Who new Burnley owners ALK Capital are and what their takeover means

The new year is upon us and it comes with a new era for Burnley, who announced on Hogmanay that a changing of the tides is underway at Turf Moor.

American firm ALK Capital have acquired a controlling share of the Premier League club and they arrive with big promises, and even bigger ambitions.

But who are the new people in charge? And what do they want with Burnley?

Let's take a look and find out.

1. Who are ALK Capital?

So, Velocity Sports Partners, the sports investment arm of ALK Capital, now owns 84% of Burnley FC. The £200m investment is their first venture into UK sport...but who actually are these new American overlords?

Their website paints them as a cutting edge investment firm with a particular focus on sport and technology. They claim to be 'sport, finance, and investment professionals' with 'experience in senior operating roles involved in investment, risk management, business operations, and high-profile turnarounds.'

They seem to know their football, or soccer, as it were. Not long before taking over Burnley, they invested significantly in up and coming scouting software platforms such AiScout and Player LENS.

Moneyball Burnley? Let's have it.

2. So...why Burnley?

Function over fashion has been Burnley's unofficial motto | Pool/Getty Images

Alright, so I know what you're thinking. Forward-thinking American investment firm on the front lines of technology in football...what on earth do they want with Burnley? I mean, they're not exactly the most fashionable of football clubs...

Scratch beneath the surface, though, and it appears they have done their research. They are a Premier League team with huge scope for growth: their average position since being promoted from the Championship has been 12th, despite consistently having one of the lowest wage bills in the division.

Interestingly, only Sheffield United, West Brom and Leeds have lower wage bills than the Clarets (per Spotrac), and that doesn't take into account all of the summer transfers, so Leeds' big acquisitions may have even nudged Burnley into the salary relegation zone.

They regularly punch above their wait and there is undoubtedly a feeling they can consistently compete for Europe if Sean Dyche is given resources in line with his rivals.

They have plenty more going for them too: a Category 1 academy, and a proud history, having won the top flight twice in the past.

The takeover cost £200m, just a fraction of what it would have cost to acquire a controlling stake in one of English football's big brands, but there is the potential to grow their worth, and eventually bank a huge return on investment if they sell the club years down the line.

So yeah...maybe not as mad as it looks.

3. They're not sacking Sean Dyche

Sean Dyche is the longest serving Premier League manager by some distance. Appointed in May 2012, his reign has lasted more than twice as long as 16 of the current top flight bosses.

And it's going to stay that way under the new ownership, apparently.

Further adding to the sense that the new bosses have done their research is a report from Forbes which claims they have already given Dyche assurances that he is key to the club's success going forward.

It seems they want to maintain the spirit of the club that has become a source of pride over their four and a half seasons in the top flight, and Dyche is seen as the ultimate pillar of that continuity.

The stalwart boss was frequently at odds with outgoing chairman Mike Garlick and his reluctance to invest in the playing squad. With the shiny new board keen to keep him onside, we might have an interesting couple of transfer windows ahead.

4. They bring Pace

ALK is headed up by Wall Street guru Alan Pace, who has become Burnley's new chairman.

He is described by the Burnley Express as 'an accomplished leader in sports and financial services with more than 20 years’ experience on Wall Street overseeing multibillion-dollar divisions and 10 years in sports management.'

Despite the connotations of his name, Pace likes to keep a low profile, and has stressed that there will be no rush to reach the top of the English game. However, he does think English football needs to think forward, and over time he plans to change the way Burnley do things - starting with their recruitment.

He told the Daily Mail: "What you'll learn from us is that we under-promise and over-deliver. The last thing we want to do is come here and say 'We'll spend £30m in the window, we'll be in the Champions League in five years'. We are here to work our tails off and there will be some cool stuff along the way.

"There is an evolution on the sports tech side and it's really time football started to go a bit further. When you look at data and analytics, they don't require someone needing to have done 30 years as a scout. There is a little bit of living in the past."

5. Burnley will sign players

What does the takeover mean for Dyche and his team? | Michael Regan/Getty Images

...but having said that, we may well see some January signings, according to Lancashire Live.

Burnley are pretty much in the clear to do whatever they like in the transfer market without having to worry about FFP, given their enviably low wage bill and expenditure, so if they want to strengthen in the window, then the floor is theirs.

Lancashire Live say the new owners are prepare to sanction a signing or two if Dyche decides he needs the reinforcements, but their preference is to ease themselves in - so it may be the summer before we see the real impact of the takeover on the pitch.

Source : 90min