June 29, 2020 / 5:19 AM / 12 days ago

Burnley must spend to stay competitive, says manager Dyche

Soccer Football - Premier League - Burnley v Watford - Turf Moor, Burnley, Britain - June 25, 2020 Burnley manager Sean Dyche reacts, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Michael Steele/Pool via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Burnley must start spending more to stay competitive in the Premier League because their current transfer strategy is not sustainable in the long term, manager Sean Dyche has said.

Midfielders Aaron Lennon and Jeff Hendrick and goalkeeper Joe Hart left the club this week, while 11 more players will be out of contract at the end of next season.

Dyche, whose team are 11th with seven games to go, said bargains were hard to come by these days.

“The days of us nicking Nick Pope for 1.5 million pounds ($1.85 million), Johan Gudmundsson for 2.2 million pounds, James Tarkowski for 4 million pounds and Andre Gray for 6 million pounds, they’ve gone,” Dyche said.

“We’re not sure how COVID-19 is going to affect the market, but if you took that away, I have said for a long time that we need to get in front of the curve. But doing that costs a lot of money. It’s a vicious circle.”

Dyche, who has managed Burnley since 2012 and has always operated on a tight budget, said he had been asking the club’s hierarchy to consider tweaking their spending model for the past couple of seasons.

“Can we do it? Yes. Does it need stretching? Yes, it does,” he added. “You can’t forever just work on a net spend of 9 million pounds a year. It’s not impossible, but it’s improbable that is going to work over a long period.”

Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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