Blackburn's winter pursuit of David Beckham and Ronaldinho is the reason the club now find themselves in a relegation fight, according to Michel Salgado.
The Venky's Group, Blackburn's ambitious owners, promised marquee signings when they completed their takeover last October.
Former England captain Beckham and Brazil international Ronaldinho emerged as January targets as a result and Salgado thinks the speculation was a damaging distraction.
Blackburn now head into Survival Sunday in danger of dropping into the Championship and they must beat fellow strugglers Wolves to make certain they stay in the Premier League.
"That was the one mistake for us to talk about all the stars like Ronaldinho and Beckham," said former Real Madrid defender Salgado.
"We didn't realise we had to come back down to earth because we are involved in the best league, the most demanding league in the world.
"My first thoughts were, 'They are crazy to offer that money to these guys'."
He jokingly continued: "My second thoughts were, 'OK, I am going to ask for more money'. I was in talks with the club at the time, so it was great for me."
A number of Blackburn players signed new contracts and there was some wild talk of the club's ambitions, which Salgado thinks was premature.
"All of us got carried away, including the press, players and the staff," he said.
"We made mistakes talking about the dreams of the future. We didn't realise there were three months to go so, when you're not focused on every game in this league, especially this year which was the tightest Premier League I've ever seen, you lose games."
Who do you think will go down?
Wigan and Blackpool
Wigan and Birmingham
Wigan and Wolves
Wigan and Blackburn
Blackpool and Birmingham
Blackpool and Wolves
Blackpool and Blackburn
Birmingham and Wolves
Birmingham and Blackburn
Wolves and Blackburn