Caley Thistle manager John Robertson admits he expects his side to be playing in the Championship next term.
The Inverness side were sitting second in the Championship when the season was declared over earlier this month due to the coronavirus crisis.
A reconstruction group, chaired by Hearts owner Ann Budge and Hamilton’s vice-chair Les Gray, was set up following the SPFL resolution being passed to end the season in the three lower tiers.
A 14-team top flight is under consideration which would see bottom of the Scottish Premiership Hearts avoid demotion with Championship winners Dundee United and runners-up Caley Thistle promoted.
But Robertson does not expect the plans to receive enough support and is trying to build a squad for the Championship next season.
He said: “It is difficult as nobody knows when football is going to start. Football has hit the pause button. Unless you have money to burn you are going to have to wait (to sign players). It is a very strange time.
“I have been contacting the guys I have in England, Ireland and abroad to find out who is out of contract and might be available.
“I am 90% positive we will be playing Championship football next year.
“That is what you have got to build for.
“The players I want to sign are players I feel can compete in the top half of the Championship but if required they would be able to play in the Premiership.”
Robertson is refusing to feel overly frustrated that his side have ben denied the opportunity to make it back to the top flight through the play-offs.
He said: “Right now, football is irrelevant.
“You will hear it everywhere but it is the truth. People are dying out there.
“Finishing second and not going up or finishing second and going up through reconstruction is neither here nor there.
“My little sister Heather works for the NHS and is on the frontline. I’m very proud of her.
“I’m more concerned about her health than what happens at the football club.
“I’m more concerned about the fans of every club than what happens.
“As long as my loved ones and friends can get through this, along with everybody else, that is more important than where our club will be.
“Whenever we get back to football we want to have a team that is challenging.
“It is difficult. When we were relegated the club’s wage budget dropped by £1 million.
“We have the fifth or sixth budget in the Championship, but we keep competing above our level and we will continue to do that.”