Sam Allardyce revealed club chiefs often pressurise managers to play expensive stars even if they are flops on the pitch.
The West Brom boss said having superstar players on huge salaries makes management much tougher.
Speaking on the Harry Redknapp Show podcast, Allardyce, 66, said: “And the agents now demand the sort of money that the club has to pay for that player if they want him, which gives him such a massive contract that now it’s very difficult for you as a manager to manage those players.
“You’ve got the responsibility of being able to control and manage that player that is earning so much for the football club.
“And you’ve got to bring the best out of him. You’ve got to make sure that he earns that money, that he’s worth that money, and he becomes an asset for the club and for you as a manager.
“The amount of money that is paid to players and just what that means because if you were brave enough to leave them out – and sometimes you had to be brave enough – there’d be big frowns from upstairs about the reduction of the asset, the reduction of what might be the sale of the asset.
“That’s them coming to you and saying ‘we paid a lot of money for him, you’re devaluing him, why’s he not in the first team – is it your fault?’ I found that much more difficult to manage. I don’t blame them whatsoever. I think that’s quite within their rights.”