Date: 15th July 2007 at 2:10pm
Written by:

At the start of this close season, Steve Cotterill indicated he would like to bring in five new players to fill key positions where he thought we had some weakness.

Brendan Flood and the Board have also made encouraging noises about finance being made available to boost the quality and quantity within the squad. Clarets fans were therefore eager with anticipation in May 07 that we were about to see some exciting new faces in the squad.

The hope firstly was we would find the finance to loan Eric Djemba-Djemba for a season but that deal seems to have gone cold with Aston Villa reported first to be letting the midfielder go to a Portuguese club for a fee and lately contemplating loaning the Cameroon international to his former French club Lille.

There is still some speculation that Burnley FC may not be entirely out of the picture yet so we shall see if the gaffer can pull some surprises out of the hat on that one!

The next hope was that we could scupper Southampton’s chances of signing their former loan striker, Marek Saganowski from Troyes having put in a reported £1m bid for the 28 year old Polish player. After some delay though it was clear the striker would afterall be joining the Saints and so it proved.

There was some good news though, we signed keeper Gabor Kiraly from Palace and then had great success for once at a Work Permit hearing allowing the transfer of Albanian International, Besart Berisha from Hamburg.

Things then went quiet again for a bit although we were cheered by the news that Kyle Lafferty would not be going to Wolves with the Board and manager digging their heels in.

The disquiet, grumbling and impatience amongst some fans were then shattered by the news when the rumour broke in many National newspapers that the Clarets were interested in bringing back former hero, Robbie Blake to Turf Moor from recently demoted and trouble club, Leeds United. The potential deal all got complicated by the situation at Leeds and the Administration hanging over the Yorkshire club and the battles between Ken Bates and KMPG plus the Football League. That has still not been fully resolved, but enough of it has to allow Leeds to sell the player to us!

Yes,the rumours were true and Robbie is back having already played his first match in Claret & Blue against Accy in the friendly yesterday..and scoring!

So we now have 3 new players and have not sold any key players at all. Of course we have seen the departure of the players who did not have their contract renewed and Garreth O’Connor is on the transfer list facing a potential loan spell at his former club, Bournemouth but the fact remains we are not doing that badly compared to the other Championship clubs in the buyer’s market.

It has been commented on by a number of managers in this League including Steve Cotterill and Brian Laws amongst others that the market is static for some reasons with deals hard to come by.

This seems to be borne out by an analysis of incomings and outgoings of players in the Championship

Consider these facts:

The number of clubs like the Clarets who have only managed to bring 3 players in to date is FOUR

The number of clubs who have brought in less than three players is SEVEN

The number of clubs who have brought in only one more player than the Clarets (ie 4 players) is FOUR

The number of Clubs who have brought in more than 4 is only SEVEN

The number of clubs SELLING more players than they have bought is TEN (we havent sold anyone!)

In addition to that last statistic, look at the key players some of these clubs have lost (we havent lost any!)

Barnsley (Nardiello

Charlton (Bent)

Colchester (Iwelumo & Cureton)

Cardiff (Chopra)

Crystal Palace (McAnuff, Ward)

Norwich (Earnshaw)

Plymouth (Capaldi)

Sheffield United (Jags)

Preston (Nugent)

Saints (Bale)

Scunthorpe (Sharp)

WBA (Koumas & Kamara)

We dont really seem to be doing that bad under those circumstances and we still have quite a few weeks remaining until the transfer window closes at the end of August.

The impatience and criticism by some Clarets fans on that basis seems unjustified and this Editor for one cant wait for 2007/8 to get underway. The depth of quality in our squad now already surpasses my expectations and we can still look forward to maybe some more signings before the season kicks off

Bring it on!!