Hamburg sporting director Frank Arnesen says the club must raise funds by selling five first-team players and has revealed those who will face the axe.
The Bundesliga outfit splashed out on Rafael van der Vaart, Milan Badelj, Petr Jiracek and Artjoms Rudnevs in the off-season.
But Arnesen has revealed that money must be raised in order to balance the books.
"This is a big challenge. We have invested a lot in the summer," he told Bild.
"We have some big names on the scratch list. We have professionals who we did not want to let go, so it is unfortunate."
Goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobny, defender Slobodan Rajkovic, midfielders Per Skjelbred and Robert Tesche and striker Marcus Berg are the unfortunate five who are now looking for clubs.
"They have all been informed and I have spoken to their consultants," Arnesen said.
"Perhaps it is better for some than others, but I am just glad they will get some first-team action with a new club."
Despite that considerable off-season investment, Hamburg have made an unconvincing start to the season and sit ninth in the Bundesliga.