Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch has said the lack of a US-style salary cap in the Premier League makes the English top flight harder, as not every team "has a chance."
On Saturday, Leeds face Newcastle United, who have made nine new signings since they were taken over by a Saudi Arabia-led consortium in October last year.
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Marsch praised Newcastle's turnaround under manager Eddie Howe but told reporters at his Friday news conference that the financial disparity between the two sides meant Leeds had to take a different approach.
"We all know in this world of football it's something that's different from American sports," Marsch said. "We have salary caps and everyone has a chance when the season starts. I'm sorry, but the way European football works, that's just not the case.
"I would love to say we want to win every match and we are in a position to do that. But we know we are in the reality of who we are right now that that is not realistic.
"I know we are tasked in this league to compete with teams such as Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool, but our true competitors are the mid-table, bottom-of-the-table teams, and now [we have] to try to do better than we have done against them.
"That's the reality and there's a bunch of us in this same category and it's not just about money, but certainly it's a factor.
"There's the history of the club, the infrastructure, player pool, playing style, manager, there's time, a lot of different factors. But in almost any league around the world, you are always going to see those teams at the top, and those teams are typically the ones that spend the most.
"I don't want to slight Newcastle at all financially; regardless, they have done a great job, and it can make things easier, but that's not the only job."
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Newcastle have enjoyed a change in fortunes since Howe took over following their takeover and sit third in the Premier League table, seven points off Arsenal in top spot and just two points behind City in second place.
Leeds lost their first game after the World Cup break 3-1 to City and trail their opponents on Saturday by 18 points in 15th place, having lost key players Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips in the summer.
"So how do you build?" Marsch asked reporters. "One is a process and continuing to invest every penny the right way, which is what we are trying to do, and another one is a massive influx of money.
"Take Chelsea 25 years ago, take Newcastle now, take Man City 15 years ago. It's a difference-maker and it's for every phase of what you are doing as a club: manager, players, everything.
"But we like us. We like who we are, we like our identity, we like the mentality that we have created and we like us. We are going to keep building in our own way."