David Sullivan has defended West Ham's lack of transfer activity after all but ruling out a renewed move for James Tarkowski.
Burnley have turned down two bids for centre-half Tarkowski, who turns 28 in November, and the cash-strapped Hammers are now looking elsewhere for defensive reinforcements.
Co-owner Sullivan told talkSPORT: "We've got two or three bids in but the benchmark is very high.
"We've got limited funds. If we had £400million to spend and someone said spend 10 per cent of it, £40million, on a 28-year-old centre-back from a Premier League club who will remain nameless, you'd probably get the player out.
"But to spend your entire budget on a 28-year-old centre-back, you're struggling. We're going to get no gate money, possibly all season. We've got to keep the club afloat and pay the wages.
"I can't go and sign two or three players the manager (David Moyes) doesn't want or we'd have a civil war at West Ham because I don't pick the players. Our manager is a manager, not a coach.
"I cannot say for sure we are going to sign anybody, and as each day passes I get more depressed. There's no point saying otherwise.
"We'll go a little bit more but we can't pay double what you value a player at. We haven't got the money, the club would go bankrupt. These are difficult times."
Sullivan also moved to explain the controversial sale of Grady Diangana, which led to more unrest among fans and some players.
Young wideman Diangana's £18million switch to West Brom prompted captain Mark Noble to tweet that he was "gutted, angry and sad".
Sullivan added: "It was a decision made because we have eight wingers. We've got too many wingers.
"We've got a very unbalanced squad. Unfortunately at the moment the players the manager wants we can't get. He will be spending 18 hours a day looking at players."