Tony Mowbray revealed Rovers were unable to compete with the ‘financial power’ of Fulham after missing out on Harrison Reed.

Rovers made a deadline day move for Reed, only for the Southampton midfielder to make the move to Craven Cottage, making his debut in Saturday’s 2-0 home win.

Reed became a fans favourite during his season-long stay at Ewood Park, and having been made available by the Premier League club, Mowbray made his move to try and add another midfield option to his squad.

“He was someone we tried very hard to bring back, yet we couldn’t match the financial power of a club have just been relegated from the Premier League,” Mowbray said.

“The numbers are quite dramatic, but what I would say is that we’ve been supported fantastically well. We were able to buy Gallagher in this window, there’s been financial backing, but when a team comes out of the Premier League with a parachute payment of £40m, it helps.

“We weren’t able to get some of the targets we wanted but that’s football and we will try and have a really good season.”

Rovers have three loan players on their books in Christian Walton, Tosin Adarabioyo and deadline day acquisition Greg Cunningham.

Mowbray says Rovers are often unable to match the wages paid by Premier League clubs, which has also proved a barrier to more permanent signings this window, with the £5m spent on Sam Gallagher the only transfer fee Rovers have paid.

However, deals to bring in Walton from Brighton and Adarabioyo from Manchester City have both included loan fees as well as wage contributions.

“Fulham can easily pick up the salary of a Premier League player,” Mowbray added.

“Last year with Harrison Reed it took a lot of negotiations, a lot of talking, I know the people at Southampton very well.

“But business is business. When you’re a Premier League club, they are rarely looking to do you a favour. It’s like us but on a lesser scale, like when Tyler Magloire goes to Rochdale.

“Can they pay his salary? No. But it’s more beneficial for him to play football and come back ready to play in our team.

“That’s the call Southampton have but with much bigger numbers.

“The decisions are ‘how far do we stretch our budget for a player?’

“Loan players, I would say, can be very important as Aston Villa showed last season. A club with the financial power to be able to pay the huge salaries of those players and get them on loan.

“They can be a huge bonus for any club if you get your loans right.”

Rovers have spent around £13m on Gallagher, Ben Brereton and Adam Armstrong, but Mowbray says many Premier League clubs are seeing the loan market as a revenue stream, making permanent deals difficult to do.

He added: “The players, and their agents, don’t want to necessarily earn less money.

“When you’re signing them from Premier League clubs, although they are not in the first team, their salaries are still astronomical.

“They are the difficult deals when it’s not going to be a loan deal.

“You can pay some money but then you have to try and do the deal with the agent and the player. That’s the difficult part.

“Loans, sometimes you will pay a bigger salary if you’re not paying a loan fee.

“Ultimately, all that matters at the end of the year is how much it has cost you on that deal.

“If you’re paying a loan fee and a salary, the numbers start to get too big.

“If you pay a loan fee but do a deal on the salary, it might be worthwhile.

“The bigger clubs now see it as a business, a market place. Their young players are sent out on loan, they get loan fees and full recovery of their salaries. They are actually making money on the year the player is away because they aren’t paying any wages and are getting a loan fee. It’s a business.

“They can keep giving them deals on loads of money and keep loaning them out.

“It’s a way of making revenue.

“We have to decide the ones we ask about who will sell, what’s the numbers, and can we improve them enough to sell them for a value greater than we pay for them.

“That’s how we’re trying to do it, build the club with young players, but supplement them with some knowhow and bring through our own Academy players as well.

“Buckley and Butterworth have gone straight in, others will go out on loan and we will subsidise their salaries a little bit and hope they come back ready to play for us.”