The Bolton boss does not know whether he will be in charge next season and must wait for ownership issues to clear before he can make plans for League One, or to move on elsewhere.
There are 20 players with senior experience who see their contract expire this summer, and two – Pawel Olkowski and Sammy Ameobi – who have handed in their notice after ongoing pay issues.
That leaves only six players – including keepers Ben Alnwick and Remi Matthews – who are contracted to next season.
Parkinson accepts there will be big changes in the summer and that his own position will most likely come under review but he has warned against making too drastic changes, and feels that despite the troubles this season, players would re-sign given the opportunity.
“The lads are sensible and they know that once this tangle is sorted out that it is a good club,” he told The Bolton News. “For the place going forward, we can’t just release everybody.
“You don’t want to be going into the summer looking for 20 players because that would be very, very difficult.
“There are players who are good characters and who would be good enough to contribute in League One. And you have to make sure there is a core of those players here and that it gets added to because it would be quite a risky exercise to try and build a 20-man squad.
“Talks need to take place as quickly as possible after the club’s future is sorted.”
After more than three decades in football as a player, coach and manager, Parkinson says his experience at Wanderers has still opened his eyes.
“It has been a test,” he said. “Things have happened at this club over the last three years at this club that I haven’t been close to experiencing anywhere at any other club I have worked.
“It has been a learning experience and hopefully the staff and the players don’t have to go through these circumstances again.”
Wanderers have suffered from instability off the field virtually from the moment Parkinson stepped into the club from Bradford City. And he feels this was the season when off-the-field problems finally tipped the scales against the relative lack of investment in the playing squad.
Josh Magennis remains the only cash signing he was able to make under Ken Anderson’s reign, although Christian Dodige was also lined-up for a cash move from Forest Green until the deal imploded in January.
Asked whether he had found himself in a no-win situation, Parkinson explained: “Football is a hard industry, anyway. In English football, in particular, every game is fiercely competitive and the dividing lines are tight.
“You can’t afford to be continually firefighting off the pitch and expect to be winning football games when you are already low on quality in comparison to the division you are operating in.
“That’s what I have found – if you have a good team, or an outstanding goal-scorer, and you have these problems you may get away with it. If you have an average team but great structure to work from you may then get away with it.
“But when you have got both of those things fighting against us it’s very, very difficult.
“That is what has happened here and I do think the majority of the supporters can see that very clearly.”