Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson says Salford City "blew us away with money" when the two sides were competing to sign a player.
Robinson says it is getting tougher for Scottish clubs to compete.
"Fifty per cent of National League clubs probably pay more than the bottom half of the Premiership," he said.
"I tried to sign a National League player and he's gone to League Two on double the money of my highest-paid player.
"I actually competed with Salford for a couple of players. I got one - Liam Donnelly - and lost out completely on the other. They blew us away with money.
"But it's not like suddenly we don't have any money. We probably have a bit more than before, so we're OK."
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Despite those difficulties, Robinson says he is content with his squad strength.
As well as signing defender Donnelly from Hartlepool United, Robinson has recruited Alex Rodriguez Gorrin, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Mark Gillespie and Danny Johnson.
Striker Conor Sammon was also brought in this week on a season-long loan from Hearts and Robinson says his transfer business is done unless players are sold.
The Fir Park club have rejected offers for defender Cedric Kipre and forward Ryan Bowman from Hull City and Grimsby Town respectively.
"We are a club that sells players but they won't be leaving for the money that's been offered," Robinson said.
"You have to be fair to the player and not ask for a ridiculous amount. Give us the market value and they can leave."