Chairman Mike Garlick reflects on an eventful 12 months.Good afternoon one and all and welcome back to Turf Moor for our Christmas fixture against Bristol City.
As very warm welcome to all the directors from Ashton Gate, who I am delighted are experiencing Championship football again after something of a lean time of late.
In tune with the mood at this time of year, it’s appropriate to reflect on the year gone by, and by-and-large I think it has been a year we can be proud of.
Of course, we suffered relegation from the Premier League last May, but in a memorable campaign I feel we won a lot of friends for the way we went about our business.
There is a lot of goodwill out there for Burnley Football Club and we must continue to build on that as we look forward to 2016.
It’s also been a momentous year in terms of transfer fees. The sum we paid Brentford for Andre Gray smashed all previous incoming records, and already I feel Andre has lived up to his billing as one of the most exciting young strikers in the country.
And while we still await the results of the tribunal that will set a fee for Danny Ings, we all remain hopeful that the panel will acknowledge the major contribution Burnley Football Club made to his career progression and reward us accordingly with a milestone fee for an outgoing player.
Elsewhere, on the playing side, there was great pride that Tom Heaton joined our growing band of international players by becoming the first Burnley player to join an England squad since Alan Stevenson in the mid-1970s.
Off the pitch, David Baldwin is proving to be a valuable addition to the team as he gets his teeth into the role of Chief Executive.
There are many facets of the club, away from the direct footballing side, that see us move forward and I suppose the major investment is at Gawthorpe.
We were especially keen to ring-fence some of the Premier League money to build on the infrastructure - and the massive improvements at the training base are there for all to see.
When the new building emerges in around 15 months-time, I think we will have a facility befitting of a club of our stature and one that will hopefully attract the right calibre of players for generations to come.
Finally, a word for all the staff at the club, who work tirelessly for our betterment. Many of the folk who work here are fans themselves, but their dedication and commitment is second to none and that, alone, is worthy of acknowledgement.
A special word to the community department, who this year won the Community Club of the Year award at the North West Football Awards.
Engagement with the wider public is a vital component to a true community club like ours and it’s wonderful to see that being recognised.
Enjoy today’s game everyone, and on behalf of myself and all the directors, I’d like to wish you all a prosperous and peaceful new year.