‘No major renovations’ on the horizon at Turf Moor - Clarets chairman
In their letter to shareholders, in which ALK Capital’s share offer was made, it was also outlined what are Velocity Sports’ – the sports investment division of ALK – plans for the club.
The letter explained: “VS has also proposed significant investment in key capital infrastructure projects. This includes investment in facilities at Turf Moor and at the Burnley Football Academy,”
Part of that investment has been in the redevelopment of the corporate hospitality boxes at the ground, but, speaking to chairman Alan Pace, are there any moves afoot to revamp the stadium?
Pace said: “We’ve done what we’ve done so far, upgraded the hospitality, that was the first step – I’m learning how long stuff takes in a pandemic as opposed to what was promised!
“Yes, there are still plans to make other changes to the stadium, mainly upgrades of different pieces over the first year, year and a half.
“There will be changes that need to be made to some of the stands – I’m scared to death about that, because if I decide to take down a stand, even for a season, what do we do, how do we do it?
“We haven’t worked through all that, it’s not in the immediacy, we have to do it etc, so I would say there are a lot of upgrades, but no major renovations that will displace people significantly.”
Should the club look to redevelop the Cricket Field Stand in particular, there remains the issue of coming to some sort of agreement with Burnley CC.
The subject has reared its head a number of times over the last 25 years or so, with £10m plans unveiled in 2000, which included buying Burnley Cricket Club’s ground and financing a new one at Fulledge Recreation ground.
Then in 2007, there was a £20m plan for the Burnley Sports and Leisure Village, which included a revamped cricket club, and a brand new Cricket Field Stand.
And Pace said: “I only found out about this in the last few months, but apparently we went for planning permission a few years back, and that included what we were going to do, as far as taking over the cricket ground, but the cricket club found out from a member of the planning permission commission, not the club asking if they wanted to sell!
“I have some ideas, and we’ve discussed a little bit how we could incorporate the cricket ground better into the flow of everything here, so I think it has a role to play in the larger footprint of the stadium, I just don’t know exactly how, and I think that’s part of how we things about things moving forward
“But our style is we’re not ‘gun to your head, and you have to do something’, our style is we try and offer you an opportunity, we’ll try and work with the cricket club when it comes time to see if there is something we could do together, and if there’s not, there’s not.”