Brendan Rodgers says Liverpool's owners need to decide whether they want to make money or be successful on the pitch.
Rodgers, who was dismissed from his role at Anfield in October, believes Fenway Sports Group must choose between profits and performances, or find a rare balance of the two, as they plan the Reds' future.
The Northern Irishman had to work under a transfer committee during his tenure and has first-hand experience of trying to operate a football team within a business model.
"The club needs to look at it and decide whether they want a business model or a winning model," Rodgers said.
"A winning model would mean trying to get the best possible players that you can, at whatever age they are, it doesn't matter.
"Some clubs will go into work and have that in mind. Others will think it is about buying a player, developing and improving them and then selling them on for a much greater fee, as opposed to getting the best possible player, irrelevant of his age, in order to win.
"This is the way it is going, some clubs operate with the model of football being a business and they will want to do the best they possibly can, but it will always be about getting a young player in, improving them and having a sale and value that is greater than when they got them.
"Other clubs will be in the market to just buy the top talents, irrespective of what age they are, in order to look to win. I think the best clubs must get the balance between both [models]."