I personally think they did. What I don't think they did is do that on purpose in order to not spend. I think they genuinely wanted to save money for Bellingham and thought that midfield could carry us another season or two but it ended up being the disaster we saw earlier in the season and they suddenly found themselves in need of two or three midfielders which completely scraps the idea of Bellingham. So basically, I'm holding them accountable for selling to the fans an idea without doing their due diligence in making sure this idea is viable.
I don't think FSG dont spend money or try to avoid to spend money. They do spend money, less than others, true, but also in smarter ways than others. They usually dont back away from fixing squad problems/holes when there is. What happened was, in my opinion, a mix of bad planning + maybe some people being hard headed about how much this midfield could give us and for how long it could give it.