Valencia president Amadeo Salvo says La Liga's new budget regulations are the reason the club made a 27.9 million euro profit in the summer's transfer window, despite previous regular claims that incoming new owner Peter Lim was set to spend in excess of 50 million euros on new players.
As far back as last December, Lim and Salvo were talking about a big "war-chest" to spend on new players, but the biggest deals at Mestalla during the summer were actually sales -- with Jeremy Mathieu leaving for Barcelona for 20 million euros and Spain under-21 left-back Juan Bernat sold to Bayern Munich for 11 million euros.
Meanwhile players such as Alvaro Negredo, Rodrigo, Andre Gomes, Filipe Augusto and Joao Cancelo did arrive at Mestalla, although all these are loan deals and, with the exception of Negredo, were said to have been done in association with third-party investment fund Meriton and Portuguese super-agent Jorge Mendes.
Salvo, who has regularly backed Lim's yet-to-be completed bid to buy the heavily indebted club, claimed in AS that the La Liga authorities mandating that all clubs must live within their means had made doing business difficult.
"This is the squad that we have," Salvo said. "It was very difficult because Valencia must fulfil the '[financial] fair play' and had to work within these lines.
"Everything can be improved in life. All the departures were defended well. Valencia is, or was, in a situation where people could buy our players.
"The Spanish market is very difficult for Valencia. Time will tell if this has been the best thing. Mathieu's departure was the easiest of all. The balance has been positive."
In an apparent bid to cut the wage bill at the club, former first-team squad players including Ricardo Costa, Jonas, Andres Guardado, Victor Ruiz, Vicente Guaita and Helder Postiga all left on free transfers during the summer, while new players Rodrigo De Paul, Yoel, Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Orban were bought for a combined outlay of 18.3 million euros.
Although the long-running takeover is still not completed, Lim's "right-hand man" Kim Koh has been visibly at work around Mestalla throughout recent weeks.
Salvo said the club's summer transfer business meant Champions League qualification was the objective, although nothing was guaranteed.
"Logically we are working to look for the Champions League," he said. "But we are not in a moment to guarantee anything. We have the excitement of any supporter. This is the first year of this project. We are on the path.
"The work of Valencia in the last three months has been enormous. There have been 31 deals. That means hundreds of conversations, decisions, meetings. The sporting department has done good work. What Valencia has done without squandering anything, with the help of Peter Lim, is to be praised."
Negredo, whose one-year loan deal will reportedly be made permanent for 28 million euros should Valencia qualify for the Champions League next season, was welcomed to Mestalla by 14,000 happy fans on Tuesday.
"This is a project I believe in, which is going to do great things," Negredo said in Superdeporte. "These fans deserve to be up there and to achieve great things.
"I am where I want to be, and where they have really made an effort to have me, which was what I liked. We hope to qualify to play in Europe and be where Valencia deserves to be."