Everton's lack of activity in the transfer window looks set to continue after chairman Bill Kenwright admitted the club's pot is dry because they "just can't borrow any more money".
Fans at Goodison Park have endured a frustrating summer, with the Toffees failing to bring in any new signings. With a wafer-thin squad at his disposal, David Moyes faces an uphill battle to improve on last term's seventh-place finish, especially now that Kenwright has lifted the lid on the club's dire financial situation.
"Two things, one the world is in a recession and I don't know any business that isn't suffering at the moment and I include football in that, other than the financial elite," he told Sky Sports News.
"Two, we've come to a stage with our bank with our finance where we just can't borrow any more. You've been at the AGMs, EGMs, the shareholders' meeting when I've said year after year, what we do is we beg and borrow from the bank. That's what we've been doing. The banks are tightening in now. We just can't borrow any more money. A, to protect the football club and B, to protect the fans. I know the progress over the past decade has been phenomenal on and off the pitch.
"We knew this summer we were going to get to a point where things were going to get very, very tight. We knew we had to trade. There has not been a lot of trading in football itself this summer. We've not been able to trade yet and that's the reason that we've not bought in a new player."
The Merseysiders could raise funds by selling some of their key players but, although Phil Jagielka has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal, no bids have come in as of yet and Moyes will be reluctant to let his big names leave.
Everton star Mikel Arteta is well aware of the situation at the club at the moment. "We cannot spend money like other clubs," he told BBC Sport. "That is sensible, even if it is not very popular. But at least we have been able to keep our best players. If we cannot sign new players we must keep the ones we have."