Nice manager Lucien Favre admits his side will struggle to claim another top-three finish in Ligue 1, considering the increased competition.
Les Aiglons clinched a place in the Champions League qualifiers by finishing third last term, and were under little pressure from fourth-placed Marseille, who were 11 points off the pace.
However, Favre believes it will be almost impossible to replicate that again, looking at the kind of money that's been spent elsewhere in the league.
"It'll be tough. It's important to note that we're a club with a budget of 42 million Euros," he told his former club Borussia Monchengladbach's official website.
"Monaco and PSG are European powerhouses with budgets of hundreds of millions of Euros. Marseille now have a lot of funds available to them and have invested a lot.
"Lyon are looking to climb back up to the top of the table once more. And then on top of that you've got clubs like Lille, with a budget of 200 million Euros, and Nantes, who have attracted the interest of big-name foreign managers like Marcelo Bielsa and Claudio Ranieri.
"We also can't forget about Bordeaux and St. Etienne. It's almost impossible for us to secure third place again."