Jose Mourinho believes Uefa's Financial Fair Play rules will favour football's existing elite and make it easier to resist advances for players such as Cristiano Ronaldo from the game's "new money" clubs.
In the week when Ronaldo declared he was "sad" at Real Madrid, Mourinho stressed that the best players still wanted to be at top clubs and that FFP would keep the historic teams at the summit.
The Real coach said: "You cannot buy the history; the European Cups in the trophy room and the fan base. The best players still want to be in the clubs that have these things. It still plays a big part for these players.
"Then there is the FFP factor which Michel Platini [Uefa president] says he will apply to the letter. This will make it difficult for clubs who are not well-structured, even though they have lots of money.
"My club is prepared for this. Madrid has the history and the potential to keep the best players like Cristiano, Iker Casillas and Karim Benzema. Barcelona are the same. But the clubs who rely exclusively on the investments of their owners will not have it so easy."
Ronaldo's declarations of discontent came before the transfer window shut on both Paris Saint- Germain in France and the big-spending clubs from Russia. As it was Zenit St Petersburg spent £64m on Hulk and Axel Witsel from Porto and Benfica respectively. But Mourinho is convinced signing a player like Ronaldo remains beyond them.
"Money is still important, but more so for middle-ranking players," he added. "It is the same if in your firm you are earning €5m a year, you are not going to leave for an extra half a million. But if you are earning 12,000 a year and someone offers you 40,000 then you go because it changes your life.
"With players like Hulk and Witsel, that kind of thing will be repeated but to take a big player from a historic club will not be so easy."