Mike Jackson is confident Burnley can find answers to the difficult questions that await after Sunday’s 2-1 home defeat to Newcastle brought an end to their six-year stay in the Premier League.
Relegation means the Clarets must repay a “significant” portion of a £65million loan taken out as part of ALK Capital’s leveraged buyout in December 2020 while also rebuilding their squad – nine first-team players are out of contract this summer while several others will be transfer targets for rivals.
There is also no permanent manager – Jackson stepped up from his role with the under-23s after Sean Dyche was sacked last month – so it remains to be seen who will be trying to solve a number of these problems.
But asked if he believed the club was in safe hands given their potential financial problems, Jackson said: “Why wouldn’t it be? I can’t comment about all the stuff you’re speaking about.
“But there are good people here who want to do well, who want the club to bounce back. It’s about small steps, planning, and making sure you’ve got everything in place to be able to do that.”
Captain Ben Mee, James Tarkowski, Jack Cork and Ashley Barnes are among the players who can walk away from Turf Moor, while there will be suitors for the likes of Nick Pope, Dwight McNeil, Maxwel Cornet and Wout Weghorst.
Television money made up 90 per cent of the club’s revenue in the latest set of accounts, so the loss of their Premier League status is certain to put a considerable strain on finances and limit their ability to replace the talent that will depart.
What the side will look like on the opening day of the Championship next season is a question Jackson cannot answer.
“It’s hard to comment on that with what’s just happened,” he said. “You can’t say, ‘This is going to happen’ – I don’t think you can do that.
“There’ll have to be a reflection on what’s gone on. Like everything else, it’s small steps, you have to find your way back when things happen like this. You have to take small steps to get yourselves going again and I’m sure that’s what the club will try and do.”
Having taken 11 points from eight games and given Burnley the chance to save themselves on the final day, Jackson could himself be a candidate for the permanent job if he wanted it, but in the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s defeat the 48-year-old insisted he had little interest in discussing it.
“I understand you’ve got to ask the question but I don’t think that’s for now,” he said. “I’m not really bothered about myself at this moment in time. I know how I’m going to feel, I’m going to go and suffer.
“I’m more gutted for the group and for the fans. When you work so closely with the group like that, see what they’ve put in and you see them after it hurts you, it stays with you.”