Alan Pace is revolutionising Burnley Football Club and it is long overdue
Photo by Dave Howarth - CameraSport via Getty Images

It has been 10 months since Alan Pace was installed as chairman of Burnley Football Club after purchasing a controlling stake with his partners, ALK Capital.  

Plans were laid out and promises were made, with the club looking to secure themselves as a Premier League mainstay for the future.

The club are undoubtedly in a better position now than they were before Mr Pace took charge, but just what has he done so far?

  • Off the pitch, a continuing success story

Burnley have had a tough time keeping in line with modernity in recent years.

Turf Moor is a classic, quintessentially British football stadium that hasn’t undergone any major changes in a generation, just the addition of corner stands for disabled home supporters to use in 2019.

Old plans for improvements and expansions to the stadium resurfaced online this week from 2008, with some speculating major works to the ground are imminent.

From the start, Pace has been very forward with his technological ambitions with plans to add new LED lighting around the ground in the near future.

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The success of AiScout app which brought a full set of triallists to Barnfield Training Centre in a successful first run in the search for the next generation of talent.

Boardroom changes as well saw a number of backroom staff replaced, with a desire to get younger off the pitch as well as on it.

Just in the past week, brand new management positions at the club were filled, as part of Mr Pace’s “long-term growth plan”.

But, there was one element of The Clarets that needed stabilising.

Rumours around the future of Sean Dyche have been rampant in previous years after he continuously outperformed the expectations for him.

Out of contract at the end of this season and many predicted it would be his last.

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But Pace delivered and Dyche signed a new four-year extension to put an end to those rumours for the time being at least.

And finally, something that did need addressing was the issue surrounding shareholders.

At the time ALK Capital purchased the club, Pace suggested he wanted to buy shareholders stakes if they were willing to sell them, but the timings weren’t right.

In the last week, the plan was announced to offer shareholders a 50/50 split in money and club credit – which can be used on tickets, in the club shop or on matchdays.

And it was welcomed almost resoundingly, even if some believed it to be a bit late.

So, it is fair to say that away from the pitch, Alan Pace has knocked it out the park with his current running of the club.

He has been open with the supporters on finances, insisting the debts the club took on in the purchase are nothing to worry about, and has put his money where his mouth is and has taken action.

  • Results might be wavering, but the promises are being kept

Burnley were never going to transform into a Premier League powerhouse overnight.

These things take time.

The image of Burnley Football Club isn’t always a pretty one.

The style of play, the harsh weather, the constant battle against relegation, all things that do not appeal to the higher grade of player.

Alan Pace wasn’t going to be able to change that image himself.

What he has done, though, is give Dyche financial backing in the transfer market.

That is something former club supremo Mike Garlick didn’t do in his final year at the club.

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Nathan Collins, Maxwel Cornet and Connor Roberts arrived for fees and Aaron Lennon and Wayne Hennessey also came in to add depth to a squad that had been crying out for it for the past few seasons.

So this is a vast improvement.

But, as off the pitch performances pick up, on the pitch ones have continued to falter, and falter drastically.

For the past five seasons survival has been the name of the game.

This season is no different.

Of course, a club of Burnley’s size is not expected to be pushing for Europe against the big spenders of the top half of the table.

But maintaining their top-flight status in their sixth consecutive season in the Premier League should be the bare minimum a club should expect to achieve.

No wins from seven, which includes last weekend’s disappointing goalless draw with Norwich City, and without a home win since the end of January makes for bleak reading.

Pace doesn’t have anything to do with a matchday, so you can’t pin the team’s misfortunes on him.

But something isn’t right there.

This is where the chairman will come in.

January will be a big month for the club.

The business in the summer Transfer Window was good, but it was a start.

Two injuries and the team is back to where it was two months ago in terms of depth, so even more depth is needed.

Defensively will be the big one.

James Tarkowski is at the centre of interest from across the league once again, with newly rich Newcastle United the latest name added to his list of suitors.

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Even if the centre-back doesn’t leave in the winter, his contract ends in the June, 2022 and is pretty adamant he is not returning to the club.

Alan Pace needs to put his money where his mouth is once again and prove that the summer Transfer Window wasn’t a one-off to please the supporters.

All in all, it has been refreshing to see an owner at this great old club make serious changes behind the scenes.

Surely it is only a matter of time until it starts to become seen on the pitch as well, as long as the club can retain it’s Premier League membership for another year.

And, following that, progression needs to be made. 

The European Tour of 2018 was a wonderful time for the club's fans, but it seems that was a one time thing.

Burnley have not finished higher than 10th since, and the fans dream of pushing the top half once again.

That isn't all to do with the chairman, but it definitely starts at the top. 

Pace does still need to prove he is the real deal, but he has definitely started off in the right direction.

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