Date: 14th November 2011 at 7:13pm
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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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