Dave Jones has defended his Cardiff City legacy after he left managerial successor Malky Mackay with a summer rebuilding job.
Jones made seven loan signings last season as he targeted Premier League promotion but their push was halted by Reading in the Championship play-offs.
Cardiff's loanees were seven of the 12 players that left the Welsh club when Jones' six-year tenure ended in May.
But Jones insisted signing a raft of loan players was not his decision.
"It wasn't mine, it can't be mine," Jones told BBC Radio Wales.
"It is very easy to blame the manager when he leaves and all the players start to leave to say to you left the squad bare.
"But I didn't hold the purse strings and that is nothing to do with me.
"The club were in a situation where we couldn't go out and buy players so what do you do?
"You go and get loans and you go and get free transfers."
The Bluebirds lost Craig Bellamy, Jason Brown, Stephen Bywater, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Jason Koumas, Seyi Olofinjana and Jlloyd Samuel when their loan stays at the Cardiff City Stadium expired at the end of last season.
Striker Jay Bothroyd, winger Chris Burke, full-back Adam Matthews and midfielder Gavin Rae also left when their Cardiff contracts expired in the summer.
Former chairman Peter Ridsdale said the Welsh club had to sell one player a season to survive as Roger Johnson, Aaron Ramsey, Cameron Jerome and Glenn Loovens departed in big-money moves.
"It was very difficult - but what else can you do?" added Jones.
"It was the only way the club could go, not only last year, but in previous years as we didn't have the finances as they were servicing historical debt.
"My dealings were with the chairmen in Peter and TG [Dato Chan Tien Ghee] was that there was was never any money really so we just did the best job we could."