The following is an open letter to supporters from John BanaszkiewiczI am writing to announce that I am stepping down as Co-Chairman of Burnley Football Club, though I will be staying on as a board member.
Going forward, Mike Garlick will be sole Chairman and having worked with him closely over several years, I know he will do a fantastic job.
I am confident that the transition will be a smooth one and the club is in the right hands.
John Banaszkiewicz (right), with Mike Garlick
From the position of being a Director, I will still be able to make a major and positive contribution.
I always have been and always will be a team player, and this change in my role should not be seen as a diminishing of my passion for the club.
The Burnley fans have always been brilliant with me, so I feel I owe it to them to set out why I have made the decision to step down.
I am not asking for sympathy when I say this is a role that eats into all aspects of your life, both professional and family. I have a large and growing international business which requires me to travel regularly.
I also have a young family in London who I need to devote some more time to, as my children are growing up quickly.
John with wife Tracy
It might seem an odd thing to say on the back of relegation, but the reality is that the club is on a sound footing for a strong future, and I am proud of the work the board has done to get it there.
I am confident that if we continue to manage the club as wisely as we have done, we can hopefully bounce back into the Premier League, and this time stay there.
I will continue to bring my love for the club, and my enthusiasm for doing things a bit differently into the boardroom and into the stands.
And even though the other Directors are not in the Abramovich league when it comes to money, I will always be on hand for financial advice and support too.
There have been many achievements over the last few years but on a personal note, restructuring the board, the initial purchase of shares, unsecured loans, help given to sign key players, the buy-back of Turf Moor and Gawthorpe, the advent of associate Directorships, and reaching out for new sources of revenue in times of need through schemes like the Turf Moor Bond, are those I am most proud of.
A champage moment upon promotion to the Premier League
Taking the above together, I think I can say I have always put my money where my mouth is and acted in the club’s best interests.
Outside of financial affairs, one of our biggest achievements was the recruitment of Sean Dyche, who has been a credit to the club as manager and ambassador.
While getting back to the Premier League remains the priority objective for the future, there are others.
These include the redevelopment of Gawthorpe into top flight training facilities, more work on the Burnley brand, locally, nationally and globally and building more partnerships in the community, cementing our reputation as a real community club.
Finally, one thing I have always understood is that a club is nothing without its fans. I have always sought to build relations between the club and the supporters, to improve not just communication but also to try to give fans a real say.
Some of my best moments as co-chairman have been in away ends and travelling around the country. Some of my best ideas have come from listening to the fans, and I will always do that.
Despite the disappointment of relegation this has been, in many ways, a fantastic year for us.
We have won admirers all over the world for the way we play, our values, the conduct of the manager, the passion of the fans and the professional way the board runs the club.
Of course, there is a part of me that is sad to be stepping down as co-chairman, but I am proud of what we have achieved, and confident of even greater things ahead.
I will always be there, as a proud and passionate supporter of this wonderful football club.
All the best and Up the Clarets!