Date: 6th June 2009 at 9:07am
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Operational Director, Brendan Flood has been talking to the Lancashire Telegraph and reveals some interesting insights into the type of players Owen Coyle will be looking to bring to the club as they prepare for life in the Premier League.

Flood has also stated Owen Coyle will be able to bring in up to seven players including both permanent and loan deals.

He is quoted as saying in the Lancashire Telegraph:

“There`ll be six or seven players tops. Not all bought – I think there`ll be a mix of bought and loaned’

The Clarets finished their promotion season with a squad of 25 players but have since released three players with Alan Mahon, Steve Jones and Gabor Kiraly leaving Turf Moor.

It also remains to be seen if Besart Berisha and Remco van der Schaaf still feature in Owen Coyle’s plans for the top flight. Both these players spent most of last season out on loan and indeed Berisha has yet to make his full debut for the Clarets.

We also have to remember that five of our youth team were given professional contracts. Chris Lynch, Nik Kudiersky, Chris Anderson, Alex-Ray Harvey and Wes Fletcher have signed one-year professional deals after being informed last month that they would be offered contracts.

Accrington born,18-year-old Ben Hoskin,the nephew of former Claret Ashley Hoskin might make it six after being given a short-term contract to prove himself during pre-season. He has been out injured for several months with a stress fracture of the back.

So if Owen Coyle can bring in another seven players we will have a maximum squad size of 35 players including seven-eight players with little or no experience of first team football playing for the Clarets (5-6 young guns plus Kay and MacDonald)

I will leave it to Clarets fans to decide if they think that will be enough for a fight to avoid the drop and establish Burnley FC in the top flight but one thing that we do know is the likely type of player that Owen Coyle could be bringing to Turf Moor.

You might get some clues from the new Football League ruling expected to be introduced into the Premier League for the 2010/11 season. Clubs will then have to name at least four ‘home-grown` players in their match-day squad. A home grown player is defined as someone who has been registered domestically for at least three years before their 21st birthday.

Owen Coyle therefore looks set to concentrate on players born in the UK or players who have experienced professional football within the UK. If you look at the current squad only Peruvian goalkeeper Diego Penny has not had at least one season’s experience previously in the English or Scottish leagues.

‘We think we can be successful with British players, and perhaps some of the Scandinavian lads like Brian Jensen, Joey Gudjonsson, Christian Kalvenes,” said Flood

“They seem to settle better in England, so I think we`ll go for more of the same; people who are either settled foreigners within the UK, or more of a British theme’

So it looks like there will be no more exotic signings from overseas along the lines of Diego Penny and I did wonder whether Flood had the Peruvian in mind when he talked about settling in.

Flood also revealed that they will be looking for young players in the 21-24 age group and indicated that there were already 3-4 players identified that Coyle would like to bring to the club. We would however all have to be patient:

“We know we`ve got three or four who we`d like to get now and we`re working on, but with holidays nothing will happen for a few weeks. It will be early July before anything properly starts to happen. But the identity of the players we`re after is younger; probably the 20-24-year-old bracket.”

The new players we sign will also be on modest salaries:

“We`re not going to sign anyone who`s demanding £30,000 a week. If they`re chasing the money then it turns Owen off. If they want to play football, but obviously get paid a fair rate, then that`s more in his mind. I think we`ll try to get the right type of people for the club and try to add to what we`ve got.”

Not quite sure what would be a reasonable salary under £30,000 for a Clarets player in the top flight. Gabor Kiraly was understood to be on a hefty £11,000/week and that seemed a drain on resouces at Championship level but with £60 million now at our disposal, it is hard to guage what would be acceptable.

A report in the Guardian recently suggested that the Club would use some of the money to allocate to the Turf Moor Redevelopment project. This of course had been put on hold due to the worldwide recession but could now be resurrected. Paul Fletcher also recently indicated they would be keen to increase the capacity of the ground to 28,000 hinting that an extra tier on the Bob Lord Stand could be the way to achieving it. The Guardian suggests at least £20m of the guaranteed £60m income for promotion to the Premier League could be allocated to the project. Work could be set to start in 12 months’ time.

We certaining will need to spend £1 million on improving the TV and media facilities at Turf Moor not to mention bringing the changing rooms up to Premier League standards. Burnley FC have been told their changing rooms and Press facilities are not up to scratch.

Officials from the League and Sky TV representatives inspected the ground after their play-off triumph over Sheffield United.

The Clarets have been given six months to carry out the work and chief executive Paul Fletcher said: ‘Altogether it could cost anything up to £1m.’

All this seems rather strange to me considering the number of Premier League sides that have played at Turf Moor this season alone, not to mention the number of televised games. I think they all coped didn’t they? Oh well that’s life in the richest football league!

The Free Season Ticket Pladge for 7000 Season Ticket Holders will account for a further £2m.

The Guardian also suggests Barry Kilby wants the club to buy back the ground from him, which he owns, for £3.2m.

In total if you tot up all the above potential outgoings it is about £25 million leaving close to £35m of extra money.

Parachute payments should the unthinkable happen could take up another £25 million which suggests that Owen Coyle could have
about £10m to £15m available for new players and wages.

Only time will tell but it all makes for an exciting month of July as Clarets fans begin to see new players arrive

Many Thanks to Burnley FC for the use of the photograph