Everton defender Phil Jagielka says the club can't continue to progress until they receive major financial backing.
The club paid out just £215,000 on striker Apostolos Vellios in the summer, as David Moyes recruited Royston Drenthe, Eric Dier and Denis Stracqualursi on season-long loan deals.
Supporters have this season protested against the club's inability to compete with rival clubs in the transfer market, accusing chairman Bill Kenwright of allowing the club to stagnate.
Jagielka says: "You see other teams doing so well who finished below us before, so you can see the fans' frustration.
"We can't buy expensive players to take the squad to that next level. All we can do is work with what we have. It's hard for the fans. We've done so well to finish sixth, seventh and eighth in the last few years.
"You may think if someone came along and put some investment in that we could maybe kick on. We haven't got any money. All we can do is try to be as good a team as we have been in previous years and stick together when the going gets tough.
"We roll our sleeves up and, normally, after Christmas, climb the table."
As well as the limited resources to bring players in, The Toffees were forced into the deadline day sale of Mikel Arteta to Arsenal, a further blow to the club's ambitions this season, which sees them 10th in the Barclays Premier League.
"Unfortunately we had to sell to balance the books but hopefully we can bring in a couple in January," he added.
"There are probably 15 players that are in the squad every week and five or six young lads who can come in and boost the team."