Huge challenge ahead for Clarets

Pre-season friendly between Preston North End and Burnley, at Deepdale. 'Burnley's Danny Ings and Neil Kilkenny.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'29-7-2014
Pre-season friendly between Preston North End and Burnley, at Deepdale. 'Burnley's Danny Ings and Neil Kilkenny. PIC BY ROB LOCK'29-7-2014
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After the euphoria of automatic promotion from the Championship, brilliantly conceived and planned by an outstanding manager and executed on the pitch by a group of dedicated and hard-running players, against all the odds, it is as well to reflect on the enormity of the challenge facing the Clarets in the coming season.

We will be poor relations in the richest league in the world, where the kit sponsorship of some clubs can exceed our overall turnover, where transfer fees of up to £10m. can be contemplated for reserve goalkeepers, and where it can be assumed our affordable wages bill will be the lowest by some distance. No surprise, then, we are the bookmakers’ favourites for relegation.

Yet, in spite of these harsh economic realities, there are reasons to hope we can survive. We can be confident the squad Sean Dyche is assembling will be among the fittest in the competition and he will get the very best, the absolute maximum out of them.

It would be foolish not to recognise the bookmakers have a case, but if teamwork, honest endeavour and astute managerial direction count for anything, we are surely not without a chance.

Burnley supporters also have every reason to feel optimistic about the direction of the club at board level and paticularly the shrewd and prudent leadership of co-chairmen Mike Garlick and John Banaszkiewicz.

Last summer saw the buy-back of Turf Moor and Gawthorpe through an imaginative funding scheme favourable to the club and at the same time attractive to investors, myself included, and consequent relief from rental payments that had become a significant annual burden.

As someone who has good reason to remember and regret the closed shop policy of a previous regime, which saw the club condemned to seven consecutive seasons in the old Fourth Division, I also welcome the willingness of the board to recruit new blood of the right kind like Brian Nelson, who, with his wife Sandra, has been most generous to the club for many years.

We need to emphasise the positives, realise how lucky we are, and enjoy the new season come what may. Come on you Clarets!

Harry Brooks

Burnley