Ross County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell has played down suggestions the Staggies are throwing the cash behind their bid to win promotion back to the Premiership.
County have retained several players from the squad that was relegated from the Premiership last season, with the Dingwall club also making eight summer signings.
Caley Thistle manager John Robertson, who lost his captain Iain Vigurs to the Staggies, last week claimed their Highland rivals were spending “huge” amounts in their efforts to return to the top-flight at the first time of asking.
Kettlewell insists County’s summer transfer business has been done on a vastly-reduced playing budget which has been cut by more than 50% from last season.
He said: “I’m like a broken record on this – our budget has been more than halved.
“Everybody keeps saying Ross County are doing this and that and that’s fine, we will take that, but it’s not always the facts of what’s happening.
“We have been priced out of a few players by other clubs, one or two in our own league. That’s the harsh reality of it which we are so comfortable with.
“These days of just over-spending and throwing money at people is not how we see it going forward.
“What we want to do is try and incentivise it. If we are successful, players will be rewarded by doing well at the football club.”
Kettlewell is content with County’s new additions, and feels their squad is close to completion, adding: “It wasn’t just a case of trying to stumble across some of these guys. We have been working so hard to try and identify the ones we felt would fit into what we are trying to do, and how we are trying to play.
“It wasn’t just a case of ‘that player is available, let’s just go and sign him’ and we will find out what we are going to do with him later on.
“Every player has come in here with a purpose and a role in the team.”