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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

A Flood Of Money Despite A £3.75 Million Loss?

Chairman Barry Kilby said in August he was expecting the club to announce a loss of £3.75m for the latest financial year. But against that backdrop, would Clarets fans get their wish and see Eddie Howe given enough funds for improving the quality of the squad in the January transfer window coming up?

Well there were some encouraging noises today from Operational Director, Brendan Flood suggesting that money would be released for Eddie to improve the squad.

Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph he said:

"We will support him in every way we can.

"The brief he operates to is if he presents a case for a new player that represents good value and an opportunity for the club and the team to become better then we try to support him.

"I think in the main we have done that when he has presented a case."

The problem is though that despite earning millions following promotion to the Premier League and then receiving two years of parachute payments since relegation, Burnley still embarked on reducing the wage bill during the summer as well as then being forced to sell key members of the squad; a squad that achieved an 8th place finish last season. This was also a squad that we were told at the start of the summer break just needed to be supplemented by 2-3 additional players and all would be well. Chris Eagles, Tyrone Mears and Danny Fox though then all departed and the club were also unsuccessful (some would say not ambitious enough) in trying to sign Jack Cork. Cork of course was then snapped up by Southampton, the current Championship league leaders whilst the Clarets are struggling in 18th place just five points off the relegation zone.

At the start of the pre-season everybody at the club seemed optimistic despite some Clarets fans doubts. There was lots of positivity emanating from the club but the reality was that we finished up with a squad that we were suddenly told was 'in transition` with Eddie Howe rebuilding for the future. That certainly seemed a far cry from the spin emanating from the club at the start of the summer when we just needed these two extra players or so to supplement the squad and go for promotion.

"The message to fans is that we`ve got to be ambitious but we have got to be realistic, Flood told the LT but at one point do you believe anything the club says anymore having been led to believe at the end of last season that finishing 8th was a failure and that we would only need 2-3 additional players to improve our fortunes and be ready for a strong promotion push in 2011-12? Not quite worked out like that has it?

Maybe I dreamt it, but I am sure i was told after reaching the Premier League that our future would now be secure for the next ten years and yet if we are still operating at a loss to the tune of £3.75 million based on the last financial year something clearly does not add up especially since we now have a squad stripped bare in terms of both the quality and quantity needed to get promotion. That promotion too has to be sooner rather than later with the FIFA Fair Play and EPPP rulings waiting just around the corner.

Many Clarets fans have the feeling that the club has lost its way, that it is almost rudderless with strong hints that Barry Kilby may be close to retirement although that has been strenuously denied by the club.

Some Clarets fans too will be cynical concerning Flood`s comments believing that yes, the funds will be released but only after selling Jay Rodriguez and maybe others in January.

We shall of course just have to see how things pan out but you just wonder if we are still hovering around the relegation zone come Christmas whether the true reality will dawn on the Board that something has to be done and done quickly.

"It`s a well-used term about betting the ranch, but if success lasts one season you could have 10 years of trouble and we don`t want that, said Flood.

Could someone tell me what the difference would be if by not investing in our Championship survival or indeed promotion chances we got relegated to League One with falling gates and reduced revenue streams? Would not this complacency on behalf of the Board and its short-sightedness also potentially lead to ten years of trouble? Would not a more forward thinking risk-taking approach whilst we had the chance in the Premier League and indeed last season and this season in the Championship have avoided the problems we now face? The jury is still very much out but at least Brendan Flood is making the right noises providing that this time as the jargon goes he walks the walk!

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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday November 14 2011

