Chairman Mike Garlick oozes optimism as the Clarets’ strengthen their chancesGood afternoon everyone and a warm welcome back to Turf Moor for the first of back-to-back home games.
The international break has given everyone time to recharge the batteries and, as Sean would say, we go again!
It’s also the end of another transfer window - and I think it’s fair to say it’s been a hectic one all-round.
In these times of continued austerity, football continues to buck the national trend and it was no real surprise that the window brought new, record spending in the Premier League.
The new TV deal, generating even more revenue for the top clubs, means that even those outside the top flight are also prepared to spend big for a potential share of that pot of gold.
On deadline day, it was particularly noticeable that Derby County splashed out around £10m for two more signings to add to their squad.
The competition at this level is now pretty fierce and unrelenting, and we too have had to be pro-active to strengthen our squad.
It’s not something we have just decided on a whim, because we’ve been actively trying to strengthen in each of the last three windows, with varying degrees of success.
Sometimes, for various reasons, it just isn’t meant to be.
But our new Sporting Director, Frank McParland, and his scouting team deserve a lot of credit for the work they have undertaken this summer.
We remain a financially prudent club, run in an extremely professional manner, and any deals that we get over the line have to fall within our framework. That, unfortunately, means that sometimes players slip through the net.
I firmly believe we do things the right way, working in a sensible manner, and when we do bring a player in, all due diligence has been done.
The recent signing of Andre Gray sent a few shockwaves around – naturally, as it broke our transfer record.
The fee will, of course, remain undisclosed, as is becoming the norm in football.
But I would like to think it does send out a signal that we intend to be highly competitive and are prepared to pay the right money for the right player, who fits our ethos.
Sometimes, you can also pick up gems along the way and the late addition of Joey Barton again caused a ripple of excitement among supporters.
There has, of course, been the odd departure and then Lukas Jutkiewicz’s unfortunate injury – who we wish well - but I do think we now have a pretty balanced squad ready to take on the weekly rigours of the Championship.
We go into today’s game in fine form, following successive wins over Brentford and Bristol City, and hopefully can continue that into the coming weeks.
Thank you for your support.