Mike Garlick on the trials and tribulations of the summer transfer window
Good afternoon and a warm welcome back to today’s game.
A very warm welcome too to all the visiting dignitaries from Hull City, who of course celebrated promotion along with us last season.
There is, of course, a familiar face in the visiting dug-out, and it’s always a pleasure to see our former midfielder Mike Phelan.
We naturally wish him well in what I sincerely hope will be his new managerial role.
As for ourselves, I feel we have made a good start to life back in the Premier League.
As everyone knows, we have a tight-knit, but hugely talented squad and, as the victory here over Liverpool showed last time out, we are more than capable of holding our own.
Off the field, we’ve reached the end of another transfer window and I am reminded of my form teacher’s comments, while at Burnley Grammar School, which were always the same at the end of every term: “Satisfactory and better than last year, but still room for improvement!”.
This probably sums up, for me, our summer window.
I am really pleased with all the players we have signed and unlike our previous Premier League campaign I do feel all the new signings are of a calibre to have an immediate impact and improve the standard of our first team going forward.
There can be no denying I would have liked just one or two more, but as the final day was played out in front of the full glare of the media I think it was clear for all to see that we did all we could to add a couple of extra signings.
We broke our transfer record twice in two weeks with Steven Defour and Jeff Hendrick, and while some media outlets seem to think the latter was £10.5m, I can categorically state this is not the case.
We were also happy to do it a third time for a Dutch player who, in the end, opted to go elsewhere.
As you are all by now aware, Sean, Dave Baldwin and I decided not to sign a winger from Poland right at the death, due to circumstances that we felt could have been potentially detrimental to the overall team spirit of our playing squad.
I could have made myself extremely popular that day with a lot of fans by sanctioning the signing of this player, but I'm not a populist and I didn't take on the role of chairman to be popular.
I did it so I could do a good job for our club and sometimes that means making decisions that can initially be, at the very least, puzzling to some fans.
The Burnley Football Club board, as a whole, sets the budget in mid-May and we haven’t wavered from that budgetary figure since.
We operate to that premise and, equally, we don’t compromise on our targets, even if that means we have to hold our nerve until things can suddenly materialise.
Over the course of the summer, countless targets were reviewed and for every player we made an approach for, more were rejected (and not for lack of funds, or wages being too low).
Subsequently, the search carried well on into August which, if I'm completely honest, is only when the market stated to really take shape.
If I was a Burnley fan observing the window I guess I would have been frustrated by our relative lack of activity in June and July – but the facts are that at this time the players we later signed were either not available or only available at a significantly higher price.
Ultimately, our late activity was a repeat of the previous two windows when we signed James Tarkowski on the final day of the January window and last August when we signed both Joey Barton and Andre Gray in the last couple of weeks of August.
Please believe me when I say that there is nothing more Sean or I would desire than to have all our targets on board by the end of June.
The reality is that going forward it’s still likely that a lot of our activity will always take place in the final few days.
All I can ask from the fans is to be patient, though I really do understand how difficult and frustrating this can be for you.
We now have to ensure our signings are bedded in and make a full contribution to our Premier League campaign in the coming months - and in January we will strengthen again!