Time: 7:12PM

Your Comments

Read the comments too below the LT article-
Mr. Flood - Blah Blah. Zzzzzzzzz.
Burnley and wage bill? Makes you think that in the good old days players didn't leave Burnley for better wages and thats why we were great as we could compete. Since Jimmy Hill gave players control we as a club have struggled with income against outgoings.
The picture of Flood at the top of the article always reminds me of that saying would you buy a car off this man, and the answer would be NO. Could be a nice bloke and probably is but heís a businessman and looks after himself. I would like to know where the money has gone this season, 1: this season half of the big earners have gone or been sold, 2: with average gates of 12,000 plus 16 mil Prem money why have we one of the smallest squads in the Championship and no money. In my view it looks like Kilby want out for some reason, things donít add up to me and I cannot wait for the price of the new season tickets and the new slogan. Itís time to start afresh a clear out at board level I know itís easier said than done, but instead of the fans voicing their anger at the manager and players letís give the Board some ***** instead.
Greetings TMP! We meet again on the financial playing field! I offer a suggestion to one concern raised in your (as ever) well-argued (if not necessarily convincing) piece, when you said: "Maybe I dreamt it, but I am sure i was told after reaching the Premier League that our future would now be secure for the next ten years and yet if we are still operating at a loss to the tune of £3.75 million based on the last financial year something clearly does not add up especially since we now have a squad stripped bare in terms of both the quality and quantity needed to get promotion." Isn't he referring to the accounts that are currently being closed for last season when talking about the £3.75 million loss, i.e. before the squad being stripped bare? This is what the LT says: "Chairman Barry Kilby said in August he expected the club to post a loss of £3.75m in the latest financial year." I also have to confess to an anxiety that no matter how much detail is provided on where the money went, some will keep asking! :-) RT gave the answer that in my view sums it up best: "Look in the players' car park!" Various what-if scenarios from various critical points in history can always be revisited, and will doubtless keep us all talking and posting for decades ahead. But it seems that the club has taken the steps to address last year's loss, so as to provide the security it had said was possible. Or are some people interpreting 'secure' as meaning 'in the PL'? I would also suggest that the club is fairly obviously in far better financial health than if we had lost at Wembley, and that the analysis of whether that promotion has achieved greater security needs to consider not where we were in that year of getting spanked by the rich and famous... but where we would have been if we had lost, which most seemed to suggest at the time would have been in a very tight financial spot and with many of the Wembley heroes gone by the start of the next year! Obviously I am deliberately offering a counter argument. But I don't see as much of a gap as you in terms of what has been said and what has been done.
Couch Potato
Don't you think though we have been slightly misled? They must have known what our finances were like at the end of last season but decided to put out the spin that things were rosy when they wanted us all to buy 'Early Bird' season tickets. There is one hell of gap between just needing 2-3 players for a promotion push to being a squad in transition! It was also pretty obvious too that Eagles, Mears etc were likely to shoot off and yet it seemed to come as a surprise to the club with no contingency planning in place to replace them
How can a thread bare squad of youngsters be earning more than a full squad of experienced players? I can't seem to get me head round that one.
They aren't 8c8. Not sure why you think they are?
Couch Potato
I read it, trying to remember where now...I will see if I can track it down, it was on the lines of our promoted squad was on less money than our current squad.
Quote Flood: Now we are spending about £12million on wages. For the playing squad in the promotion season, that was about £9m, so we are investing more than we were the last time around.
OK, got you now. I thought you were comparing last year with this. Let me think on this one! Meanwhile, there's a new acronym in town to scare TMP! ECA... Get ready for a 16-team PL?
Couch Potato
I am afraid I don't comprehend all the financial figures but £12 million on wages does sound a huge amount. I guess that you then have running costs and improvements, loans and cost of the ground rental/interest? It strikes me you would need to be three slices short of a milk roll to want to run a football club unless you were oil rich. W38
