Bayer Leverkusen director of sport Rudi Voller fears the Bundesliga will be dominated by Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund for years to come and believes his side's best hope is to finish third.
Defending champions Dortmund trail Bayern by three points at the midway stage of the season with Schalke also still in the hunt in joint second.
Leverkusen are eight points behind the top three in sixth place and Voller admits the chances of them closing the gap on Dortmund or Bayern this season or in the future are slim.
"We will try and frustrate them (Dortmund and Bayern) now and again, but we are generally only going to be able to finish between third and seventh,'' he told the Rheinische Post newspaper.
"We always have the ambition of qualifying for Europe, but that alone is a difficult task since we are competing with the likes of Schalke, Werder Bremen, Stuttgart or Wolfsburg, to name but a few.''
Leverkusen finished second behind Dortmund and ahead of Bayern last season and their comparative struggles this campaign have not gone down well with the club's fans.
There have been calls for coach Robin Dutt to go, but Voller has renewed his backing for the former Freiburg boss.
"We have told him to keep doing it his way because he has our support,'' added Voller. "We don't pick our coaches in Leverkusen based on the results of a poll.''