Inchy backs Clarets board after putting the club’s future first

Coach Heath: Former Burnley boss Adrian Heath addressing his Orlando team ahead of their move to the MLS in America
Coach Heath: Former Burnley boss Adrian Heath addressing his Orlando team ahead of their move to the MLS in America
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Former Clarets boss Adrian Heath feels Burnley’s board have acted in the club’s best interests upon promotion to the Premier League.

Burnley spent in the region of £8m on new players in the summer, and have come in for some criticism for a perceived lack of outlay.

Money has also gone on stadium and training ground improvements, as well as beefing up the scouting network, and Heath, now preparing to take Orlando SC into the MLS in America, feels improving the infrastructure of the club is to the benefit of Burnley in the long term.

Heath said: “I was at Burnley recently, and spoke to a couple of directors, and I think they are being very wise.

“The club has to be there for the next generation. You can’t gamble, giving players more money, who will leave at the drop of a hat.

“Fans might not want to hear it, but I think it is a commendable stance - you need the infrastructure, and the money spent on that will serve the club well for 20-30 years, rather than having a year in the Premier League and putting all the money in players’ pockets.”

Speaking ahead of the meeting of two of his former clubs at Stoke tomorrow, he feels the Premier League bubble has to burst sooner or later, and England could learn a lot from the MLS model: “Stoke are getting stronger, and quite established in the Premier League. They finished ninth with 50 points last season, their best finish in 40 years, and have gradually put a marker down. They are a real model for clubs like Burnley to follow, they have gradually progressed and strengthened their squad.

“If Burnley stay up, there will be more money available and they can add again.

“But one of the great things about soccer over here is DC United finished bottom last year and are now top of the league in the Eastern Conference as they moved enough pieces around.

“There is the salary cap, and you can pay two or three players above that, but the rest have the same money to spend.

“You can’t tell who will be favourites from one year to the next, which is different in England, where only three or four teams can win it, and only one or two in other countries, which is quite sad.

“People would have laughed at you 20 or 30 years ago if you had said Everton, Newcastle, Aston Villa can’t win the league, Spurs even, but unless you have a billionaire owner, you have no chance.”

He added: “The salary cap probably isn’t workable in England in the Premier League, although it could be lower down, with FFP.

“But there has to be something - ticket prices are too much for the average person and all the money is going to players and agents.

“I’m a player man, but I heard someone saying recently they were ‘only’ getting £25,000 a week, or £1m a year - let’s get real! When did £1m a year become not enough?

“It’s not an easy time for people at the minute, and although I don’t think you’ll get a salary cap, clubs need to call a halt sooner rather than later.

“It has to stop - the chance of teams going through the leagues has to be available.

“People might say it is, but if you have one good year in the Championship now, you can get relegated from the Premier League and have a far bigger advantage back in the Championship with the parachute payments.”

Heath, meanwhile, is focusing on a play-off push in Orlando’s first MLS season, which starts in March: “We’ve come a long way. We’re really excited - we have a new stadium, training ground, we’ve signed Kaka, and have a lot of things going on before pre-season starts in January.

“I came out seven years ago to start a new career and didn’t really expect to be going into the MLS and coaching Kaka, but I’m looking forward to it!”