I was as surprised as anybody to read this afternoon of Brendan Flood’s resignation from the Turf Moor boardroom.
Undoubtedly our most vocal and outspoken director, Flood today stepped down citing ‘personal reasons’ behind his decision.
Having written a book about his relationship with the Club – with several headline-grabbingly audacious claims – opened up for frank and honest interviews with the press, including No Nay Never, and engaged with fans on Twitter he was by far the most high-profile board member behind former chairman Barry Kilby.
It was with Kilby that he was named joint ‘operational director’ soon after joining the board which, although only loosely defined officially, essentially meant he had a bigger hand on the day-to-day running of the club.
Similarly, Paul Fletcher recently told NNN of the director’s hard work behind the scenes as Burnley won promotion in 2009. Flood was instrumental in replacing Steve Cotterill with Owen Coyle and Fletcher claims promotion would have been impossible without Flood’s ambition and ability to break through the opposition of his more-cautious compatriots.
“Without Brendan’s calculated gambles we wouldn’t have got anywhere near the Premier League,” the former CEO admitted in November.
His hands-on approach, ambition and high-profile among fans, led many to assume he could be the one to fill Kilby’s boots when he stepped down in the summer until John B and Mike Garlick picked up that responsibility between them.
Speaking to No Nay Never in July 2012, the Rossendale Clarets-fanatic explained his plans to continue this arrangement well into the future.
“I want to devote more time to my business interests for the next few years,” he said. “And then I do see myself being involved with the Club as much as I can be.”
When we asked him about Owen Coyle he was visibly agitated and admitted that facing the man fans call ‘Judas’ made him feel ‘sick’. “We all have that fan anger in us but for me it’s probably a bigger thing.”
It’s things like this that really endeared him to the Burnley support. He was a real fan and proud to admit it. Anybody that has met him will be aware of the burning passion he exudes for Burnley Football Club. I have enjoyed the pleasure of speaking to him on a number of occasions and it really was just that – an absolute pleasure.
With that unmistakably strong northern accent he is naturally warm and welcoming, and his openness and honesty and refreshing in the hush-hush world of football business. He loves nothing more than to talk about Burnley FC and that he might relinquish his position of power in the Turf Moor corridors was quite unthinkable.
However, as alluded in his earlier quote from the summer, he has had responsibilities away from Harry Potts Way in recent years in form of various financial and legal battles. The businessman suffered heavily from the repercussions of the recession and has been forced to commit more and more time to these matters.
His tweet from earlier today appeared to suggest this fight was finally over, but without knowing any specifics, it is unclear what the result was.
“I have settled my bank dispute, which has taken a lot out of me both financially and emotionally .3 months off needed . Bye for now.” [sic] he wrote early afternoon and a little over two hours later his resignation was announced by Club.
“Mr Brendan Flood has stepped down from the Burnley Football Club Board of Directors with immediate effect. Brendan, who joined the Board in 2006, has left his position for personal reasons,” read a short statement on the official website which continued to thank him for his efforts since 2007.
It is likely the two are related and whatever form his settlement with the bank has taken, his previous optimism about continuing his active role at the Club into the future has been thrown out of the window.
He remains a major shareholder, but that’s as far as it goes. I for one will miss him.
Yes, if his gambles prior to promotion hadn’t paid off we would have been in big trouble, and his tendency to stretch out the truth is infamous, but he is a die-hard Claret and a refreshing character who fans can really relate to. He’s not a faceless moneyman who sells our star players then hides away from responsibility – he was always more than happy to speak to fans as much as possible. He was willing to fess up to getting it wrong. And most of all – he’s the reason we were allowed that special night at Reading in 2009, the unforgettable win at Wembley it led to, the stunning win over United and everything else we experienced in that magical Premier League adventure.
I hope this is not the end of his professional involvement at Burnley Football Club.
Thanks for everything, Brendan.
Will you miss Brendan’s passion and ambition, or do you think we’re safer without him? Comment below.