Wigan manager Uwe Rosler says teams like the Latics will find it difficult to compete with the spending power of other Championship clubs.
He claimed the transfer market had been "destroyed" by recent big-money deals.
"It makes it very tough for the majority of the Championship to recruit," he told BBC Radio Manchester.
Tuesday's 1-0 defeat at Cardiff, who along with Fulham dropped down from the top flight last season, left Rosler's side with just one point from their first three games.
"The transfer market is destroyed this year, in terms of the money that has been paid for certain positions," added Rosler, whose Wigan side lost in the play-off semi-finals last season.
"We have a strong team but where we lack is up front so we need to strengthen in that area. It's not easy, especially when you're driving a football club in a responsible way like we do."
The Latics were relegated in 2013 after eight seasons in the Premier League and still have the financial assistance of parachute payments, but Rosler is unhappy with the discrepancy that he believes exists.
The former Brentford boss continued: "The problem is when teams come down from the Premier League - the income of those teams gets higher and higher, and they have a massive advantage when they come down.
"We have less income than last year and we have to adapt more and more to life in the Championship, but still push to win promotion.
"When you pay £11m for a striker and £5m for a League One striker, it's very difficult for a club like Wigan to compete at that level.
"We try to find solutions and we're working extremely hard, but at the moment, lady luck is not on our side in that part."