Life is imperfect, football is worse than imperfect but in the main the big clubs have always ruled. The odd scamp gets in there occasionally to make things more interesting [us, Derby, Forest, Leicester, Blackburn for example] but the big clubs rule.
It's not the money that's spent, it's how it is spent and used thereafter.
Cardiff City, Huddersfield have made it to Prem in recent years without throwing an exceptional amount of money at it [unlike Derby, Middlesborough and Villa] but ultimately it is HOW the players are recruited, coached and managed that makes a difference. Which is why Villa are now Prem and Derby & Middlesborough are not.. Dean Smith being a better manager [IMO] than Lampard [Rookie] and who ever was at Boro [was it Pulis?].
Burley, Magilton and Royle were far better at managing without money than with it.
Football is still about putting the ball in the opposition net more than they put in yours, and whilst seasoned pros command ridiculous fees / wages there are still gems to be found [see Brentford]
Follow the town up or down!