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Chairman's Notes: Swansea City

28 February 2015

Co-Chairman John Banaszkiewicz on the fall-out from Chelsea

Good afternoon fellow Clarets!

Welcome back to the Turf for today’s game against Swansea City, who arrive here buoyed by last week’s terrific win over Manchester United.

Here at Turf Moor, the team and manager Sean Dyche also deserve our congratulations for recent performances, and especially last week’s thriller at Chelsea, which fully demonstrated our tenacity and fighting spirit, as well as the team’s growing development.

In our first game against Chelsea this season we were on the end of a footballing lesson for parts of the game.

This time we drew away in a hostile environment. There has been so much controversy around the decisions in that game – from the Chelsea manager’s outbursts to the club itself - that it’s easy to overlook how far we’ve come to become only the second team, along with Manchester City, to take points off the league leaders at Stamford Bridge this season.

You will now, I’m sure, have seen Sean’s considered response to the aftermath of the game and his defence of the team and Ashley Barnes, in particular.

We fully support Sean’s comments; this is an incident that has been blown out of all proportion when at the time, it seemed part and parcel of a robust and competitive Premier League game.

Given that we play in front of a global audience and are envoys for English football I think it’s a shame that the spirit in which we play the game has been brought into question and I hope that all sides can now move on.

I had a very different experience of Chelsea fans last Saturday when taking the tube home after the game, when many of them praised the team for the way we played.

That’s despite the travelling Burnley fans singing ‘we only spent three quid’ rather £2 billion!

Off the field, Lee Hoos and I attended a Premier League meeting, where we were sandwiched between Aston Villa and Chelsea, talking about the League’s plans and, of course, the latest TV rights deal, which came in at a whopping £5.3bn.

It demonstrates the size and importance of the English Premier League. And a share of that money is vital for a club like ours.

However, in a time when we hear so much about inequality, it creates a problem within football.

If the Premier League wants to encourage and nurture football in this country at all levels, it makes little sense that there is such an unhealthy gap between the monies that go to Premier League clubs and those distributed in the Championship and the Football League as a whole.

The gulf in income is frankly insane, when you consider the close relationship between the leagues and the high standard of football played in each.

I hope that the Premier League can use its resources to encourage youth development, domestic talent and community outreach and the big clubs that seem to call the shots put their weight behind it too.

And here, we always work with the future in mind. Our Board of Directors continue to work hard converting Clarets at home and abroad, as well as promoting community links.

Our advisory group had a successful meeting this week, with close to 20 people discussing how to steer the club forward and support the Board.

And together we are progressing the plans for Gawthorpe training facility and the Academy, to help develop the next generation of great Burnley players.

Enjoy today’s game

Up the Clarets!

John B

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