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Chairman's Notes: Manchester United

30 August 2014

Co-Chairman John Banaszkiewicz on our greatest strength.

OUR SPIRIT IS KEY

 

Good afternoon fellow Clarets.

Welcome back to the Turf and another big game against Manchester United.

I don’t need to tell you it’s been a tough start to our season in the Barclays Premier League.

We’ve had hard fixtures, but we have been very pleased with the spirit the players have shown. We knew it was not going to be easy taking the big step up from the Championship, but the players have given 110% in both games.

The team and the manager deserve a lot of credit for performing well against top teams and have shown they have what it takes to compete at this level.

 As Sean has said, it’s a steep learning curve but we are adapting quickly and I think we can continue to show our quality, while always looking to add to our numbers.

It is important to strengthen the team, however we will not simply sign players for the sake of it.

We have said from the outset that we want to be competitive, but we have to be sensible in our transfer dealings.

We have brought in seven players already and at the time of writing were working hard to secure more new faces.

However, there are plenty of examples of teams that have panicked as transfer windows near to closing and ended up with the football equivalent of negative equity: players worth less than the purchase price, or who have played only a few games.

It is also important to the Board - and especially the manager - that we look to protect a carefully-constructed team infrastructure and remember the ethos of the team that got us where we are today.

Many of the comments being bandied about now were the same as those being spoken about last August and again in January.

The team spirit that ultimately earned us promotion to the Premier League in the first place is something we are absolutely looking to maintain.

Bringing in players at exorbitant fees just for numbers runs the risk of undermining the rest of the squad and upsetting the careful balance that Sean has nurtured and established.

To give you some context, the club recently filed its financial results for 2013 and reported an £8m loss, the bulk of which was wages and player incentives.

We are building a brighter club with a bigger future and we are still ambitious about what we can achieve.

The second point I want to make concerns our home crowd atmosphere. We wrote a letter to fans earlier in the year – a rallying cry to support Burnley this season – and it worked!

Now we need your help to lift the team.

I’m going to be consulting with our main supporters’ clubs to get some fresh ideas for this season on how to imitate our fantastic away support, and I’m open to any suggestions.

For various reasons the Cricket Field stand is not open this season for home fans, but we need to focus on the other three sides.

We’re not going to impose any gimmicks. These things are far better being initiated by the supporters, but I’m convinced they will help the team enormously and perhaps give us that little bit of edge when we need it.

We’re all looking forward to the game today and hope we can do the ‘double’. Manchester United were our first win in the 2009/2010 season thanks to Robbie Blake’s famous goal.

A repeat today would truly ignite our season.


Thank you for your continued support

John Banaszkiewicz


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