Co-Chairman John Banaszkiewicz insists the Clarets are at the forefront of change.Good afternoon fellow Clarets, welcome back to ‘home turf’ and Happy Easter to all Burnley fans and travelling directors and fans from Tottenham Hotspur.
A tie between Burnley and Spurs, two of the great names if English football, is certainly a great way to spend your Easter Sunday afternoon!
Last Thursday, Burnley Football Club attended an English Premier League meeting in London along with the other top 20 clubs.
There are three main areas I would like to focus on, which were discussed.
The big takeaway was the new TV deal with Sky and BT, which has netted the Premier League an incredible £5.14bn; a 70% increase over the last TV deal three years ago.
It was good to hear that the Premier League is going to distribute over £1bn of this windfall to a variety of causes, adding to the revenue of lower league clubs and some major grants to improve grassroots football and 3G pitches.
This helps create a legacy for English football and is helping to support people who are disadvantaged or have had local government funding or a support cut.
Some money will also be earmarked for the ‘Away Fan Initiative’, which currently stands at £200,000 per club per season.
The mighty global brand that is the Premier League wants our stadiums full, with no empty seats visible, especially when fans are tuning in from all round the world.
This ticks a lot of boxes for Burnley and it is music to our ears that the Premier League is supporting clubs outside the top flight, going some way to creating a more level playing field.
These initiatives are also being pushed by FA Chairman Greg Dyke, who is encouraging clubs to nurture more home-grown talent. This has caused some political ripples in the Premier League, where as many as 70% of the players are foreign.
As you know, Burnley actually boosted the overall percentage of British talent when we were promoted, with only one non-English player registered in our starting 25 line-up.
Burnley tick many boxes here; we are a British club with a British manager, British players and British directors. However, we are happy to look to foreign talent if they suit the team and our style, and we retain an open door policy in that regard.
As always, it’s a question of finding the right people for the team that also fit the budget.
Speaking of budgets, English Premier League clubs have announced a collective profit of £190m; the first in 15 years, with an astonishing 58% (or £1.9bn) of their turnover spent on player wages - and this could go higher in the next five years!
So the Financial Fair Play rules are keeping a lid on costs! The Burnley board has always been honest and transparent about its finances and limitations and we will continue to work this way.
But back to today’s big game. This is the fourth time we have played Spurs this season and there’s every reason to believe this will be another cracker.
Last time, we had Burnley Santa hats. This time let’s try and crack a few eggs and come away with the win!
Finally, thanks for your ongoing support, and to all those existing and new fans who have purchased season tickets.
Your support is always appreciated and never taken for granted.
Up the Clarets!