Chesterfield chairman Dave Allen has told new manager Paul Cook there is no money available to bring in new players.
Cook, who left League Two rivals Accrington last week to succeed John Sheridan at the Proact Stadium, will have to trim the squad he has inherited before he is able to make any signings.
"This club is no different to any other club," said Allen. "At the beginning of the season, we had a football budget and we said we were going to have 22 players, but it has creeped up to 25 or 26.
"We are up to budget, so no funds are available. If he can get some players out, then he can get some players in. And that's the same as at the majority of football clubs."
Allen added: "If we are in the top six towards the end of the season and Paul feels he needs a little bit more, will I put my hand in my pocket? I have before."