Former Hull City chairman Paul Duffen insists he did not allow their transfer spending to get out of control.
Duffen was livid that whispers behind cupped hands suggested he had left the club in financial ruin. An auditor's note from Deloitte & Touche on the club accounts was interpreted as a millstone debt of £23million, with the club struggling to continue trading if relegated next May.
But he told the Daily Express: "I don't know if I've upset an agent or two or if someone is briefing sections of the media, but that is nonsense. In fact, the auditors said that, in the event of relegation, we would need to introduce funding of £23m from either player sales, investments or other sources and this situation is contingent only on dropping out of the Premier League.
"It is no different to the reality faced by many Premier clubs. I'm pleased the actual debt of Hull has been confirmed at £9m, a wholly acceptable figure on a club turnover in excess of £50m.
"The funding level Hull face if they are relegated is a much less serious threat than that posed to Big Four clubs such as Liverpool if they fail to qualify for the Champions League."