Birmingham have accused Tottenham of 'messing around' over the sale of Roman Pavlyuchenko.
City boss Alex McLeish had made the Russian his No 1 target as he looked to spend the cash windfall promised by new owner Carson Yeung during the January transfer window.
Hong Kong-based businessman Yeung had earmarked £20-40m for the Scot to spend.
But the owner's outlandish comment backfired as Birmingham found prices rocketing and they were clearly frustrated after alleging that the north Londoners had moved the goalposts during negotiations.
Vice-chairman Peter Pannu said: 'It was not particularly helpful that our president indicated a desire a desire to buy players in January and spend some money.
'I think that raised expectations among the clubs that we approached. But, having said that, Carson stuck to his word and executed what he promised. The other side just shied away.
'We would have had Pavlyuchenko if Spurs had not backed off from the original agreement.
'With Pavlyuchenko we managed to negotiate down from £13m to £10m but when we put in a written bid we were told after three days of negotiations that he was not available for sale at £15m. If they had told us that at the beginning we would have moved on to some other strikers.
'It's not we don't have the support - we have every support possible from Carson. There is no problem there. The problem we have is the way some of these clubs have behaved. We have been messed around.
'But I don't want to sound like I'm criticising anybody. I think this is the business. It can be frustrating and we know that January is not a very good time to buy.'
Haggle: Pavlyuchenko was linked with a move to St Andrew's
Pannu also confirmed that a second £9m offer for Ryan Babel was also rejected and that the wage demands from Stuttgart striker Kevin Kuranyi were judged by the club's board to be too excessive.
'When we were trying to sign Kuranyi his wages doubled in the course of the discussions,' added Pannu. 'His salary was supposed to be gross and the agent changed it into a net figure.
"There was another striker we wanted to bring in, the Argentinian striker, Mauro Boselli. We wanted to bring him on loan with an option to purchase. But because he was owned by two other clubs (Boca Juniors and Estudiantes), they just wanted to sell the player.
'Carson was willing to buy him but Alex, because he didn't know the player, felt that if possible it would have been better to bring him over with an option to buy. And I think in that sense the manager was absolutely correct.
'However, the most important thing is that the money is there. We have put in written bids for players.
'As for Carson, he does not regret saying anything. He gave an honest answer. He indicated the sums involved. But we have now gone past that, so let's move on to the summer. This time, though, we won't be saying anything.'
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