‘We won’t leave Turf Moor’ - new Burnley chairman Alan Pace
Pace was quizzed on a number of topics after meeting the press – virtually via Zoom – on Tuesday afternoon.
And building a new ground is not part of his plans, after ALK Capital sealed their takeover of the club last week.
Turf Moor has been Burnley’s home since 1883, with only Preston North Endf’s Deepdale stadium continuously used for longer in English professional football.
Instead, as manager Sean Dyche demands sweat on the shirt as a prerequisite from the players, Pace is keen to “make the asset sweat.”
Asked whether there were any plans to relocate, Pace insisted: “I think, from what we have seen, so far, I like the location – this is part of the charm, the character of a club in this part of the country.
“I think we can do some things to change some of the atmosphere, and there are things that can be upgraded – I almost froze my hands off with the hand dryer!
“You want it to be a great experience, but I love what we have.
“Can we improve upon it? Yeah. Does it need to be redone? No.”
It is very much a case of building on what is already in place: “There are definitely some things that can improve at the stadium. Give us some time to look through, but I want the experience to be different.
“If we want connectivity, then that includes the experience when you are here, and taking that away. We have some improvement we can do there.
“It’s fair to say, one of the things I learned in my first time of managing a club and being an owner, you need to make the asset sweat – that’s the way we would say it.
“You need to use the facilities for all kinds of things.
“Whether or not there are people here doing somethings seven days a week, we’ll wait and see, but we need to have things that make them want to, or are available for them to do that, and that is something that is really important to us.
“How we do that, I need a little bit of time, but we have some ideas.”
In American sport, tailgate parties are a huge part of the event – held in car parks of stadiums,often involving people bringing their own refreshments, and Pace intends to bring fans in, and keep them in on gameday: “We plan to make it a place you want to come and spend time, not just about 90 minutes - there’s no doubt about that.
“People may say ‘you’re going to bring all the American stuff in’...it may look like tailgating, but there will be fan things...we want people to be here and enjoy the atmosphere, and think about this club as a place to go on Saturday, something to do, that they want it to be a central part of their lives. It already is, but it kind of ends and you end up in the pub! There can be more.
“It’s the way we can create that and make it possible.
“We have some very cool ideas for the youth, and we have the capability and facilities to make that possible.
“I think we can turn it into a really cool place that people actually want to be at and spend the day.”
Interestingly, this week, shareholder and season ticket holder Andrew Ronnan spotted a glimpse of what might have been Burnley’s future away from Turf Moor, under former chairman Bob Lord.
On Monday, a security document was filed at Companies House, showing that the club owned some land near Rosegrove, dating back to the Lord era: “The new owners’ professional advisors have been undertaking their necessary contract diligence, some of which has to be filed on the public record at Companies House within 21 days.
“What I found was that BFC owned some land to the north and south of Molly Wood Lane at Hapton.
“When checking Land Registry records, it revealed that, under Bob Lord’s tenure, the land was bought in June 1975.
“When Chairman Bob bought Home Farm at Gawthorpe as a training ground in the 50’s, it was a visionary idea ahead of its time.
“I now wonder whether Chairman Bob actually thought about moving away from Turf Moor as well, and into a new stadium on Molly Wood Lane?
“I hope someone with better knowledge than I possess of our great club’s history could enlighten us all about the land acquisition which later saw the M65 constructed through it.”