Sean Dyche's future at the heart of Burnley takeover bids

James Ducker
·4 min read
Sean Dyche - GETTY IMAGES
Sean Dyche - GETTY IMAGES

The rival investors bidding for control of Burnley consider Sean Dyche to be central to their plans, but the manager’s future could be complicated if chairman Mike Garlick remains at the club.

ALK Capital, an American investment company, faces competition from a group led by Egyptian entrepreneur Mohamed Sayed Zein Elkashashy and Chris Farnell, a Cheshire-based sports lawyer, for ownership of the club.

Telegraph Sport understands both parties would be fully committed to ensuring Dyche was retained, having been impressed by the job he has done at Turf Moor over the past eight years.

ALK – which is headed by Alan Pace, a former president of Major League Soccer franchise Real Salt Lane, who has previously tried to buy Sheffield United – are thought to have indicated they would seek to appoint a new board to run the club if their bid was successful.

Yet the prospect of Garlick staying on in some capacity is believed to have been discussed during negotiations with the Farnell-backed bid.

It is unclear what role Garlick would be given since Farnell and Elkashashy are expected to take control of the day-to-day running of the club if their £200 million bid was given the go-ahead.

But fears have been raised about how Dyche would react to such a scenario, given the severe deterioration in his relationship with Garlick, with staff at the club saying they have largely given up hope of trying to effect a reconciliation.

Dyche has spoken publicly about his frustration at the club running down contracts and was dismayed by the lack of signings this summer, but Garlick is thought to have told the board money was available. Burnley are 18th in the table after taking only one point from their first five games and face Chelsea tomorrow.

Communication between Dyche and Garlick is infrequent now and it is understood the chairman has instructed board members not to discuss the prospective takeover with the manager. Garlick has been asked for comment. Dyche insisted on Thursday he was in the dark over matters relating to a potential sale.

Sports Briefing
Sports Briefing

“I know what you know,” he said. “I don’t know of any ownership, as far as I know, it is just stories in the papers. They seem to be growing and getting more detailed as the weeks have gone on.”

Garlick is Burnley’s majority shareholder with a 49.24 per cent stake in the club. Burnley’s other leading shareholder is John Banaszkiewicz, who has a 28.2 per cent stake. Dyche expressed confidence that, if Burnley was sold, the board would have the club’s best interests at heart.

He said: “I can only imagine, if there are these interested parties, that there’s some due diligence going on that would appoint or align the people they think can add to what the club is. But it’s down to them.

“The chairman, the major shareholders, John and the board … they know the club like the back of their hand, they are all Burnley people, they’ve all got roots in and around Burnley. So I’m sure it will be their decision.

“They will make the decisions they think are correct, whatever those decisions are, if – of course – these rumours are true.”

The Premier League strugglers

ALK is understood to have asked for an array of information from Burnley. It has dismissed claims it has been struggling to raise the money to complete the deal and also distanced itself from suggestions Pace would favour a “Moneyball” approach to recruitment, even though he believes there is huge potential in the use of state-of-the-art technology within scouting.

Farnell has been cleared to pursue his bid to buy Burnley after overturning a ban from becoming a director of an English football club. The ban was imposed following his involvement in an attempt by Manchester-based businessman, Paul Elliott, to buy Charlton Athletic.

Farnell lodged an appeal after maintaining he failed the EFL’s owners’ and directors’ test only because of an administrative error and an independent arbitration panel agreed this week that there had been no attempt to intentionally mislead the EFL, which led to his disqualification being backdated to end on Sept 14.