Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has questioned Tottenham's ambition, suggesting they have lower expectations than their Premier League title rivals.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy this week defended a lack of signings and railed against "unsustainable" spending.
They were runners up to Chelsea in the Premier League last term, faltered in the Champions League group stages, and again in the Europa League last 32.
"If [Spurs] don't win the title, it's not a tragedy," said Conte.
"If they don't arrive in the Champions League, it's not a tragedy. If they go out in the first round of the Champions League, it's not a tragedy. If they go out after the first game that they play in the Europa League, it's not a tragedy.
"Maybe for Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and - I don't know - Liverpool, it is a tragedy. You must understand the status of the team.
"Every team has to understand what their ambitions are. If their ambitions are to fight for the title or win the Champions League, you must buy expensive players. Otherwise you continue to stay in your level. It's simple."