Pandemic has hindered Burnley's ability to spread transfer net wider - boss Sean Dyche

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit Burnley's attempts to broaden their search for signings from overseas.
Sean DycheSean Dyche
Sean Dyche

As boss Sean Dyche explains, it is all well and good investing in analytics and data, as they did under the departed technical director Mike Rigg, but when it comes to filtering through that information and actually viewing those players in the flesh, the restrictions on travel have largely prevented that.

Burnley have, more often than not, shopped domestically, with the previous ownership not keen on gambling on players who might not adapt to the English game, but Dyche, asked about the work that has gone into expanding the club's scouting network over the last few years, said: "Whatever structure you put in place has been hindered by Covid, because you can’t get eyes on players.

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"It is different if you are signing players for £100m, because we all know who they are – you are just checking they have two arms, two legs and a head and you are going to sign them!

"When you are trying to unearth, look for and find talent, it is very difficult through a computer screen.

"Everyone does it as a start point to analyse the breakdown of a player, but usually it comes down to scouts going and watching and getting a feel for them and how they are delivering, and that has been very difficult regardless of what money you have got, unless you are signing the super elite players."

And despite the new owners being able to stretch the finances a bit more than their predecessors, Burnley continue to have a business model that has to be adhered to: "In a nutshell (it is finance) - football is simple in that respect

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"Usually the main players who shift in the market are for big fees.

"You get the odd one, and we have found a few in our time who have gone under the radar at fee level.

"But most clubs, more or less, know the runners and riders and the ones on form, showing potential, delivering. It is just usually the amount of money that gets involved.

"The job in recruitment is not the obvious ones, because we all know them, it is the ones slightly under the radar and the ones with more to them, and we have done that very well here year on year, and maybe that is against us because people get to the point where they go 'they will find another one' or 'they will develop another player', but it is not that easy

"Down our time here we feel the players we have signed have the raw ingredients to continue improving.

"We have to keep doing that."