Starnes has also hit back at claims from Mildenhall that Yeovil is a complacent club.
"We don't lack ambition at all at this football club but we have to pursue success realistically and based on what we can afford.
"We are confident that we can take this club forward but we have to be prudent.
"We made Steve an extremely good offer but if he can get a better offer elsewhere then good luck to him. Football is a short career. There are teams in this division that can afford to pay more than us."
Starnes also confirmed that manager Russell Slade's playing budget has been cut for the coming season.
"We have had to be careful with the provisional budget that's been given to Russell. It is smaller than last season but there may be scope to increase it if we have a successful season.
"It's difficult in the current economic climate to know what our income levels will be so we have to be cautious."
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