Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany confessed he shares Chelsea rival Petr Cech's view that "money never won anything" as last season's English Premier League runners-up arrived in Hong Kong yesterday for the Barclays Asia Trophy.
One of the wealthiest clubs in the world after their purchase by Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, City spent £100 million (HK$1.18 billion) on players in the summer to boost their title hopes, domestically and in Europe.
But the Belgium international said success could not be assured merely by splashing out cash as five or six Premier League clubs were doing the same thing.
"The Premier League is one of the most competitive leagues in the world and it is not enough to just spend money," said Kompany. "A lot of clubs are as good as [we are] so it will take something special.
"We're just doing as much as we can in the preparation and buying new players is one thing but the way we prepare is really good. We are doing our best to be one of those teams to compete for every trophy."
City finished behind rivals Manchester United this season, failing to defend the league title they won in 2012, their first in 44 years. New team manager Manuel Pellegrini, who took over from Roberto Mancini this summer, has signed four new players to boost the squad, including Spain internationals Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas, Brazil international Fernandinho and Montenegro international Stevan Jovetic.
Chelsea goalkeeper Cech had said on Sunday: "Money has never won anything. You can spend as much as you want but you must build a team first. Yes, City have huge competition for every place. They have a new manager, new expectations and new motivations. And if they build a team they will be a tough opponent".
Pellegrini did not accompany the team to Hong Kong, having returned to his native Chile after his mother passed away over the weekend, according City assistant manager Brian Kidd.
Kidd, who travelled with the squad from South Africa on a chartered flight, was pleased with the players' form since the pre-season started two weeks ago and said he did not believe Pellegrini's absence would harm them.
"They've worked really well," said Kidd. "Everything had been planned before the coach had to go to Chile, even down to when the substitutions are to be made."
Kidd added that his and the squad's thoughts and prayers were with their team manager and his family.
Kompany added: "Football is more than just the signings, it is about being … in a family. We'll make sure he feels at home when he comes back."
City will play Hong Kong champions South China tomorrow in the opening day of the tournament which also features another match between two Premier League sides - Tottenham and Sunderland.
Spur team manager André Villas-Boas said the tournament would be a good test to see their standing against Premier League opposition, while captain Michael Dawson said they felt no pressure despite winning the same trophy in Beijing in 2009 as "pre-season is all about getting fitness under your belt".