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Is it an Eck of a Victory for Burnley?

Burnley FC have been instructed to pay Manchester United a compensation fee of 500,000 plus add-ons for defender Richard Eckersley following a FA Tribunal last Monday.

Eckersley was a free agent after refusing to sign a new contract with Manchester United and was signed by Owen Coyle last Summer. However due to his age, United were entitled to compensation and the two clubs could not agree a fee.

Burnley had no option but to have the matter decided by an FA Tribunal.

United had been hoping to secure a sum of over 1 million plus add-ons for the 20-year-old. Their valuation seemed ridiculously high since the defender had made just two appearances for the Red Devils and further more had yet to start a Premier League game this season for the Clarets.

The club's valuation of Eckersley was somewhat lower therefore than United's with a figure of 300,000 being reported by the local media and now confirmed by Chief Executive,Paul Fletcher on the Official Site.

"The outcome is satisfactory," said Fletcher.

"When the smallest club in the league tries to take on the biggest club in the league you always wonder how it's going to end up.

"But we thank the tribunal for taking a common sense approach to this.

"We have always valued the player around the 300,000 mark until he starts establishing himself in the first-team."

Fletcher added: "When Manchester United were asking a million-plus we thought we had to stand up and be counted and that's what we did.

"The tribunal was represented by administrators of the Premier League who have hopefully seen the common sense of the way Burnley tries to run its business with sensible numbers, rather than allowing ourselves to get into financial difficulties further down the line."

Fletcher attended the hearing in Manchester, along with Brian Laws, who inherited Ecklersley as part of his first-team squad after replacing Owen Coyle as manager, while manager Alex Ferguson and chief executive David Gill, along with club lawyers, were part of the United team giving evidence.

So Paul Fletcher has described the decision as nothing more than satisfactory and no doubt some Clarets fans will be wondering whether a player that does not appear likely to make his Clarets debut this season in the Premier League is truly worth half-a-million pounds, especially when the club continues to plead poverty. Could this be yet another expensive signing that Owen Coyle has lumbered the club with? Another signing for the future when we need players of the right quality now to avoid relegation?

Eckersley joined the club because he wanted to play Premier League football and felt Burnley FC would offer him that chance on a more regular basis. Tyrone Mears has of course made the right back spot his own this season but if we fail to avoid the drop, would Mears and Eckersley be happy to be playing Championship football next season? If the answer is yes then fair enough but if Eckersley wants to move would we be able to obtain 500,000 or more for the player on the transfer market and recoup our losses on a player that has rarely made an appearance?


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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday March 1 2010

