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Rumour Mill-The Selling and Buying Maybes?

Rumour Mill-The Selling and Buying Maybes?

Will Clarets fans be looking forward or not to the January transfer window which will soon be upon us in the New Year? This could be an opportunity to push for promotion by supplementing the squad with the club just five points away from the play-offs spots.

On the other hand though, the alarm bells are already ringing that we could expect to lose key players. Will the money we get from the sale of key players, supplement the new players expected to come in, or will we increase our squad numbers. quality and chance of promotion come what may?

How do you make sense of it all, this half-yearly shindig every season? Well Sky Sports no doubt will be having orgasms about the potential transfers no matter what effect it has on the clubs.

In terms of player sales, what is quite clear is that we seem to have returned to being a selling club again following the statements recently by Barry Kilby and Brendan Flood. In a rather negative message to fans, almost preparing the fans for the worst, Barry Kilby had this to say at the recent AGM:

"Players in general aren`t assets that are on your books forever. They are a depreciating asset, and they can just walk away for nothing. If you don`t realise the value of a player and they just walk out of the door eventually and wouldn`t be serving the club well,

"You can`t stop them going either."

The club therefore has not ruled out selling players despite the Clarets aiming to strengthen in January. The club announced losses of £4million in the last financial year which considering we had a season in the top flight recently seems a disappointing outcome after being assured by the Chairman at the time of promotion we would now be secure for ten years and would no longer need to sell players.

The club, with the FIFA Fair Play ruling just around the corner are still making attempts to drive the wage bill down from the £17.1million recorded in 2010/11. They look hell-bent on doing this no matter what effect that may have on our promotion chances this season.

Promotion would mean far greater financial rewards. The Premier League unfortunately guarantees this sort of success in terms of gates and TV revenues etc but do we really want to experience all that again without enough investment put into the quality of players we need to stay up?

The Premier League is bad enough to compete in but what about the Championship?

Operational director, Brendan Flood re-elected to the Board at the AGM also admitted the club continued to face challenges in an ever-competitive league, noting that since 2006 to the end of the 2009/10 season the average squad wage for the Championship had trebled.

"Eddie and his team have a massive task because, here at Burnley, we are always trying to out-perform with lower wage costs,

"It`s a very competitive league.

"In 2006 the average squad wage bill was £5million and we were just below that.

"The season ending 2009/10 the average squad wage bill was £15m.

"While financial fair play will bring in a more belt and braces approach for us we have got to be extra clever with how we buy and how we sell.

"It`s about employing the best possible people we can get."

"Eddie and his team are excellent. If you (the supporters) can give him the support from the terraces I`m sure he can be successful.

"We do understand our limitations, but we want to do our best for you."

The big question of course is who will leave in January and the obvious answers appear to be Jay Rodriguez and Andre Amougou but perhaps others are also being earmarked by Premier League clubs and more ambitious Championship rivals. We have to sit back and enjoy yet another window roller-coaster ride before we find out.

In the meantime who are we being linked with? Well so far it would appear to be up-and-coming talent, somewhat unproven at Championship level to be honest and therefore cheaper and not a resource strain on the salary cap.

Two we have been linked recently include Sheffield United defender-cum-midfielder, Matt Lowton and Manchester United midfielder Darron Gibson (on loan)

Matt Lowton is regarded as one of the best young prospects outside the Premier League and to be fair he did impress in the Championship last term for the Blades despite their relegation to League 1.

The 22-year-old made a name for himself in United`s first-team squad in the 2010/11 campaign, making 32 appearances for the club in total.

He can play in the back four and in midfield and so far this season has been an ever-present for the Blades also getting on the score-sheet. Although it is rumoured some Premier League clubs have Lowton on the radar, both Cardiff and Burnley could be prepared to go in for him in the January window.

Darron Gibson(pictured above)on the other hand is reported to be a loan target for three Championship clubs including the Clarets who could face tough competition from both Derby County and Bristol City. The 24 year old Manchester United midfielder is already a Republic of Ireland international and has played 30 games for the Red Devils scoring four goals. He has been out on loan twice during his career at Old Trafford. His first spell was at Royal Antwerp in 2006/7 and his second for Wolves playing for them for most of the 2007/8 season. He managed to score one goal too but sadly that was against the Clarets in December 2007!

