In part two of our chat with Brendan Flood, the director gives us an insight into the new chairmen and the Club’s finances.
It was a sad day for all of us when Barry Kilby stepped down from the chairmanship of Burnley FC due to health reasons. But a new era is exciting for the Club and it chose to go with joint chairmen – Mike Garlick and John Banaszkiewicz – the latter of whom is known as John B, for obvious reasons.
Brendan Flood was thought by many to be the front-runner to take over, but he told us his focus is elsewhere at the moment.
“I’ve had a lot of responsibility since 2007 in terms of how the Club was run internally. I was very active from 2007 to the start of the Premier League season – and getting Eddie in recently,” he told NNN.
“But I want to devote more time to my business interests for the next few years and then I do see myself being involved with the Club as much as I can be, but it’s not for me at the moment.”
Flood told us that he believes Mike and John B will work well together at the helm of the Club, noting: “John’s a very personable guy, he’s invested in the Club and what you see is what you get. Mike I don’t know as well, but he’s been on the board a long time and hes a careful businessman. The combination of the two, I think, will work well together.”
The director accepted that under Kilby, the Club was often accused by fans of being overly frugal, “but the strategy of the club has always been to be sensible and be within its means”.
He added: “Occasionally, in order to succeed, you have to try and just do a little bit more, otherwise you never will get out of the routine position you’re in.
“We’ll always give ourselves that opportunity to outperform now and again and so I think we’re in that position now and I think the board is stable, we’ve got Eddie settled in and we’ve got a good football management team.
“We’re always going to be Burnley, but we’ll try and be as clever as we can with our resources.”
Flood did hint that he may be interested in becoming Burnley’s chairman in the future, but this seems to be a few years away.
Finances are a frustrating area for many Burnley fans, who do not understand how the Club now seems to be in a similar position to pre-promotion despite the Premier League windfall and subsequent parachute payments after relegation.
Famously, the former chief executive Paul Fletcher stated promotion would set the club up for the next ten years, although this was before Owen Coyle walked out and the situation changed. Flood admitted that statement may have been “rash”, adding: “That would be more of a line than a reality – you’ve got to actually do the maths.
“The football market moves literally every window so the benchmark for salaries, the benchmark for fees can make more capital demands on your business than you’ve anticipated.
“You’re only ever contracting managers, players for two or three years, so you’ve only got their commitment for two or three years for sure, so to understand what you’re going to get from all of the football people within a period beyond that is really an unknown entity.”
Flood also accepted there was a “culture shock” at the Club after promotion, which came ahead of schedule and before many had anticipated it arriving.
“Whilst were delighted, there’s the nervousness of suddenly being involved in wages levels that are probably, in most peoples terms, excessive.
“You’ve got high multiple wages against what you pay in the Championship, so you get dragged into the Premier League way of thinking that if you’re not paying wages of £25 to £30 million a year, you’re going to go down.
“We were a little bit scared of that, hence we were probably slightly over-cautious year one and then when Owen Coyle left that gave us an enormous challenge because we had a management team problem and that was too difficult to recover from.”
The director would not reveal manager Eddie Howe’s targets for the coming season, but did say: “We want to do as well as we can, I think that’s always the precondition for every season. I think we can compete at the top end of the league.
“It’s a very good division, there’s a lot of very well funded clubs with good quality squads so we’ve got to be realistic that in order to be there you do need to keep your squad together as much as you can, you’ve got to have a bit of luck and you’ve got to have stability.
“This season I think we’ve got more chance because we’ve got stability,” said Flood, hinting at the disruption to the playing squad last summer with the departures of key men like Tyrone Mears, Danny Fox, Jack Cork and Chris Eagles.
We’ll have more from Brendan soon, including a video. Comment with your thoughts so far below.