Kilby re-elected at uneventful AGM

Last updated : 30 December 2002 By Tony Scholes

Once again it was over almost as quickly as it started with everything being accepted by the shareholders present and Chairman Barry Kilby was re-elected to the board.

They evening only came to life after the meeting during a question and answer session when Stan took centre stage. The Clarets’ boss was introduced as the manager and a top selling author when it was revealed that the club shop had now sold over 3,000 copies of his book, '‘Stan the Man'’.

He was initially questioned about our youth system and our inability to produce first team players. He agreed entirely and admitted that the main problem was the fact that we cannot attract the best kids in the first place and the only way forward would be for the club to reach academy status. He then said that it would cost a minimum to set up and quoted the £12 million Sunderland have spent to set up their Academy of Light.

There were gasps when he said that he would prefer to dismantle the less than cost effective youth system and bring in players at 18, discarded by Premiership clubs. Older Burnley fans can readily recall the old days of producing player after player but that doesn’t happen any longer and it was pointed out from the floor that the last player to come through to establish himself in the first team was Paul Weller and he is now 27.

Stan also nodded in agreement when it was put to him that Kevin Ball had not been replaced but he told the shareholders that his planned strengthening of the squad last summer had been scuppered by the collapse of ITV Digital.

Ground director Clive Holt outlined the problems of Gawthorpe, one of the current projects on hold, and said it would be at least two years before we could move forward with the cost estimated at £800,000.

The project concerning the cricket ground is still very much active though and the club would be ready to move on this one if an alternative venue could be found for Burnley Cricket Club with whom they have an agreement.

There are no plans to sell Turf Moor either although it was looked into as a possibility during last summer when the financial problems first hit. One club Watford did sell their ground for £6 million but the Burnley board have decided not to follow the same route.

There was a discussion on the possible re-structuring of the Football League and Chairman Barry Kilby said he was very much in favour of a Premiership 1 and Premiership 2 obviously with Burnley included.

Andrew Watson, currently on the Football League working party, said that currently any plans for the First Division can be scuppered by the clubs in the two lower divisions. He did though admit that the Premiership do not want to be involved in a further division being added.

Finally the evening came to an end when former director Colin Sanderson offered a vote of confidence to the club after they had steered us through the last few months, there were certainly no dissenters to that from the floor.

Stan stayed for a while after the meeting to talk football with some of the shareholders before leaving to go and watch his magic lantern.