Alex McLeish has warned he will need to undertake a major spending spree this summer if Birmingham City are to consolidate their position in the Barclays Premier League.
McLeish insists he has been given no indication by owner Carson Yeung that the money available for new players will be affected by the £20.5million loss suffered during the final year of the David Sullivan-David Gold reign.
Yeung announced his capture of Blues earlier this season by pledging £20-40 million for new signings in January plus more funds ahead of the 2010-11 campaign.
McLeish spent only a fraction of that amount during the last transfer window and has performed a major feat in steering City into a top 10 position in the table with 11 games remaining.
But the former Scotland boss is aware he will have to bring in new blood - particularly up front - for Birmingham to maintain their current momentum.
McLeish said: "Nobody has said last season's losses would affect things. We were talking about spending £20million in January and I only spent £6million of that.
"I would imagine that remaining £14million - plus whatever there is available to be spent this summer - means we should be reasonably healthy.
"But, if we want to remain a Premier League team and certainly get to where we are now, season after season, then you have got to keep up with the Joneses.
"Do I have to spend quite a bit to keep up with them? Yes, we need to improve again and enhance the squad."
McLeish added: "In forward areas we need to add to the quality - and these areas are not cheap. You don't get cheap players coming in there.
"We have spent, I think overall, during the season, about £15million or £16million. But that was for about six or seven players.
"To get six or seven players for £16million this summer, I think will be well-nigh impossible, unless we can get four or five Bosmans."
McLeish believes Birmingham's decision to operate with one of the biggest wage bills in the Championship last season was justified by gaining promotion and he also offset that by reducing considerably the size of his squad.
He said: "We had a big wage bill in the Championship last year but I hardly spent any transfer money, I think just £500,000 on Marcus Bent.
"We also took £8million in for selling Fabrice Muamba and Olivier Kapo and 10 players left. We got guys off the wage bill.
"Although we had a bigger wage bill than all the other Championship teams, we achieved our objective of promotion and now, this season, it's a kind of a flip of the coin with a smaller type budget."