Morecambe boss Jim Bentley compared the club’s current financial state to being unable to afford a luxury bottle of wine and having to settle for a bottle of water instead.
Bentley admitted he wanted to sign Lee Molyneux after he left Crewe Alexandra, and Matty Blair, who has parted company with Fleetwood Town.
The club did not snap up former Accrington winger Molyneux and Tranmere Rovers have since secured his services.
The Shrimps boss was also unable to extend Cod Army keeper Scott Davies’ loan deal earlier this month and has been left frustrated by his inability to freshen up his squad to challenge for a play-off spot.
But Bentley could turn water into wine if he offloads some of his current players.
He said: “I do think a couple of players would kick us on but we haven’t got an open chequebook.
“It is a little bit like being in Tesco and looking at a nice red wine or an expensive bottle of vodka, checking your pocket and having nothing in the wallet so you go home and have a glass of water.
“It is frustrating as there are players moving around at the moment.
“A lad who I like, Matty Blair, has just left Fleetwood. Would I have him in the team? Yes. Can I afford him? No.
“Lee Molyneux – would we have him in our squad? Would it would kick us on? Yes – but can I afford him? No.
“Until someone wins the Euro lottery or someone moves out, it is what it is.”
Midfielder Ryan Williams trained with Scottish Premier League club Motherwell last week but Bentley revealed nothing is happening at the moment.
On the pitch the Shrimps travel to face Cheltenham Town tonight and Bentley is keen to continue their fine defensive form.
At the start of the season the fixture was a top-of-the-table clash but now Morecambe are 11th in League Two and Cheltenham dumped their manager Mark Yates for Paul Buckle after slipping from top spot to 18th.
Bentley said: “Cheltenham are very up and down. I was good friends with their old manager Mark Yates and I was sad to see him lose his job.
“We want to get at them. The new manager has gone in there and they have won one of the last eight.
“Defensively we have been superb. To keep three clean sheets on the spin at any level is great. But we have to make sure we put the ball in the net.”
Utility man Andy Wright is out for a month with a hernia but Andy Fleming is back training.