Burnley fans fear bleak future with player departures and debts to repay | Burnley

VSCertainties at Turf Moor are rare. The fact that they will start next season in the Second Division after their loss to Newcastle on Sunday relegated them to the Championship after six years in the Premier League is pretty much the only thing Burnley knows for sure.

They have no manager, nine players are out of contract this summer, their academy is at risk of being downgraded and they have the small problem of having to repay “a significant proportion” of a £65million loan that ‘ALK Capital contracted on the purchase. the club.

Premier League TV rights money provided 90 per cent of the club’s revenue during the Covid-hit years, something Burnley will lose from next season. Parachute payments will help soften the blow, but they will need to reconfigure finances to make the club sustainable.

On the game side, a recruitment campaign will be necessary to replace the starting players. Among those whose contracts expire, James Tarkowski will leave permanently and talks with long-serving captain Ben Mee will now take place over extending his 10-year stay at the club. Matej Vydra is another who could be persuaded to re-sign, but Ashley Barnes, Phil Bardsley, Jack Cork, Aaron Lennon, Erik Pieters and Dale Stephens might need to look elsewhere.

Due to the disappointing nature of the season, few players in Burnley’s ranks will fetch a high price. Nick Pope will be the most expensive due to his impressive form to keep Burnley at a safe distance and Maxwel Cornet will attract interest thanks to a £17.5m release clause. Nathan Collins looked a Premier League player after replacing Mee and Tarkowski for long spells, while Dwight McNeil showed flashes of his talent after being invigorated after Sean Dyche was sacked.

Ensuring Mee stays is of utmost importance to Burnley. He is a figurehead for the club, becoming the key go-between when asked to join the interim coaching staff for the latest venture. Mee knows what drives the team and was passing on information to Mike Jackson, seeing immediate improvements from players like McNeil. Players look up to him and seek his advice on professional and personal matters. Burnley might need an overhaul but keeping their captain can help build a future.

That poses a problem for a club not known for their recruiting, rarely dipping their toes in the market during Dyche’s final years in charge. Completely overhauling an aging squad with a strategy focused on signing young players and with an eye on the foreign market is tricky, especially with an unknown budget available to whoever comes in.

Ben Mee (centre) is a leading figure at Burnley. Photography: David Klein/Reuters

Without a manager, however, it is even more difficult to plan for the future. They need to know what type of players are needed to fit the requested style of play. Relegation will require a reset of the tier of candidate Burnley can attract to Turf Moor. Anderlecht’s Vincent Kompany and Bodø/Glimt’s Kjetil Knutsen have both been targeted but are unlikely to rise to the challenge of sending Burnley back to the Premier League when first asked. No matter who is put in charge, a quick decision is imperative.

Few expect Jackson to be offered the managerial role on a permanent basis. The keeper picked up 11 points from his eight games in charge, but that wasn’t enough to keep Burnley in place. He’s revitalized an outdated squad in the short term, but the club are likely to make an external appointment, even if they miss their favorite targets.

ALK’s leveraged buyout of Burnley has put £65million in debt on the club that must be repaid. When Huddersfield fell they attributed their parachute payments to bank loan debt, although their 18th and 20th league results in the two seasons after relegation from the Premier League will not fill Burnley fans with confidence .

Even if the parachute payments are used to pay off loan debt, there is still likely to be a financial shortfall. This will likely have to be offset by player sales. Huddersfield sold Philip Billing and Aaron Mooy after relegation, replacing them with cheaper options and bringing in a large number of players on loan during the season. Huddersfield and Burnley are comparable in terms of club and stadium size. When Huddersfield were relegated, their earnings fell from £119.1m in the 2018-19 season to £52.7m the following year, a sign of the financial situation Burnley will face.

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A new business structure has been put in place by ALK, including some impressive club hires. There were hopes of developing the Burnley brand internationally to increase commercial revenue, but without Premier League football that is an almost impossible task. The new owner has made many in-house improvements and Turf Moor has had a facelift over the past two years.

The situation is precarious but not ruinous for Burnley. They face a critical summer, where tough decisions will have to be made and if they get it wrong, the future could be bleak.

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