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Chairman: These Are Glory Days

Mike Garlick on the Clarets' progress and desire to stay in the Premier League

4 April 2018

Chairman Mike Garlick believes these are golden days for the Clarets as Sean Dyche’s side competes in the top half of the Premier League.

Burnley are challenging for a highest league position since they finished sixth in the old First Division in 1974.

Watch the full-length interview with Mr Garlick by clicking on the video above

The club has also just reported an annual profit of £22.2m for the year ending June, 2017.

Mr Garlick described the latest set of accounts, which also saw turnover increase threefold to £121m, as a “great set of figures” with an increase in the playing budget being reflected in the Clarets retaining top-flight status last season for the first time since the mid-1970s.

But the chairman insists no-one at Turf Moor is taking the current status for granted, with everything geared towards trying to sustain an on-going place among the elite.   

“It is a great time to be a Burnley fan. I guess if you’re a youngster all you’ve ever known are good times,” said Mr Garlick.

“We were facing relegation from the Football League, weren’t we, 30-odd years ago?

“In future years, whatever happens, they will look back on these as glory days, for sure.

“Internally at the club we always try and keep a level-headed view on the development.

“It’s slow but steady progression, but I can see to the outside world, and even fans of Burnley, it’s almost a revolution that appears to have taken place.

“But the reality is that behind the scenes, it’s just been business as usual and development and hard work, little by little, getting better, slowly but surely and what you see is the outcome.”

The chairman added: “People ask me ‘do you want to become an established Premier League club?’

“I want to be in the Premier League every year – if that’s what being established is.

“I was asked a question at a fans’ Q and A just after Christmas, would you consider being in the Premier League in five years’ time a success, or do you want to go to the next level?

Manager Sean Dyche has signed a contract until June, 2022

“I said I’d be very, very happy if we’re in the Premier League in five years’ time. So, let’s keep our feet on the ground.

“You’ve got to try and improve year-in-year-out. Of course, that’s normal ambition.

“But do it in little stages and don’t try and make quantum leaps because the odds are it will go wrong.”

The latest accounts effectively cover the 2016/17 season, during which time Burnley broke their transfer record three times to sign Steven Defour, Jeff Hendrick and Robbie Brady – as well as making shrewd investments in Ashley Westwood, Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Nick Pope as Dyche’s side went on to finish 16th in the table.

“It was hard to get a lot of the players in at the time. Burnley had been in the Premier League before and twice gone down,” Mr Garlick told Clarets Player HD.

“A lot of people were like ‘are they really going to make it this time?’

“Thankfully we got the players across the line. They believed in what we were doing, they believed in Sean, the manager, and his team. We got the players in and we did the job.

“The investment paid off. We are still in the Premier League, sitting seventh, which is fantastic.”

Chris Wood has scored nine times so far this season

The bar has since been pushed higher by the recruitment of top scorer Chris Wood for another record fee last summer, while proven Premier League performer Jack Cork returned to Turf Moor to become, along with James Tarkowski, a full England international.  

“We’ve increased the value of the squad, the players we’ve got we’ve developed and made them better players and that’s all good for the club,” added Mr Garlick, who said that investment will continue to channeled into the playing side, rather than the infrastructure of Turf Moor for the foreseeable future.

“We’ve done the Barnfield (training ground) project over the last few years. This year we’ve got the disabled facilities project as well, which goes into next season, partially.

“Mid-term it’s something we’ve got to look at. We have to look at it constantly. All stadiums need up-dating now and again, but I think still for next season and the season after the emphasis is on the pitch, stay in the Premier League.

“One day we have to re-do those stands sure, but not right now.”

The accounts show that commercial activities rose from almost £4m to £6.28m, with Mr Garlick believing there remains scope for further commercial growth as long as Burnley stay in the Premier League.


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