Although looking a potential prospect, he has suffered from injury and some think it could be a gamble to take on an injury-prone player. Gibson suffered damage to his ankle ligaments in August this year and has made just one appearance for United this season and that was recently in the surprise 2-1 defeat by Crystal Palace in the Carling Cup quarter-final back in November.

It is difficult to know how much truth there might be in these rumours but I would think they are not particularly strong links. However, like everything else transfer rumour related we shall just have to see what happens in January! Oh what fun! Bring it on!

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Date:Sunday December 18 2011
Time: 11:48PM


Somehow, I find it all depressing. Five points off the play-offs and the Board are already preparing us for the worst? They would do so even if we had lost at Hull and be sitting in the bottom three. Someone get some vision and try summat different before it's too late!
18/12/2011 23:55:00
Truth is we are a selling club where there is added value to be banked. Get over it. Eddie has positioned himself well to take advantage of this come January, come the money boys come knocking. This will enable us to stay financially viable and continue to make progress. No Burnley supporter has the right to expect anyone to keep putting their hands in their pockets to sub us and retain our private ownership (and inherently, our security for years to come). So I applaud the directors for their honesty and openness. To quote an old Scottish boy of ours 'We are where we are'. Or we could find ourselves a bunch of chicken fryers... It's oh, so easy to snipe and find negativity from the sidelines.
Mike Mada
19/12/2011 08:50:00
The salary cap seems to be a big inhibiting factor in getting quality players, presuming it means no one player can be paid more than the cap. Would it make more sense to have a maximum wage bill, this would enable the Manager to pay any individual what they were worth to the club and could than have the choice of a large squad or a smaller squad of better players. Other than that I think the Board have simply stated the facts of life as they see it but at least they could re-invest the transfer receipts with a modest top up if necessary, that would be an improvement
19/12/2011 09:18:00
It would make more sense to have a change in attitude and a more positive 'can do' stance. One day it will happen and without breaking the bank or selling the ranch (except we dont own the flipping ranch either). It would also help if we could believe the Chairman when he says promotion has set us up for ten years and we are no longer a selling club. If he got that basic statement so wrong, what else is he getting wrong? It would also help if the Chairman didn't announce we could expect to get rid of players in the windows,what sort of morale effect does that have on the squad?
19/12/2011 09:37:00
With the exits to date we have clearly now got to a position where we hold the power and can afford to say no, unless a player's head has been turned? We have parachute payments, money in the bank, and I expect us to declare a surplus of about £5m this year (prior to the parachutes dropping). Jay or Pato may go, but generally I expect 2-3 good permenant signings in mainly defensive positions.
19/12/2011 10:14:00
I hope you are right, CC I really do. So many transfer windows though recently have been damp squibs as far as the Clarets are concerned and we have struggled to get defenders even in the loan market
19/12/2011 10:29:00
Like most clubs if the price is right then we will be interested in selling a player. However, the difficulty is that those who will command a fee are those in the first team squad and, in many cases, in the starting eleven most weeks. Amougou and Rodriguez are clear candidates but Paterson's injury record might make any permanent sale doubtful. Those we could probably afford to let go are more likely to be the ones who will simply provide a bit of headroom on the wages front.
19/12/2011 18:06:00
Hmmm. We did bring players in. They are generally working well in the mix of things. BUT some were loans. We have to work on reliability. I can't see EH ignoring that issue (not unless he's deaf dumb and blind). We have the capacity to unload some players (maybe the odd big name). I'd say expect some changes (both in and out) but nothing spectacular. Just a steady improvement.
20/12/2011 05:59:00
I don't know when the contracts end, but if for example if Cort and Carlisles' end in the summer then try and get 500k or anything for them in January...surely that makes sense or let them go for free in the summer? It maybe seen as a loss but in my eyes it would be better than getting nothing for them. I seem to think notloB have Cahill who may wish to stay rather than leave in January and then he can negotiate a huge personal deal in the summer as a free agent with one of the Champions league qualifiers. That will make turning down Wengers bid in the summer look like financial suicide especially if they are I wish....
20/12/2011 09:05:00
I would feel happier if someone linked us with either a midfielder or a defender. I get depressed when all the rumours surround strikers.
22/12/2011 22:52:00
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