Flood forced to resign from board, considers comeback

No Nay Never No Nay Never
Jamie Smith April 9, 2013
RT @brendanflood1: My Mother always taught me that actions speak ... 2 years ago

Brendan Flood was forced to resign from the board, while the Club has rebuffed media speculation over potential Russian investment.

Flood has an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) and this prevents him from sitting on the board of a Football League club under its Fit and Proper Person Test.

The IVA was taken out on February 29th 2012 and remains current, according to the Individual Insolvency Register.

An IVA is typically used by individuals in financial difficulty to avoid entering bankruptcy and helps them to repay their debts.

The Football League’s Fit and Proper Person Test says: “A person shall be disqualified from acting as a director and no club shall be permitted to have any person acting as a director of that club if he makes an Individual Voluntary Arrangement or becomes the subject of an Interim Bankruptcy Restriction Order, a Bankruptcy Restriction Order or a Bankruptcy Order.”

The revelation that Flood did not step down from the board for personal reasons as he initially claimed, rather that he was forced to resign due to Football League regulations, came from an official Club statement released out of the blue today.

A report in today’s Burnley Express newspaper said talks between the Club and unnamed Russian investors were continuing, but this has been disputed by the Club. The Burnley Express previously ran a story about potential Russian investment – quoting former director John Sullivan – and the Club ignored it, releasing no statement, other than on Twitter.

Sullivan has been keeping the newspaper updated on the progress of the talks. He said: “The Russians are still interested in talking but we had the setback of director Brendan leaving the club and we are now waiting for the ground buy-back to be completed in the close season and then hopefully things will move forward.

“Both chairmen will be involved in the negotiations and if and when something happens it will be in the close season. They are also keen for fans to know that any capital injection into the club will only be as a commercial venture and there are no plans for a complete takeover.”

But in a sensational move, the Club has rebuffed the story this afternoon and stated Sullivan is not acting with the backing of the board of directors, including co-chairmen Mike Garlick and John Banaszkiewicz.

Garlick issued the following statement: “Neither myself, co-chairman John Banaszkiewicz, or fellow directors Barry Kilby and Clive Holt, have had any scheduled negotiations with Russian investors regarding potential investment in Burnley Football Club.

“Mr John Sullivan is currently an Associate Director of Burnley Football Club until May 2013, when this role will cease.

“The football club has not retained John in any capacity to act for the club with regards to securing any new investment.

“The Club cannot comment on the involvement of Mr Brendan Flood in any negotiations as he is not permitted to be a director of Burnley Football Club due to Football League regulations.”

Despite the contents of the rest of the statement, Garlick left the door open to investors by adding: “In closing, Burnley Football Club is always open for new investment, provided that it meets the vision of the Board of Directors, is of a ‘fit and proper’ nature, has the club’s best interests at heart and can genuinely assist us in achieving our ultimate aim of gaining promotion back to the Premier League.”

No Nay Never spoke exclusively to Brendan Flood this evening and the former operational director confirmed his IVA was the reason behind him leaving the board, but stressed he could have appealed to the Football League to remain a director and chose not to.

Flood repeated his earlier comments about desiring a rest from football activities to recuperate from the problems he has had with his businesses since the global financial downturn.

Brendan was upset and confused by the Club’s decision to involve him in the release of the statement and claimed not to be in regular contact with Sullivan regarding any potential overseas investment, despite the Club’s statement appearing to imply they were working together on the matter(*).

Flood’s IVA runs out this month and he told NNN he will be considering a return to the board in the near future.

But he stressed “changes at board level” will be required in order for him to be involved again. Flood’s shareholding is unaffected by him leaving the board and he also explained he feels there is currently a lack of leadership at the Club. But Flood does not have a desire to be chairman of Burnley Football Club.

Flood sang the praises of former chairman Barry Kilby – who is currently successfully recovering from an operation – and stated he believes John B has the best interests of the Club at heart.

However, it is obvious there are clear divisions between Flood and the other two board members – Garlick and long-serving Clive Holt – as recently referred to by former chief executive Paul Fletcher when we recently interviewed him.

Fletcher told NNN: “Make no mistake, Brendan Flood was the director who got Burnley Football Club promoted and he did it with some opposition in the boardroom.”In a revealing chat to promote his book Magical: A Life in Football, he added: “It was through the decisions that he made that he brought the momentum and it was the calculated gamble he took that led the Club to the Premier League. Without Brendan’s calculated gambles, we wouldn’t have got anywhere near the Premier League.“There were some people on the board who just wanted to have their four-course meal and red wine every Saturday and didn’t want the risks that would put us in the Premier League position.

“He was the one out there making the tough decisions and it was the calculated risk which we had to do, otherwise you end up mid-table every year and you think you’re making the fans happy and I don’t think so, I think that because of the calculated gamble Brendan did he made Burnley fans very, very happy.”

Flood told us he agrees with fans who have suggested there is a lack of belief around the Club at the moment and suggested he would be seeking to bring new investment to Turf Moor and has held informal talks with friends about putting money in.

