Ray Ranson has revealed that Coventry's owners, Sisu, blocked a move for England and Liverpool striker Andy Carroll three years ago.
The former Sky Blues chairman also revealed that the club had an option to buy England midfielder Jordan Henderson and Chelsea midfielder Jack Cork following successful loan spells at the Ricoh Arena, but the board refused to pay what would have been less than £2 million for all three players.
"If I had been given the tools, I could have got Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson and Jack Cork for less than £2million," Ranson told the Coventry Telegraph.
"Andy Thorn had been to watch Carroll when he was on loan at Preston before he had got anywhere near Newcastle's first team and he thought he was a raw talent who would develop. I made an inquiry to buy him and was told they were looking for £700,000 to £800,000 with a sell-on clause.
"We took Jordan on loan when he was on something like £800 a week and we had an option to buy him and I wanted to buy him, as I did Jack Cork, who we also had an option to buy from Chelsea but, again, they wouldn't do it.
He added: "We could have got the three of them for about £2 million and we could have had a team with Westwood in goal, England Under-21 international Martin Cranie at right-back, Scott Dann, Ben Turner, Danny Fox, Jordan Henderson, Aron Gunnarsson, Sammy Clingan, Jack Cork, Gary McSheffrey and Andy Carroll up front, and you are not telling me we would be still be in this division with that team."