Former Reading star John Salako feels they're paying for a lack of spending in the transfer market.
Salako, who played 120 times for the club between 2001 and 2004, feels, owner Anton Zingarevich could have put his hand deeper in his pocket during the summer.
"Absolutely," the former England ace told getreading when asked if he thought the Russian would have splashed the cash.
"Anton Zingarevich came at the right time, there was plenty of excitement and the rewards of being in the Barclays Premier League are huge.
"It is the magic circle and the place to play - globally it is the biggest league out there.
"You don't need massive investment - I would have thought £15-20million for four or five players.
"When you run a club it has to be 60 per cent business, but you need 40 per cent to be the heart of a fan.
"You have to speculate at times, push the boat out - because it can be a case of what if. Football is a tough business."