Burnley boss Sean Dyche expected to resist calls to blood youngsters with Premier League merit payments up for grabs

Sean Dyche will resist calls to blood youngsters on Sunday as he fights for a greater share of the Premier League prize pot.

Max Thompson warms up ahead of the game against Wolves at Turf Moor
Max Thompson warms up ahead of the game against Wolves at Turf Moor

Burnley are guaranteed a top 10 finish for the second time in three seasons, regardless of how they finish the campaign against Brighton at Turf Moor.

But, while his bench has predominantly been made up of the club's promising youth players since lockdown, only 18-year-old striker Max Thompson has emerged onto the pitch, coming on at Manchester City in the first game back for the dying embers of the game, with Burnley 5-0 down.

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The Clarets have since been involved in some tight games, winning 1-0 against Watford and Crystal Palace, with 1-1 draws against Sheffield United and Liverpool sandwiching a 1-0 win at West Ham.

There followed a 1-1 draw at home to Wolves before Burnley won 2-0 at nine-man Norwich on Saturday.

Dyche hasn't felt the time was right to give the likes of Jimmy Dunne, Anthony Glennon, Josh Benson, Mace Goodridge, Joel Mumbongo, Bobby Thomas or keepers Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Lukas Jensen their Premier League debuts.

And while the prize money figures for the current Premier League campaign are yet to be confirmed, as they may differ this season after the coronavirus pandemic which halted the season for three months, last season, the difference between finishing eighth and 10th was sizeable.

Everton were eighth and took home £25m, Leicester in ninth earned £23.1m and West Ham £21.1m.

Those merit payments are obviously on top of the equal share for all clubs, which last season was £34m, £43m in international TV rights and £5m in central commercial revenue, as well as fscility fees based on the number of a club's matches broadcast in the UK.

So, asked whether he could use the final game to pitch some youngsters in, Dyche said: "At a club that wants every penny to be taken care of, every position we finish higher in the Premier League (counts).

"It makes it very difficult to blood youngsters, because on the one hand you want to blood youngsters and have a look at them and see if they can get a feel of it.

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"And on the other hand, trust me, the chairman is saying get every position we can, because we get the money in the bank. So that is the tricky side of it.

"If the game had gone differently (at Norwich) and if Chris Wood had taken his chance straight after half-time, then it probably opens the game up more and probably against nine men then you score more goals and that is different.

"But if you look at our games since lockdown, they have been very tight and very edgy and they are not games for young players.

"If I think they are ready then that is different, like with Dwight (McNeil), but some of these young lads haven't even been out on loan yet or had any first team football so there is a balance and it is often a financial one."