Lawrence Dallaglio believes newly-relegated Harlequins are paying the price for putting off-the-pitch profits before on-the-pitch success.
Winning is the name of the game for Dallaglio
The Wasps skipper said: "As much as Quins are huge rivals of ours, they are a huge rugby brand - it's important for the game's growth they're involved.
"Sport is business, and on the business side they have done exceptionally well. But business is also sport.
"It does appear the balance between business and sport has got a bit lost."
Quins' fate was sealed by a 23-22 home defeat against Sale Sharks last Saturday, and player departures are inevitable.
Assistant coach Paul Turner is also set to be officially unveiled as Newport Gwent Dragons' new boss next week.
Wasps rugby director Warren Gatland, who is just two victories away from masterminding a third successive title-winning campaign, agrees with his skipper.
Gatland added: "The focus has been on balancing the books and not signing the best players, with finishing mid-table being the aim, and maybe a cup run for a bit of silverware.
"I think if Quins had survived and built that new stand (at The Stoop) over the next couple of years, they could have really been able to sign good players.
"But if you are playing for mid-table mediocrity for a few years, then at some stage you are going to get caught with your pants down. And unfortunately, Quins have been.
"A bad season for us is to finish mid-table. When I came here, we were bottom of the league, but we still finished mid-table - and that was a bad season for us.
"We want to be a top-three team, and if we have a bit of a dip, it will be to fifth or sixth."
Former England captain Dallaglio also feels Quins lacked the competitive edge needed to lift trophies.
"As a player, I have always wanted to be at a club that could win things," he said.
"If I didn't think Wasps were capable of winning trophies year on year, it is not a place I would stay.
"It is up to the Quins players. You know when you take the field if you have got a team that is capable of winning.
"They should be making serious suggestions and complaints to their board as to why they haven't signed players of the quality to stay in that division when everything else about the club is of the highest calibre."
Meanwhile, Quins managing director Tony Copsey will host a press conference next Monday afternoon when the club will make what they describe as "a number of important announcements relating to the 2005-06 season."