8c8 - this is what I have come up with so far. (A) Those players who were in the Wembley year squad and now will be on higher salaries now, in some cases quite a lot higher. (Beast, Duffo, McCann, JayRod, anyone I have forgotten). (B) Then you'd have to compare what players we've brought in since are earning, compared to the probably smaller salaries that were paid to those who have gone. Grant, Amougou, Edgar, Easton, Wallace, Treacy, Stan, Zavon, Marney, Bartlett are probably on a bit more overall than we were paying Wado, Eagles, Robbie, Kalvenes, Grezza, Thommo and the others in that group at that time. (C) I'd reckon we are also still paying a chunk of the wages of Clarke, Cort and By Eck, on top of whatever we are paying Tripper and Mee... and that that is quite a bit more than we were paying the loanee on from Boro at right back (Williams?) and when we had no-one loaned out that I can think of. (D) Finally my instinct is that we have considerably more young players under contract now than in the promo year. (E) Though it's counter-intuitive, when I look at that detail, I am not surprised by the fact we're paying £3million more now than in the wonderful Wembley year.
Couch Potato
Nope not buying into it one bit, sure their wages will have gone up when we got promoted of the 4 that's left but also they would have come down when we got relegated, I cannot imagine any of the fore mentioned players being on more money than Elliott, Eagles, Blake and Thompson, maybe Bikey would have been something on a par with them having come from a higher profile club at that time...If I get time later I will do some maths ;)
With him*
Talking of maths dont forget we are comparing figures 3 years on. £15m versus £12m is only 7.7% per annum increase and I bet Eddie doesnt come cheap despite his age. And if Flood had done some rounding and the accurate numbers were actually £14.6m versus £12.4m then the 7.7% drops to only 5.6% per annum
I am unsure of what everyone is trying to prove? Wages went up when we got promoted? Some wages stayed higher than they should have when we got relegated? We paid Mr Laws compensation and others? At what point can this debate be brought to a conclusion? We are spending too much or we are spending too little? It seems to me a bit like debating should we have paod Weaver all that money to bench warm and Van der Schaff are we still paying for! W38
Think Couch was correct when he quoted one of my previous lines...but Waldo is also spot on to say that anyone taking on the reins of a football club must be absolutely barking bonkers.
Woof woof!
Couch Potato
TMP may find ammunition for his line of argument in this...
Couch Potato
I think Howe could work wonders if the money is made available
I think the summary of the last 5 seasons accounts is very illuminating and explains a lot of where money has gone. Shows why we cant afford to pay £1.5m Wages and National Insurance for 1 player (Cork)
Arhhh you have been expecting me right? ( well some have eh Couch et al. lol) So here we go again batting forward and back the long financial game of BFC, lots of nodding dogs out their buying the pre-prepared scripts and other like me trying to make sense of the new financials ! Well before I comment in full I will have a butchers at them in more detail next week, but a note (or two) on the current information, the loses will be greater than £3.75M, in fact BFC have posted over (£4M) but the devil is always in the detail in these things, so lets plunge in like satin eh, I am sure you will have heard it said on a multitude of occasions from Messrs. Kilby and Flood that the club had become debt free and the main aim was now to deliver back to the fans the ground! applauding themselves along the way for developing such an astute financial plan ... Hurrah we all cheer debt free at last, Mmm! just a wee minute... on top of the £4 Million quid the club is posting as losses AKA Debt, do I see a sneaky directors loan pumped into the club to shore up what could have been a very embarrassing headline loss .... a greater loss ( as a few eyebrows begin to raise)? Arhh, yes, that will be the generous gift from John Banaszkiewicz for £4.4M, awarded at a most modest interest bearing rate of around 5% reasonable given prevailing market conditions, Now let me be clear, any one who puts that sort of cash into the club should be applauded, however anyone who has had £45.5M the year before, proceeded by a further £27.4M this financial period and with further income from KEY PLAYER SALES which we know represents say a further £5M, by my reckoning we are up to £77.9M in two seasons start to concern me greatly when we are posting losses, So please my faithful fellow clarets ,hows the fantastic board looking to you right now?... £80M quid in two seasons and we have had to go back into debt for another £8.5m (inc the loan) this means your club has burned its way through a staggering £88.5M in two seasons? food for thought indeed .... well until we see the real detail next week that is.... what's that you say? at least we have a lovely pitch and new showers down Gawthorpe
Very illuminating and very much as I predicted after relegation. It proves why they should have had more financial balls to try and stay in the Premier when they had the chance. Those extra players (2-3) without breaking the bank or risking administration could have helped keep us up and if still no luck could have been sold on at a profit a la Fletcher. Financial security for ten years my arse, a promotion winning squad with just 2-3 players needed my arse! On sorry those statements came out when the Early Bird season tickets were on offer! How very convenient!! Time for a new broom and a new approach
No-one expects the Hollins Inquisition.
Couch Potato
Strange rumours are circulating the internet that turfmanphil is actually a reincarnation of Nostradamus, but no official announcement has been made.
