Burnley Football Club has defended its unpopular decision to advertise for unpaid volunteers to work on match days.
Following a backlash from supporters, the club issued a statement defending its decision to advertise a new 'Matchday Heroes' scheme, which would see people carry out a variety of tasks, unpaid, at Turf Moor.
A club statement said: "Following criticism in some quarters regarding the Match Day Heroes story published yesterday, the club feels it is important that supporters and the wider community understand the full context of the proposed scheme.
"This initiative was suggested to the club by the most recent ‘Premier League Supporter Experience’ matchday visits.
"During these visits, they found that Burnley were one of a small number of clubs not to have any specific ‘here to help’ matchday representatives.
"The suggestion was therefore to create a volunteers’ group to perform this role (similar to the ‘Gamesmakers’ at the Olympics). We have therefore been liaising with a volunteers’ organisation on this project, which has experience of performing the same role at a number of football and rugby clubs, in addition to manning special events.
"It is also important to understand that all across the country many people are actively looking for volunteering opportunities, which do not have the same demands of a job but allow them to be active, serve the community and also, for younger volunteers especially, gain both experience and CV material.
"However, as a club we did not want to restrict the opportunity to people who were already established ‘volunteers’, and so advertised it to supporters too.
"We would also like to clarify that although volunteers may not all see all of the game at which they are working, they will certainly have access when their duties are completed and they will also get clothing, refreshments and merchandise.
"We also have numerous other incentives planned to ensure that once volunteers are here at the club, that they continue to come and help and enjoy the role.
"In closing, it is important for us to attract people who want to perform the role, although of course the club will look to ensure that all volunteers are well looked after and are catered for, both to ensure they are happy in the role and, hopefully, want to continue to do it.
"We hope this helps explain an initiative which will be an important part of our matchday experience."