What should Burnley fans make of the Alan Pace rumours?
BURNLEY, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 09: General view inside the stadium as players of Burnley walk out prior to The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round match between Burnley and AFC Bournemouth at Turf Moor on February 09, 2021 in Burnley, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

It has been a whirlwind week or two for Burnley chairman Alan Pace who has vowed to make the Women's team professional days after debt rumours. 

The Guardian reported that the American takeover, headed up by Pace, has left the Clarets £90m worse off and in debt due to required interest that must be paid on a loan of roughly £60m that ALK used to help finance the takeover. The rest of the money has reportedly come out of the club's own funds and cash reserves as money was paid off to the selling shareholders.

Pace declined to comment on the reports, citing confidentiality of the deal. However, the ALK investment group maintains that their long term plans are sustainable.

  •  Pace's promise

When speaking to the club's media team on his arrival, Pace said: "It has been a busy start to 2021 for myself and my team at ALK Capital, having become the new owners of Burnley Football Club on New Year’s Eve and completed an investment that has been a very long time in the making.

"Watching from afar, I have been incredibly impressed by the work that Mike Garlick, Sean Dyche and everyone at Turf Moor has done over recent years to make Burnley an established Premier League club and a cornerstone of the local community.

"We believe that now is the right time to build on that work, and that together, we can take this club onto the next level, both on and off the pitch."

Many believed that progression would start with a few signings in the recent January transfer window.

However, the news of debt would be the answer to why little money was invested in this window. It is likely Pace will want to lower some of his own debt before investing heavily in the squad, which many fans will want to see be done in the summer. 

Some concern may be lifted by fans however due to Pace's success at other sporting clubs before Burnley. Pace spent 20 months as president of Major League Soccer side Real Salt Lake, who won the MLS Cup during his time in charge in 2009. 

  • Is this common?

This isn't the first time a new buyer has landed personal or a business debt on a football clubs front doorstep. The 'leveraged buyout' model was used by the Glazers to buy Manchester United. The Guardian reported that £525m in debt was loaded onto the club when the Glazers arrived. This has led to interest of over £1bn to be paid out by the club in interest. 

A lot of United fans would have negatives to say about the Glazers and their way of running the club and Burnley fans will be hoping that their club doesn't fall into a similar scenario. 

  • A bright spark

It hasn't been all bad news for Pace this week. The former Real Salt Lake president outlined his plans to amalgamate affiliated club Burnley FC Women with Burnley FC.

This will give the Women's side of the club professional status with shared use of the men's team facilities being the main contributing factor. 

More financial investment is expected with plans for a Women's academy set up to help with the overall growth of the first-team. 

A clear target has been set by Pace has he outlines promotion to the FA Women's Championship by 2025.

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