As far as level playing fields are concerned, the National League is currently akin to the sloping pitch Connah's Quay Nomads' old Halfway Ground – it ain't level.
Certain clubs are spending far more than others – and, in the case of one, it's millions of pounds more.
This week saw Forest Green Rovers post an annual loss of £2.9m, adding to their £2.5m loss the previous year, to take their debt to £5.4m in just two seasons. It's maybe not a figure to cause too much shock in the Premier League or the Championship, but it's one that appears unfathomable for a non-league side.
Since becoming majority shareholder in 2010, green energy tycoon Dale Vince, the man behind the renewable energies firm Ecotricity, has overseen a transformation of the sleepy Gloucestershire club from minnows to giants of the non-league scene.
Second in the National League and a good bet to be challenging for a Football League place come the end of the season, Vince has bankrolled a revolution at the New Lawn that has seen an influx of top non-league talent and new facilities at the club, a far cry from the surroundings that Chester fans were accustomed to on trips to Nailsworth in the early 2000s.
His crusade has been a noble one and, to this point, there can be no doubting that his intentions have been nothing but pure for the club. But is the massive debt that has been racked up in the process all worth it?
Chester FC may have a far richer history than Forest Green, but they cannot compete with them on a financial level.
While the Blues were able to spend their way to the Conference title in 2004, the financial meltdown the club suffered some years later means things are very different there now.
A fan-owned club since 2010, those free-spending days are long gone and the Blues recently recorded pre-tax profits of almost £100,000 for the 2014-15 season. With no millionaire backer, they spend within their means so Steve Burr's player budget is a small fraction of what Ady Pennock has to work with at Forest Green.
But history tells us the path to the Football League for clubs with such a small fanbase isn't always paved with gold.
When Chester were first relegated to the Conference in 2000 much was made of just how much financial clout Rushden & Diamonds had at their disposal.
Bankrolled by businessman Max Griggs, whose R Griggs Group owned the Dr Martens brand, Diamonds thrived under his ownership and reached the the Football League in 2001.
They were Division Three play-off finalists in 2002 and were crowned champions a year later.
It was a footballing fairytale... but there was to be no happy ending.
Relegated in 2004, Griggs sold the club to the fans in 2005 for £1 but, without his considerable backing to rely on, they lurched from one crisis to another. Rushden were relegated back to the Conference a year after Griggs' departure and became also rans before a crippling financial situation saw them expelled from the league in 2011, a season after Chester City had suffered a similar fate.
Nene Park lay dormant and, after failed bids to turn it into another soulless retail park, the ground lies unloved, the roars from the terraces long gone. It is a memorial to a dream turned to dust.
And so we return to Forest Green and those debts of almost £5.4m.
Are alarm bells not ringing?
Clubs in non-league football should learn to spend within their means. We can't afford any more Chesters, Darlingtons, Herefords and Rushden & Diamonds. Success in the here and now is all well and good, but when all that is left is a memory of a season or two and the ability to stand on the terraces is removed forever, what then?
It's time for the National League to get serious with the situation and introduce financial fair play restrictions, similar to those in the Premier League and Football League. The Conference can't be the league where the dream starts and dies. They can't continue to mop up the shattered dreams of Football League hopefuls. They need to heed the warning signs that they have been given several times before.
As Winston Churchill said: "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."