While Burnley struggle to compete financially against Nottingham Forest, they have certainly proved they can compete on the pitch.
The Kuwaiti Al-Hasawi family, who took over Forest in the summer of 2012, have invested substantial funds to try to end the club’s 15-year exile from the Premier League.
But Burnley, who didn’t spend a penny on transfer fees in the close season, before signing Ashley Barnes from Brighton in January, have managed to remain in the Championship’s top three since September, ahead of Forest, who brought in nine summer signings at a cost of more than £5.5m.
They have already knocked Forest out of the Capital One Cup and earned a 1-1 draw in the league at the City Ground, and Forest are five points adrift of the Clarets ahead of tomorrow’s game at Turf Moor, in what is developing into one of the most exciting Championship promotion chases in years.
And boss Sean Dyche said: “It’s about two good teams and clubs going for big points, to try to get where they want to go.
“It’s been a big surprise that Forest aren’t higher than they are when you look at the squad and resources they have, certainly since the summer - although they are still in a good position.
“In the Capital One Cup here earlier this season, they made 10 changes and to the lay man, you would have thought they were a good Championship team.
“They’ve had a few injuries to big signings like Kelvin Wilson, and Jack Hobbs missed out on Wednesday against Leicester, along with Henri Lansbury, but they have the likes of Danny Collins with Premier League experience, Greg Halford, (Gonzalo) Jara, Andy Reid, Jamie Mackie...
“They signed Jamie Paterson from Walsall, who is a very good player - I spoke to Dean Smith about him last year, but couldn’t compete financially.”
While Burnley can’t match Forest’s financial clout, they have shown it’s not all about money: “From my point of view, it’s about believing in what you do well.
“The combination of good staff and players, talent and that team ethic.”