Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn has blasted the transfer policies adopted by some of their rivals.
The Black Cats supremo believes some clubs intentionally look to unsettle potential targets prior to launching an official approach.
The North East outfit have been forced to fend off interest from Tottenham in Kenwyne Jones this week, while Hull City publicly announced their desire to bring Dean Whitehead on board.
Both deals have been dismissed out of hand by Quinn, who is growing increasingly frustrated at the nature of modern football.
"We have our eye on possible transfer targets, but as the clock ticks, we stand in line waiting for the potential mad rush," the Irishman said in his programme notes ahead of Sunderland's clash with Aston Villa on Saturday.
"Joking aside, as the end of the transfer window approaches, you can feel a bit like Charlton Heston in the Ben Hur chariot race striving to keep ahead of the pack.
"We hope to get what we want and we certainly know what agents want - money, end of story.
"But I can't put the club at risk in bowing down to these predators.
"In truth, clubs don't help themselves by taking part in this melee, but I believe it is even worse when some use media outlets to directly announce their intentions and preferences without having made contact with those players' clubs.
"As we all know, life becomes more difficult when players have their heads turned.
"We are very happy with our current group of players, which many people remark is the strongest we have had for years.
"We will try very hard to keep that strong and add to it when appropriate."