The prospect of Flood leading a consortium of new investors and John Banaszkiewicz remaining chairman, was mooted, but he repeated: “A change at board level would have to happen for me to be involved.”

With Kilby stepping down as chairman to fight cancer in February 2012, the board has already seen some major changes in recent months.

Garlick and Banaszkiewicz were installed as co-chairman and it wasn’t long before Flood stepped down from the board, citing personal reasons for the decision.

Flood’s potential return as a director could see new blood added to the board sooner rather than later, but it appears likely there would have to be resignations from existing directors for him to consider a comeback.

He was a divisive figure during his time at Turf Moor, though many fans were upset by his departure from the board when it came earlier in the year.

In terms of the Russian investment, the likelihood of this happening seems to have been dismissed by the Club, in particular by co-chairman Garlick, today.

Fans will have to make their own minds up why Garlick elected to haul Flood into the row and what his motives were for that decision.

Flood stressed to NNN that his love for the Club has not dimmed and he wants to do all he can to provide the momentum required to take Burnley forward.

It promises to be an interesting summer once the action on the pitch stops next month.

*The Club’s media manager has since claimed there is no implication of a link between Sullivan and Flood in the statement.

What is your reaction to today’s developments? Comment below.

  • Andy Devanney
    Andy Devanney

    I would personally like to see Brendan back on the board and as Chairman. This joint business with only four board members is nonsense. I agree with him that the club lacks direction. It also appears to lack a leader at the moment too. Flood showed vision that was achievable, it must have been because we gained promotion. I don’t care how little money we have at the start of every season the aim should be to win the league. People seem to confuse ambition and realism. If we were all realists football would be a bloody awful game. Up the Clarets.

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to Andy Devanney

      He doesn’t want to be chairman, well he says he doesn’t. I think he’ll come back and there will be big changes sooner rather than later.

  • Adam Haworth
    Adam Haworth

    Crazy stuff. It’s crazy that few people knew about Flood’s IVA before today. It’s all a bit chaotic at the Turf. Mixed messages, cloaks and daggers. All a bit mad. I like Flood, though, and I agree it’s going to be an interesting summer.

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to Adam Haworth

      With hindsight, co-chairmen was always going to be a short-term thing, especially when it seemed so hastily done when Kilby stepped down.

  • James Herbert

    You are just allowing Flood to use your site for his propaganda. He wanted to be chairman. He sulked when not one single director supported his attempts and he told clear lies when he left the board because he’d lied to the directors by keeping his IVA secret from them. Let his keep spouting because he will soon regret it. Thank God he’s gone.

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to James Herbert

      He’s using us? We’ve just revealed his IVA. Nobody else has done that. You think he wanted that news out there? We have a good working relationship with Brendan, but that’s it.

    • Stevein reply to James Herbert

      Well James at least you are allowed a view on here unlike another unamed site. It could be an interesting close season, I just hope these matters are resolved quickly so that SD can get on with his summer planning.

      • Jamie Smith
        Jamie Smithin reply to Steve

        I got the feeling Flood wanted it all done swiftly and cleanly. Whether that can happen with so much change needed remains to be seen.

  • reevo

    BF simply has to have a place on the Burnley board, the club functions far better with him influencing things. Today’s ill conceived retorte via press statement demonstrates what a threat Garlick considers Flood to be. He’s right to be concerned, the fans will see BF as the new Burnley Chairman by the end of next season, and probably backed by new investment they won’t tolerate the negative backwards direction the club appears to be taking currently.

    Despite the £109M from the Prem monies, the club appears not have a vessel to urinate in nor a window to throw it out of!

    We need a different direction, performances on and off the pitch are abject at best we require a new leader….. well leaders really. Time for change in the closed season both on and off the Turf Moor pitch!

    • Kevin Robinson
      Kevin Robinsonin reply to reevo

      Say what you like about Flood, he’s passionate and positive – nothing like the vibe currently flowing from the club.

      I’d much rather he was on the board then not.

  • Kevin Robinson
    Kevin Robinson

    This throws cold water over any thoughts that we have a nice stable board.

    Today has been a disastrous embarrassment for the Club.

  • Steve Kelly

    Well done for confirming my suspicion in tweet earlier today that there is a power struggle. However, despite comments about red wine, four course meals etc it may well be that all parties have the best interests of the club (i.e. the fans) at heart, but have differing views about how to fulfil those best interests. My view is that fans have no financial stake so may prefer a wilder ride, in the interests of entertainment.

    • Kevin Robinson
      Kevin Robinsonin reply to Steve Kelly

      Indeed. It appears Flood is one of the few with a burning passion for the club to grow, to better itself. Ambition – isn’t that what fans keep calling for?

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to Steve Kelly

      Absolutely a power struggle, Steve. I’ll be very amazed if the board is the same as it is now a few months down the line. Ideally Flood would be able to bring new investors in and work with the current board, but it doesn’t seem as though that’s possible.

