American investors hope to buy Burnley before transfer window
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MANCHESTER – American investors ALK Capital are aiming to complete their purchase of Premier League club Burnley in time to strengthen the Lancashire club’s squad during the January transfer window, a source close to the bid told Reuters on Thursday.
Burnley moved out of the bottom three with a goalless draw at Aston Villa on Thursday, following up their 1-0 away win at Arsenal on Sunday with another clean sheet and extending their unbeaten run to three games.
Talks between the U.S group, led by former Wall Street banker Alan Pace and Burnley’s board, headed by majority shareholder Mike Garlick have intensified in recent weeks with just a few details remaining to be settled before a full submission to the Premier League for authorisation of the takeover, the source said.
The Americans are hoping to get the deal wrapped up before Christmas but are ultimately keen to be in place at Turf Moor in order to invest in the squad in the one month long transfer period.
The investors have been informed of Burnley’s specific needs in the transfer market and with Pace expected to take a hands-on role, they believe the club can be quickly effective in the market.
Garlick, who has been at the helm of the club throughout their five straight seasons in the top flight, could stay on at Turf Moor in some capacity to support the new owners although the precise form any involvement has not been finalised.
Manager Sean Dyche has lamented the club’s lack of resources to spend on his squad and while he has expressed faith in his current crop, he said before the Villa game that new arrivals would be helpful.
“Is it helpful to have a deeper squad? Yes, it is, the demands are higher than six or seven years ago. The physical demands are higher,” he said.
“We have been unfortunate with the amount of injuries and I would hope and suggest that statistically that is unlikely to continue all season but you never know and we have to be ready for that if it does,” he said.
Pace was president of Major League Soccer club Real Salt Lake and has recently brought football scouting and recruitment technology products AiScout and Player Lens to the British market.
Last year Pace and American sports executive Dave Checketts were involved in an unsuccessful attempt to purchase Premier League club Sheffield United.
Checketts, who was owner of Real Salt Lake and president of the NBA’s Utah Jazz and New York Knicks, is not understood to be directly involved in this bid but is believed to be working as an advisor.
Burnley have been tight-lipped about the discussions but last month confirmed they were in talks.
“The club’s ownership remain in discussions with interested parties regarding future investment in the club,” they said in a statement.