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Is it an Eck of a Victory for Burnley?

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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Date:Monday March 1 2010
Time: 12:46PM


Seems like a shallow victory to me this and a costly mistake made by Coyle in the first place.
01/03/2010 12:52:00
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,
01/03/2010 13:11:00
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.
01/03/2010 13:41:00
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.
01/03/2010 16:53:00
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.
01/03/2010 17:06:00
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]
01/03/2010 17:38:00
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.
01/03/2010 18:01:00
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,,,,
01/03/2010 19:06:00
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 !
01/03/2010 19:18:00
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]
01/03/2010 19:22:00
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