Borussia Dortmund chief executive Aki Watzke believes the German club could become one of Europe's stronger teams if the Financial Fair Play rules are exercised accordingly.
Watzke, who has overseen Dortmund's path from rags to riches, told German newspaper FAZ the club would not alter their beliefs and build up debts simply to progress in the Champions League.
"Economically we are in Europe's top 20 right now and we want to be in the top ten. It is hard to judge if we can make it on a sporting level as football clubs are splashing their money on new players every other day," Watzke said. "Paris, Manchester City - you have to take into account that something like this happens somewhere.
"When Financial Fair Play kicks in and the rules are exercised accordingly, we may have the chance to reach the European top level. But if the alternative is to contract €20 million debts to reach the round of the last 16 of the Champions League, I would not do it."
Over the past few years Dortmund have more than doubled their turnover from €89 million in 2005 to €215 million in 2012, and were able to reduce debts by over €150 million. However Watzke still insists they need to be cautious when it comes to spending.
"The first chapter was survival, the second restructuring, the third developing a new philosophy and the fourth making that last. We managed to do that," Watzke said. "The fifth chapter is sustainability. We don't win the league three times in a row from now on. But we want to become regulars in Europe, mainly in the Champions League - all on a basis of a conservative management."
Dortmund won back-to-back titles in the German league but failed to make it out of their Champions League group last year. On Thursday, they were drawn into a group with Real Madrid, Manchester City and Ajax and Watzke is well aware of the challenge that lies ahead.
"On an economic level Real and City have other options. In such a group heroes are born. We want to make it out of the group", he said. "Only two German teams have ever won it. But I hold my horses. There has never been a club from pot four winning the Champions League."