Couch Potato
Paul Fletcher off now-fallout with a director over University according to LT! Club a shambles and in meltdown!
The snippet of the story online says he's staying till the end of the season. Which could turn out to be the case, or otherwise. What's your assessment of Fletch's contribution as Chief Exec? If he's at loggerheads with a director over the uni, I find myself wondering whether that might be loggerheads over competing stadium development plans. Didn't Fletch have a stake in a company who put forward the concert venue concept? So it could just be a property developers' tiff rather than indicative of anything to do with football or football finance. All of which said and done Fletch's great contribution on the pitch will mean lots of emotional heartstrings being pulled by this LT news. Bit early to panic in my view!
Couch Potato
Couldn't give a toss about Fletcher, but on reflection its illuminating to see a Chief Exec who had the mantra to "develop a new stadia" walk away having achieved Feck all but spend a king ransom on developing plans for a project or projects that never even got past the planning stages..... an emphatic display of wasteful financial resources and may I say feckin typical of this hapless board
Totally agree HC, all this ***** hitting the fan was only a matter of time. Problem is though who would want to take over a club that has achieved so little despite being handed it on a platter after getting promoted? Wrong decision after wrong decision and boy are we all suffering for it now
Perhaps worth noting that since the big plans for ground development were drawn up the biggest global financial and economic crisis of our lifetime has occurred. Also that some projects have moved forward, e.g. playing surface, Gawthorpe and... I would add uni and conversion of leisure centre, but I don't want to set anyone off. Oh woops, I probably just have done. I'll get my hard hat! :-)
Couch Potato
The biggest global financial and economic crisis has also affected the 18 clubs above us too. Admirable to keep finding a few crumbs of comfort after each snippet of bad news that has followed this club since Coyle left but the overall picture is one of total mismanagement and very poor decision making.
Have those 18 clubs above us undertaken major ground development since the start of the global financial and economic crisis? I don't know. My earlier mention of the crisis was in response to Hollins saying that all of Fletch's stadium development plans had come to naught.
Couch Potato
Thank you for the kind words of admiration, by the way, TMP. Don't tell anyone, especially not on this day of wild rumours, but the feeling is mutual. I was thinking that, from what I know of it, your job involves picking holes in other people's ideas, projects and presentations, so as to toughen them up. Mine largely revolves around keeping people moving creatively forwards forward after emotional meltdowns and plot losses. I guess we each bring those aspects of who we are at work to the VB table! What's for pudding? :-)
Couch Potato
Is this a good cop bad cop thing or can anyone join in? If anything negative happens it is because of the Boards poor management of the club and if anything positive happens it is because of the Boards great management! Man City have debts the size of a small country is this really what 90 minutes on a Saturday afternoon has now become? W38
Of course anyone can join in, but I'd disagree with you on one thing W38! My core view is that luck, fate, call it what you will plays a big part, rather than everything being down to a board being 'good' or 'bad'! Which is largely why I don't turn my disappointment at things being a bit tough at the moment into anger at the Board. Then again I would completely agree with what you say about Man City.
Couch Potato
Thankyou CP. I too have a difficulty with knowing when it is the right time to be angry with the manager, the board, the defenders or indeed the strikers. It is too often a blame culture that takes over when in reality only one team will win the FA Cup and only one team will win our Division, 23 others will be looking for reasons why and perhaps spending too long looking for blame?
Exactly the same sort of complacency that eventually led to this club fighting for its very survival in the football league. Somebody save this club before it is way too late
Some of the detail from the accounts year end 30th June 2011 Turnover down at 27,376 as against 45,377, Staff cost down to 19,392 as against 22,372, Profit on sale of assets down at 512 as against 4,781, Interest payable down at 907 as against 1,118, Loss 4,021 against profit 10,247, Debtors 1,292 as against 8,980 that is money owed to club, Match income 23,219 against 40,558, Bank overdraft 213 against nil, Directors loans 1,430 against 1,000, Other loans 5,329 against 8,731 At 30th June JB had a loan to Club 4,422 the previous year B.Kilby had 1,000 at year end Interest during year to directors BK 45 JB 272 At the year the Club were committed to spend 380 on ground against 700 the year before NOTE ON ALL THE PRECEEDING FIGURES THEY NEED 000 ADDING TO THEM! Only 20 new shares were issued during the year for £40,000. Brenda Flood is the only director due for reelection this year.

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