality, but also their personality off the pitch and what they want to achieve because that's where the culture can be stuffed up by one or two people."
Corica rated the current team better than last season's as they were more consistent.
"I believe in this team, that from the start of the season that I thought there was something special," he said.
Captain and defender Alex Wilkinson praised the club for retaining a core group of players and adding good recruits.
"We've really got that winning culture at the club now and winning becomes a habit," Wilkinson said.
Australian Associated Press