Time: 12:46PM

Your Comments

Seems like a shallow victory to me this and a costly mistake made by Coyle in the first place.
turfmanphil
give the lad a game i say, he is young enough to adapt, stick him in front of defence or put mears there as this seems our favoured formation, time will tell, this is one lad i see as at least an investment,
palsdad
PD do you mean moving Mears into a Alexander type role in front of our back 4? that actually sounds an interesting proposition, because our back 4 seems to be whatever flavour of the day is! Doing that would give Eckersley an opportunity to fill the right back berth.
colinwaldron
yes c.w excatly what i ment, bikey is liability there at moment, the space he leaves on his rhino runs is crazy, get mears in the middle and give ek a chance.
palsdad
Phil - How do you know this is mistake by Coyle? Eck could turn out to be a player we sell for much more than 500k - time will tell.
Claretdale
How are we going to do that Dale if we get relegated and Eckersley seeks a new club in the top flight? Naw the more I look at it the strategy initiated by Coyle presumably supported by the Board the more it seems illiogical. We have a job to do now, its called surviving in the top flight and we want to do it by all accounts without spending any money that would take us into debt. Why the hell have we wasted all this money then on players that hardly play and may or may not stay if we go down? How much money has gone on the salaries of players like Easton, Eckersley, Edgar (until recently), Guerrero, van der Schaaf, Penny, Lund. Is Long going to get a game this season, what about the six (yes SIX )first year professionals all soaking up money? Shouldn't we be building for the future after we have consolidated in the Prem and been putting our efforts behind that by putting the money instead towards a couple of higher-quality players that might have helped keep us up? [Edited by turfmanphil]
turfmanphil
Think you've hit the nail on the head - Mears will leave in the summer and Eckersley is the natural heir to the right back slot. But I've seen him play more foir United than I have for us. Surely now this has been sorted there has to be a place in the squad for him.
RickersTwickers
add weaver to the list, its crazy when you think about it, we seem to be strenghening for chumpionship, have they frogotten how hard it is to get up, 2 just as strong teams will come down with us and there are good teams down there,,,,
palsdad
My point exactly plus the fact we will virtually have to rebuild the squad unless anyone can see Mears, Eagles,Fletcher, Elliott and McCann staying in the Championship. Then we have the 11 players out of contract in the summer most of 'em will probably go! Are we going to have confidence in a squad with players that have virtually never played for us with the vast majority youngsters? Yes, the parachute payments will go someway to bringing in replacements but we start all over again with gates back down to 11,000. Disasterville !
turfmanphil
The pressure on Laws will also be immense if we go down, any bad run or no chance of the play offs/promotion by Christmas and all the images of him being a failed manager at Shef Wed will come back to haunt him. The fickle Clarets fans will only be too pleased to remind him verbally at the games too! I dont want it to happen of course but it is the nightmare scenario and it scares me far more than any threat of going into administration due to having some debt [Edited by turfmanphil]
turfmanphil
We MAY well recoup money on Eckersley quite easily. IF we go down Mears will more than likely leave. This MAY then allow Eck to make the right back spot his own. First team football could allow him to sink or swim - If he swims, we will probably make a profit on him. If we go down, we go down - I may get abused for saying this but does it really matter? We will still be claret and we will still have a club to support. The premiership isnt everything!
Claretdale
It's not too long ago that Claret fans were moaning about a lack of attention to the youth system and bringing in some young players. No club has a squad who are all Premier standard, some are there as back-up for injuries and suspensions and they all have players who they are grooming for the future. Apart from the fact we have no money to buy top Premier players, they wouldn't want to come to Burnley if we had. Spending 5 or 10 million on a player guarantees nothing anyway. We got up last year with a group of players that came from the lower leagues, were recognised talent but a bit past it and several younger players coming through the system. This won't change. Also going into administration is not the easy way out that some think it is. The points deduction is the easy bit. The administrator basically flogs everything that's not nailed down to get as much for the creditors as possible. This is worse if one of the creditors is the tax office as is usually the case because they won't accept a low return in the pound like some 'friendly' creditors like Directors might. The staff are reduced to skeleton status and there is a fire sale of the players and equipment, capital assets etc. If Pompey can't get out of administration before they start in the Championship then they will be deducted another 15 to 20 points meaning almost certain relegation to Division 1. Because of the GFC banks are refusing to cover debts as they used to and no-one is interested in bailing out clubs with debt any more hence the failure to get investment for Pompey.
ozjean
Dale,as one who has seen this club in the top flight 33 years ago, I want this club to remain there and the club be seen to be trying everything they can to remain there. That starts with a mndset that says. 'We Are Premier League.Lets stay in it' not 'Oh we are probably going to be a Championship side next season,lets prepare for it' In terms of financial reward the Prem is everything (although a bloody pain as well from a number of angles) and if we can stay up for a couple of seasons or so, we could finally be in a position where these threads no longer need to be started because we have reached financial stability and can plough on having broken the 'pleading poverty' cycle. Anybody who thinks its going to be easy peasy next season if we go down, I think is slightly deluded. There is no gaurantee of anything and that includes buying one or two higher quality players as you say ozjean but what there is,is an increased chance, one that in my opinion is worth taking because of the potential financial benefits
turfmanphil
Dale, Mears is probably a certainty to go if we are relegated but the problem as I understand it is that Eckersley wants to play in the Prem not the Championship so the most we can hope for is that he holds the club to ransom and says play me so I can showboat my skills or I will slap in an immediate transfer request. Which Prem Cub will give the Clarets 500k or more in the summer? What would happen for example if Bolton stayed up and offered the Clarets 300k for him in the close season? That's the value the Clarets put on him so we are not in a good bargaining position are we, especialy since he wont have played many more matches if any in the top flight come the close season?
turfmanphil
Eck may want to play in the Premiership, most players should do - but he may have to take a step backwards to go forwards. He should know that and if he doesnt those close to him should be making that clear to him. He is probably not good enough to be a first choice right back at ANY premiership club at this time.
Claretdale
But Dale, Coyle brought Eck to Turf Moor with his long-term future in mind, would Eck not relish the chance again to be linked to a Prem club and have some chance of playing and furthering his career rather than have to showboat his skills at Championship level even if that meant more regular action? This is a very hypothetical point I agree but one in which I think could be one of many problems facing Laws next season if we get relegated. If Coyle signed him in the Premier League might not another Prem manager want to do the same on the same basis one year further on and if so would we realise a profit? [Edited by turfmanphil]
turfmanphil
Interesting clue this maybe from Laws in the LT: "The player's pleased it's all over now and we can concentrate on getting him some games. "Then we can help him progress. He's certainly a prospect, there's no question about that. The last thing you want is for a player to have uncertainty in his mind."
turfmanphil
Agree it is all hypothetical, and to be honest I have no clue as to how good he is. Based on what I have seen with my eyes - not great. But Sir Alex seemed to rate him enough to want to keep him as reserve, he must have something about him. If he was to move to a Premiership club, he will not get regular first team football at the moment - If he plays in the championship, he may well do. He will surely be encouraged to take the latter option.
Claretdale
 

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