Clarets boss Sean Dyche has made a passioned defence against claims the club have “failed to be competitive” in the Premier League.
A column in a national newspaper suggested Burnley “should be hammered for failing to splash their cash”, and “criticised for failing to be competitive.”
It added: “They’ve not bothered to properly take part in the Premier League this season.”
Burnley – whose relegation will be sealed if they fail to win at Hull City tomorrow – have spent the least by a Premier League club since Blackpool in 2010/11 – in the region of £12m.
But Dyche feels the club’s planning for the future is prudent for a healthy, forward-thinking future: “There has to be a story, and ours is of truth, reality and positivity.
“Someone will always then go against that with their story – that’s life, it is what it is.
“The main values the club have instilled, certainly in my time here, have been of positive realities, and a club which wants to build and move forward.
“The club has had years of trying to punch above it’s weight, but is now trying to sustain a level and build for the future.
“It’s not just about today, it’s about tomorrow – the club has come out of a situation where they HAD to sell one player, Charlie Austin, and now has a platform to allow real growth for many seasons.
“There is a counter balance to the argument.”
And Dyche again underlined that the boom in the transfer market went against the club, following Fulham’s deal to sign Leeds striker Ross McCormack for up to £11m: “The truth is shown in the transfer market.
“It ignited from a Championship player moving to a Championship club for a deal that, somewhere down the line, will cost £11m.
“It’s no-one’s fault, but if you look at the numbers after that...
“You were looking at £2/3/4m in a market where you had to look at £7/8/9/10m.
“Where does that live at a club like Burnley?
“Do you want to put the club in trouble again?
“There has to be a reality, and for us, we want to build for the future, which costs a lot of money, and if you want to put that on the pitch immediately, it costs a lot more.”
Dyche feels the side, on the pitch, have been competitive in games – nine of their 19 defeats have been by one goal: “It’s not just about us, we are up against deep squads, experienced squads, high-class squads – these are the financial realities of what the Premier League brings, and the hardships of our market in signing players.
“We have had to be on top of our game, and if you’re not, and you don’t get decisions, passes are a yard mis-placed...you can lose 3-0 before you can blink, as we saw at the very top level on Wednesday night.”
Burnley didn’t get a decision at West Ham on Saturday when Michael Duff was sent off after giving away a penalty for a foul on Cheikhou Kouyaté – which was rescinded on Wednesday.
But that was too little, too late: “It was disappointing – everyone in the stadium didn’t think it was a sending off, it was a real sickener.
“Over the season I think we’ve had some big decisions go against us, certainly lately.
“I don’t want to blame referees, but that came at a killer time last week.”
Duff will be available at Hull tomorrow, while Dyche hopes to have Sam Vokes fit again, and he is just focused on winning the game: “I don’t think my mantra has changed with the players.
“It’s been quite obvious, home and away, that we’ve tried to win every game.
“I didn’t want to try and defend and hold out in games.
“We’ll try and win the next game as we always do.”