When confronted with the fact that Burnley have yet to make a transfer this summer, manager Sean Dyche blamed the "crazy" transfer fees that have left the Clarets priced out on each deal they've attempted.
Despite earning £120m last season in television and prize money following a seventh-place finish, Dyche has seen his management unable to compete in the transfer window drawing concerns over the club's Premier League future in the long run.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Dyche reaffirmed his club's lack of spending power, insisting: “There are players I’ve rung up about that you would be in disbelief if I told you the numbers [involved] – you would be flummoxed.
“And then when you hear their wages you wouldn’t believe it. The numbers are just crazy, for any player. They’re through the roof. It’s certainly a seller’s market.
“We’re wealthy in the sense of being a balanced club financially but we’re not wealthy in Premier League terms. Everyone is looking down on us. We’re the minnow of the Premier League."
The Clarets' lack of summer spending foreshadows a grim future for the club in Dyche's opinion, adding: “It’s tough. The market will probably outrun [us] at some point. There are new investors coming into clubs across the land, there are plenty of stories not so good.
"This club doesn’t want to be one of the not-so-good stories. The challenge is how far you stretch it, to allow us to continue moving forward, and keep progressing and challenging at the top level. Stretch and not break.”
Burnley remain interested in deals for West Bromwich duo Jay Rodriguez and Matt Phillips. Their efforts are yet to bear fruit, and despite the Baggies' relegation they are adamant in their valuation of their players, leaving Burnley at somewhat of a loss.
Dyche has seen his plans for summer renovations go up in smoke as his list of available players dwindles, remarking: “Lads who are £20m are standard. You sit there with a list and convince yourself that will happen and that will happen and that will happen.
"And then it’s, ‘That one’s gone, gone, gone’. And so you get to now and you’re thinking, ‘Hmm, it’s not looking quite as good as we thought it might’.
“The system runs away faster than this club can keep up with. The numbers run away that fast, no matter how much we bring in."
Dyche believes Burnley will eventually have no choice but to change their ways and join the spending competition or get left behind, saying: "The challenge is opening the club’s mind enough to go some way to keep up, because the football business is saying ‘All the best with that, we’re going up here’.
“It’s a double-edged sword. I think it is important to have a well-run club in these parts because they nearly lost it a couple of times but my football head says, ‘Give me the money and I’ll go and spend it’.”