Mansfield Town will not be making any new signings this month as they need the money to fight legal action from the club's former directors, the club have confirmed.
Steve Hymas and Andrew Saunders have started legal proceedings against the Stags demanding the repayment of loans worth almost £1million.
Hymas and Saunders, who left the club on bad terms in the summer of 2012 and subsequently formed AFC Mansfield, made a similar demand last March.
Mansfield received a solicitors' letter on Christmas Eve and will contest the claim, with chairman John Radford insisting the agreement was that the monies would only be repayable when the club was in a position to do so.
Stags boss Paul Cox had hoped to strengthen his squad ahead of Friday night's transfer deadline, with a striker high on his list of priorities. However, it appears he will now be unable to do so.
A statement on the Sky Bet League Two club's official website said: " Mansfield Town Football Club can confirm that there will be no new signings before the January transfer window shuts.
"Following a recent statement, the club can confirm that its legal expenditure is now set to increase as the club looks set to defend the proceedings recently commenced by former directors Steve Hymas and Andrew Saunders.
"As a consequence, funds which were intended to be used to strengthen the playing squad in this transfer window are now no longer available. The proposed pre-season trip to Malta this July has now also been cancelled."
Lifelong Mansfield fan Radford bought the club for £1 in September 2010 from Saunders, Hymas and Steve Middleton, who initially remained as non-executive directors before their departure in the summer of 2012.
He will hope he can service the club's legal costs without having to sell star player Sam Clucas, who has scored 11 goals this season and was last week the subject of a bid from a Championship club.