David James has called on Portsmouth to demonstrate their ambition by spending money in the transfer market.
The England goalkeeper believes the new-found wealth of Manchester City could ensure the top five in the Premier League is set in stone in the future.
And James feels that, if other clubs want to qualify for Europe via the league or the cup competitions, they will need to reinforce their squads.
Pompey are unlikely to pay out a vast amount of money in January as owner Alexandre Gaydamak has announced he is looking to sell the club, but James feels spend to succeed is the way forward.
"If that is the case, it puts the old cliché about two leagues in one as truth," James said in The Guardian, when asked about possibility of City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool forming an untouchable top five.
"Qualifying for Europe will only be through cups and big clubs seem to want to win them as well.
"If we are looking to have the ambition, then we will have to spend money."
Meanwhile, James has described European football this season as a 'poisoned chalice' after seeing Pompey's thin squad stretched to its limits.
Despite having one match remaining, Heerenveen at Fratton Park on 17th December, Tony Adams' side have failed to reach the knockout stages of the Uefa Cup.
But James feels that Pompey, who won the FA Cup last season, will benefit from a reduced fixture schedule after Christmas.
"One of the problems of the Uefa Cup is the size of squads and, where our squad is slightly on the smaller size, it means a lot of players are either getting injured or are fatigued," James added.
"After next week we won't have to worry about the Uefa Cup. It has been a bit of a poisoned chalice."