A TOP Burnley businessman and international ambassador is planning a Russian link-up to bring millions of pounds worth of investment to Turf Moor.
The Express can exclusively reveal that life-long Clarets fan and associate director of Burnley Football Club John Sullivan is off to Moscow tomorrow to begin negotiations with some of the country’s leading businessmen.
Mr Sullivan, who was recently honoured by the Russian Royal family by being made a Knight of the Imperial Order of St Anne, wants to attract major investment into Turf Moor to put the Clarets back where they belong – in the top flight of English football.
“It won’t happen overnight but we need to be ambitious and bring some big money into Turf Moor. We need to be back in the Premier League where we belong,” said the 69-year-old property developer who has been watching the Clarets since he was a young boy standing on the Longside.
The former director who relinquished some of his shares two years ago to allow new young blood into the Burnley boardroom, has had strong business connections in Russia for many years and feels the time is now right for the oligarchy to invest some of their rubles to boost the fortunes of his beloved Burnley FC.
Mr Sullivan has been an ambassador for the club for many years promoting Burnley FC wherever he travels around the world.
In the past he has brought Royalty to Turf Moor and was responsible for introducing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to the club for the benefit of the town’s young people. He also works closely with the UCFB College of Football Business which he hopes will also benefit from the massive financial investment.
He is President of the Commonwealth Judo Association and so well thought of in the world of sport and culture abroad that he has received the Order of the Polar Star from the Mongolian Government and earlier this year his cultural work in Russia was rewarded when he was appointed a Knight of the Imperial Order of St Anne by Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna Romanova of Russia, the granddaughter of Tsar Nicholas II, former head of the Russian Royal family which was virtually wiped out by the Bolsheviks in the early part of the last century.
The honour means he is officially a member of the Russian nobility.
He said: “Through my connections and many associates at all levels in Russia I am trying to get some investment into Burnley Football Club and the UCFB. Communism is being eroded and the Royal Family and the Church are coming back to the fore in Russia and the time seems right.”
During his trip he will join the New Year festivities in Moscow and then stay on to celebrate the Russian Christmas which is observed on January 7th.