Turf Moor ground buy back will save £500k

OUR TOWN, OUR TURF: Turf Moor is back under the ownership of Burnley Football Club after a special bond issue
OUR TOWN, OUR TURF: Turf Moor is back under the ownership of Burnley Football Club after a special bond issue

Joint-chairman John Banaszkiewicz believes the club’s buyback of Turf Moor and Gawthorpe is a huge step forward.

Special bond issue plans unveiled in January to set up a holding company to resume ownership of the club’s spiritual home have been successful, raising £3.5m from shareholders and private investors.

The ground - home for 130 years - and training base in Padiham has been owned by Longside Properties Ltd since 2006,but the club will no longer pay rent on a 99-year lease, saving more than £500,000 a year.

And Banaszkiewicz said: “It’s been an ambition of ours for some time to complete the buyback, and it is really important to have Turf Moor and Gawthorpe back under our wing.

“After seven years, we won’t have to pay any more rent now, which was costing in excess of £500,000 a year, which we can put to much better use, improving the squad and keeping the club going as a business.”

He hopes the shareholders and private investors will have more influence going forward as well: “It was an innovative way of raising the money, and 12 people, with the help of the directors, raised £3.5m. As a result, we will also look to use their input by creating an advisory group, including fans.”