Falkirk manager Peter Houston admits he will not be able to follow Championship rivals Hibs and Dundee United into the transfer market after being told there is no money to sign reinforcements.
Houston has watched on with envy after Hibs recruited Kris Commons from Celtic on an emergency loan deal last week, while Hearts striker Conor Sammon has been linked with a switch to Tannadice.
But following a meeting with Bairns chairman Doug Henderson on Monday, Houston has been informed that he will have to get rid of players first if he wants to add any fresh faces.
That news has come as a blow to Houston, with third place Falkirk already nine points adrift of the joint leaders.
“It’s a wee bit disappointing when you see what the bigger clubs are doing and I can understand why they can do it because it’s a big, big thing for Dundee United and Hibs to go toe-to-toe to try and get out of this division.
“It makes it harder, there is no getting away from it but I thought that would happen anyway because it’s such a crucial season for Hibs and Dundee United.
“I think these players add to the league and it gives is kudos although it does not make the job any easier.
“I saw Kris when I was working at Celtic for a while and he’s played against us. We also had Kris in the Scotland squad at the time and he’s a terrific player. He has that quality and you don’t ever lose it.
“It’s maybe not really worked out for Conor at Hearts so far although I’ve not seen his peforamcnes.
“But he’s a guy that scored goals in the divisions down south and the Championship is a tough league.”
Houston, meanwhile, believes United’s current playing budget is bigger than what he had to work with when he was manager of the club in the Premiership.
The 58-year-old departed the Tannadice outfit in January 2013 after voicing his concerns over the level of cut-backs to the squad.
Houston added: “I might be wrong but I’ve been told that Dundee United’s budget is bigger now in the Championship than when I left.
“And we were third, fourth and fourth and playing in Europe every year, but their budget is bigger now than when I left the club. That’s if the figures I’ve been told are right.
“United have come down and recognised that they want to get back up in one season because you can be in this division for a long time if you don’t go about it the right way.”