Sunderland won't break the bank during this summer's market, says chairman Niall Quinn.
"There is a point where you have to say, 'what is the correct thing to do here?'.
"We are able to compete, but there is competing and there's putting the club at risk."
Quinn's Drumaville consortium last summer took over a club in a parlous financial state with debts of around £40million.
He said: "The transfer market has gone very expensive.
"I am glad 12 months ago, when I was pulling the Drumaville guys together, that I did not foresee what was needed.
"I think they would have run a mile if we had not had the success we have in the past year.
"In fairness, we had a meeting recently and they understand. They have shown great strength behind the scenes.
"They have told me to carry on and do what I think is right - and the money will be there."