Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has insisted heavy investment in players is no guarantee of success.
Chelsea have spent 112.7 million pounds on new arrivals in the last two transfer windows and Manchester City 102 million pounds, but Liverpool have surged up to second in the Premier League on a relatively meagre transfer outlay of 50.2 million pounds.
Their 3-0 win at Manchester United last Sunday left them four points off leaders Chelsea, having played a game less, with Jose Mourinho's side and fellow title rivals City still to go to Anfield.
As Liverpool mount a challenge for their first league title since 1990, Rodgers ascribed the club's upward mobility to his players embracing his philosophy.
"Teams spend a billion quid and it does not guarantee anything," Rodgers said. "Once you put your ideas in place and the players start to crack it, we will have success. Money can't buy that.
"It is about coaching and man-management and dealing with people, having a great staff, finding a cause for the players to fight for. All of that comes into it and that is something we have done in the period I have been here.
"Of course we will be in the market for good and top players but there is more to it than that."
He added: "You know when you're employed by Liverpool it is not to sit in seventh. You have to be up there and try to be the best. The players believe in it, the work has got them the rewards, and I'm not surprised by it. It's a bit earlier that what I thought, maybe by a year, but I am not surprised.
"Having the money is great and we will be in the market to compete but what is important is still having a vision of how you want the club to progress."