Brentford chairman Greg Dyke, who finally relented on Thursday by agreeing to let manager Martin Allen go subject to obtaining compensation from Tranmere if they appoint him, explained why the club could not meet his demands for a bigger playing budget.

Dyke said: "I was disappointed that we made major efforts to keep the playing budget at the same level as last season but it was not enough for Martin.

"We could not afford to risk any more money after raising an extra £200,000 to prevent us having to decrease the budget.

"Brentford would have lost £1.5million this year but for their FA Cup run and transfer money, including the sale of DJ Campbell. So the idea we could increase the playing budget was not on.

"After this was explained to Allen he verbally resigned on Tuesday night. He let it be known to the media that he was leaving and that his agent was talking to Tranmere, but Brentford kept their fans in the dark.

"They simply issued the briefest of statements on their website saying that further to mounting speculation in the media, the club wished to emphasise that Allen was under contract to them for a further 12 months.

Dyke, the former director-general of the BBC, increased the confusion at first by declaring that Brentford wanted Allen to see out those remaining 12 months of his contract.

But Dyke told the Times: "It is now clear that Martin is determined to leave and you can't keep a manager who wants to go. He has still not put anything in writing, but told us he wanted to quit a couple of weeks ago, seemed to change his mind and then resigned on Tuesday.

"We have now given Tranmere permission to talk to Martin subject to them paying us compensation for the remaining year of his contract. As his contract states that he must give us three months' notice, we could have stopped him working for the next three months, but it is not worth it. We had been reasonable by giving him permission to talk to other clubs previously."

Those clubs are understood to be Leicester City, Ipswich, Birmingham and Crystal Palace.

Cash-strapped Brentford are seeking full compensation for the remaining year of Allen's contract, but will not receive anything for his two lieutenants if, as expected, coach Adrian Whitbread and sports therapist Damien Doyle join him at Tranmere.

The pair did not renew their Brentford contracts, as the club had requested, and these ran out on Wednesday.

Shell-shocked Brentford had to rely on veteran chief scout John Griffin returning to work yesterday after a six-week absence through illness to take charge of team affairs. Griffin, who has advised Allen on his transfer dealings during his two years in charge, told the Times: "I will keep things ticking over until a new manager is appointed."