Blackburn chairman John Williams has admitted almost half of the money from this summer's transfer fees had to be used to balance the books at Ewood Park instead of being ploughed back into new players.
Despite the likes of Roque Santa Cruz, Matt Derbyshire and Stephen Warnock being sold off for around £26million, manager Sam Allardyce has spent just over half that amount on acquiring replacements.
"For years we have stretched ourselves budgeting a league finish above that suggested by the wage bill," admitted Williams.
That has led to a plenty of disquiet among Rovers fans but Williams said economies had to be made at the club with £12.5million of their transfer income being used to cover budgetary deficiencies.
The sacking of Paul Ince and his backroom staff and the appointment of Allardyce and his team plus a drop in the number of televised matches Blackburn were involved in led to a £7.5million hole in the budget as the unplanned January arrivals of Gael Givet and El-Hadji Diouf pushed the annual wage bill to £46million.
"That is the gap that had to be plugged from the Santa Cruz deal," said Williams, who revealed the club received an initial fee of £15million for the Paraguay international with further cash coming from "contingency payments".
"This year we took a more pragmatic approach to our mantra of break-even; a 13th-place finish would support circa £41million annual wage bill.
"Therefore we needed to get £5million off the wages. We have failed to do this."
Because of that failure other measures had to be taken so when Aston Villa bought Warnock for £7million just days before the transfer window closed, Allardyce was allowed only £2million to buy Pascal Chimbonda from Tottenham.
"Not surprisingly wages are running very similar year on year," Williams told the Lancashire Telegraph. "So we have filled the resulting £5million hole with the difference in transfer fees between Stephen and Pascal. I'm not entirely comfortable about funding wages from transfer fees but developing players, buying low and selling high has, by necessity, become part of our business."