      • Chris Stanworthin reply to Jamie Smith

        I’d like to see Flood involved again, in a prominent role. Positivity and ambition seem to be sorely lacking at board level at the moment. Those are the main qualities that Flood brought to the table and worked well balanced with Barry Kilby’s qualities. The whole co-chairman thing seems quite peculiar and suggests a power struggle in the first place. Two very prominent people on the board is fine, but ultimately you need a leader who is enabled to make difficult decisions.

  • Alf Shapcott

    It doesn’t strike me as the best way to invite investment into the club. The directors are saying they want investment but will be reluctant to relinquish any control. They are denying any encouragement of these Russian investors and distancing themselves from Sullivan whilst trying to implicate Flood in the process, all very political and jockeying for position. The fact is there are only a certain amount of shares and if the majority of shareholders want to keep control there is not a lot new investors can do, I’m sure we have been here before with Sullivan and Ingelby, came to nothing before.

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to Alf Shapcott

      Good point, Alf. Will the formation of the new company and the ground buy-back mean there are shares available?

  • Chris stanworth

    While the club statement does not explicitly link Brendan with the Russian investment, mentioning him in the way it does in a statement about Russian investment suggests that the club are implicating him as being involved.

    • WinstonsWhitein reply to Chris stanworth

      So Flood made calculated gambles did he? Did those calculations include being put under a transfer embargo for not paying Eagles’ instalments? And did those calculations also take into consideration the fact we were 90 mins away from oblivion.
      Fine we did it, but don’t over egg it saying the risk was finely “calculated”

      • Jamie Smith
        Jamie Smithin reply to WinstonsWhite

        Surely the fact we did it proves it was calculated? Yes, it might not have worked. But it did.

      • Chris Stanworthin reply to WinstonsWhite

        I think oblivion might be overdoing it. We’d have had to sell a good few players, but we’d have been ok.

        • Winstonswhitein reply to Chris Stanworth

          We would have had to sell a good few players, would have still been indebted to every director plus Floods bank who he owed money to and still been under a transfer embargo.
          I’m not saying I would have had it any other way, but lets be honest there was a lot of luck involved in Floods “calculated” risks.
          I’d welcome him back to the board though 100%.

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to Chris stanworth

      That’s exactly what I thought. Why mention his name at all? The club dragged him into the story.

  • Sean Cole

    The talk of positivity and ambition is all well and good, but what always worries me with stories like this is the talk of investment. We currently sit above Blackburn, Ipswich and Bristol City who have all had ‘investment’ and have wage bills that dwarf ours, yet many of our fans still think we should be doing much better. In the modern world of football when it comes to investment it usually means loans which can often leave a clubs in a precarious position. The only investment I’d be interested in is one that sees us bring the ground up to the required standard, or allows us to have a youth set up that means we can do better with young players.

    The footballing world is becoming more of a closed shop. The big clubs do not want teams like us challenging and will do everything they can to stop sides like us having a ‘sugar daddy’. The future for Burnley football club has to be one where we learn to live within our means and compete with what we have. That doesn’t stop ambition or positivity, it just means it has to be tempered with realism. Talk of Brendan Flood returning might sound good, but it’s unlikely that he’ll get lucky again. What we need is a Huw Jenkins; a visionary that combines business acumen with a real knowledge of football and what is required to make a club the size of ours successful. Someone who has faith in his convictions and knows exactly what is needed. Has Flood learnt from his mistakes to be this person?

  • Benjamin Peacock

    Well atleast Flood nor Garlick have any affiliation to Venky’s Limited!!!

  • Jamie Smith
    Jamie Smith

    The club only responded to the first Express investment story through Twitter – why the need for a statement this time?

    There was absolutely no need to bring Flood into it and as a result the relationship between BF – who is still a major shareholders, remember – and some existing board members has got even worse. With BF’s IVA running out soon, allowing him to return to the board, the timing to embarrass him so publicly, by effectively revealing the IVA he has been able to keep quiet, is very interesting.

    I know Flood’s been a divisive figure, but if you spend even a few minutes talking to him, you can tell how much the club means to him. I’m sure all the board members care deeply about the club, but there have to be questions over their ability to take the club forward. It wasn’t all rosy in the garden when Flood was on the board previously, but the promotion season absolutely would not have happened without the momentum and drive he provided.

    Personally, I think Flood needs to be back on the board asap. Ideally he would be able to work with the current board, but it doesn’t seem that’s going to happen, so changes would seen inevitable.

    • Kevin Robinsonin reply to Jamie Smith

      Very interesting timing indeed! I highly doubt this is the last we’ll hear of this.

      • Gary Cursonin reply to Kevin Robinson

        RT @brendanflood1: My Mother always taught me that actions speak louder than words #UTC

        Very interesting comment on the back of yesterday’s news and also reinforces what i was told regards directors failing to act on promises made in the build up to January’s transfer window.

        I feel this is the start of a power struggle with BF looking to sweep away a few stagnant members of the board however i get the impression the guy he brought on may well stay in charge.

        Interesting times ahead, just hope it’s all sorted before the new season starts and the ground buy-back has been approved!

        Talking of which, does anybody know when we’ll get our new share certificates…it’s all gone kinda quiet on that front!!!