West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has warned big-spending Manchester City that they will not necessarily achieve success as a result of their extensive financial investment in the first-team squad.
"Don't let anyone kid you, and we're not naive enough to believe it, that simply spending money on players will guarantee success, you have got to buy the right payers," Sullivan told Soccernet.
"Of course, the more money you have to throw at it, the more likely you are to be successful, but I don't see Manchester City walking away with the title this season, no matter how much money they spend. No, I don't. And the reasons are Chelsea and Manchester United. I still think those two clubs will finish above Manchester City. So, it would be a phenomenal season if Manchester City could finish above one of them. It would be terrific from their point of view to finish second, and that is a distinct possibility. But not first. Not yet.''
Sullivan, however, does admit that it is a tactic that has worked in the past, even if it is beyond the realms of possibility for his own club.
"It will come [For Man City] with time and more money,'' he said. ''Again don't kid yourself, Manchester United have been buying the title for years, the amount they've spent on players. Jack Walker bought the title for Blackburn Rovers, and Roman Abramovich did it for Chelsea.
"Our aim at Upton Park is to make a big impact and we are very ambitious, but we came here with £110 million of debt at this club so it's far from an easy task, and we've put more of our money into it, David Gold and myself.
"It hasn't been easy to get the players we want, but we're getting there, and there is a great deal of excitement at the moment at Upton Park as the fans are eager to see where all the new arrivals might take their team. Our aim as owners, David and myself, is to bring fun and excitement to Upton Park."