Birmingham chairman David Gold admitted that the board are facing a dilemma over whether or not to hand Steve Bruce a belated Christmas present of significant transfer funds in January.
Bruce has admitted that he wanted to add five new play-ers to struggling squad when the transfer window reopens after witnessing, by his own admission, Birmingham's most lamentable Premiership performance at Manchester City last Saturday.
The Birmingham manager, who has drawn up a hit list of potential targets, is poised to ring the changes for tonight's Carling Cup quarter final against Manchester United with Jiri Jarosik likely to be handed a starting role for the first time since the trip to Sunderland on November 26.
David Dunn has been given a clean bill of health after being withdrawn at Manchester City due to a thigh strain and will retain his place, while Martin Taylor is also set for a recall after the ankle injury he sustained against West Ham.
But, irrespective of the changes Bruce will make to his shell-shocked team, he is adamant that his side need major surgery if they are to avoid dropping into the Championship at the end of this troubled campaign.
However, Gold, who once again offered Bruce unequivocal backing in the wake of the debacle at Manchester City, admits he and his fellow board members face a quandary as to what is the best policy to adopt.
"I said that this was the best squad of players in Birmingham City's history at the start of the season. I still stand by that," declared Gold.
"You can say that they have lost form but are they suddenly good players one day and bad the next?
"As for Steve's request, it's a question of risk versus reward. Yes, it is a tricky situation for us.
"There are massive financial implications if we are relegated. No one is more aware of them than we are.
"As I speak, I haven't seen any list and I cannot comment until I do. But there is no more money that can come out of the club. The cost of any signings will have to be met by the Gold brothers and David Sullivan.
"Everything has to be weighed up and then we will come to a decision. But there is no escaping the fact that it will be a critical one."
Despite Gold's cautionary words, Bruce can draw solace from the last time Birmingham were in a relegation battle in the Premiership.
In their first season back with the elite of English football Bruce was given licence to add six new players to his squad during the transfer window that ultimately saved their Premiership status.
Christophe Dugarry, Stephen Clemence, Jamie Clapham, Matthew Upson, Ferdinand Coly and Piotr Swierczewski were all drafted in and the gamble paid rich dividends as they survived and eventually finished in 13th position.
Experience says that the board will back Bruce next month, but Gold also believes there is more to come from the present squad as well.
"A couple of seasons ago, we felt we needed fresh impetus and we went and signed Christophe Dugarry and other players," he recalled. "The cost was met by the owners.
"We got the money back when we stayed in the Premiership, so we understand what is required.
"We are still only four points away from the team above the relegation zone and if we found some form and luck there is no reason to suggest why we could not drag ourselves clear.
"Steve has had a wretched time with injuries and, in my opinion, a poor run of luck. The situation was summed up when we lost Emile Heskey last Saturday.
"We thought we had turned a corner against Fulham and then our centre-forward is unavailable because of something out of our control.
"Experience tells me that the bad luck eventually runs out." ..SUPL: