Iain McInnes is adamant Pompey have not been held to ransom in their bid to clamber out of League Two.
The Blues once again possess one of the best budgets in the league for their latest promotion attempt.
We have actually lost players to other clubs in this division who have been prepared to offer better terms than we have, not just length of contract but actual salaryIain McInnes
Paul Cook has so far recruited 12 players to Fratton Park this summer, while 14 have departed.
In addition, transfer fees have been paid for Gary Roberts, Kal Naismith and Christian Burgess – as well as for Cook himself.
However, the Blues missed out on Barry Corr when they declined to meet the wage demands of a striker who instead joined Cambridge United.
And McInnes believes Pompey have handled their budget well.
He told The News: ‘Having been at the Football League conference, there are people in this division who this year are spending for different reasons such as a change of ownership, maybe a good cup run like Cambridge, or maybe are disappointed like Luton because they expected to go straight through.
‘They are going to be spending some serious money so I wouldn’t expect our pecking order in salary-scale terms to be very much different to last year.
‘It will be up there but it won’t be number one.
‘We have actually lost players to other clubs in this division who have been prepared to offer better terms than we have, not just length of contract but actual salary.
‘We have done it quite wilfully, on the basis of “Sorry, we want value for money and if it’s not then we won’t do it”.
‘We have not pre-allocated extra funds that we don’t have for any kind of run chase for promotion.
‘That is because we believe we already have a target which is acceptable for the matter in hand.’