Alan BuckH. He is the president of Burnley Football Team, an English football team that plays in the English Premier League, the first division of English football. In the interview, we discussed his previous stage in leadership of Real Salt Lake 2006-2008, MLS Football Club, the United States League, and his current stage at Burnley Club. Finally, we are also reviewing the current affairs of the Premier League.
What will be your highlight from your time driving the Real Salt Lake?
My first professional experience was running a sports club, previously working in banking and financial services. I learned a lot of things, about players, training players, how to recruit them, and we built a stadium for 24,000 people. And since it was a lot of new things to me, we did it really well. It was a time of great learning.
Why didn’t you invest in any other American sport?
I did, and also invested in the St. Louis Blues in the National Hockey League, although I wasn’t responsible, my partners were. Also, we’re looking at other teams. The hardest thing about buying a computer is the evaluation and not having much to sell.
How was your MLS experience?
It was a young clique that was growing and expanding rapidly. It was so fun because I had to see how a new league is being created, as everything I did was very new. I’ve met a lot of interesting people, team owners, managers, coaches, etc. Also, over the years David Beckham came to play for the LA Galaxy, and that helped develop the league. Many international players joined in and the experience of creating and developing the league was unique.
You’ve been president of Burnley for only three months, so how can an American convince English football that he can manage a team?
The first thing is having the economic capacity to buy a club. You first have to pass a test where they get investigated, and they check that you are the right person, and that’s what they call it Decent and fit. Therefore, all you have to do is have the money and pass the test.
What they really want to see is how to behave and how to do it on a daily basis. The league was convinced when they saw what we did in MLS. I didn’t have to convince the salespeople, but the fans could get it right. He had to make it clear to them that it would be a positive thing for them. However, winning the crowd takes time, and we’re just getting started.
Why Burnley and not another club?
We looked between different clubs, and we loved Burnley because it is within a 45-minute radius of many of the big clubs in England, such as Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Everton. This is important because of the football academies where they coach local young players, when they grow up and are neglected by their clubs, we integrate them where we have the opportunity to follow them on their path.
Also from an amalgamation point of view of professional players, they don’t necessarily live in Burnley, but they can do so in one of these big cities, which makes it easier to sign them. From a community point of view, this is a small town with only one football club, and you don’t see people on the streets wearing T-shirts other than Burnley shirts, so we have a very loyal fanbase.
In addition, we are a magnet for followers and companies several kilometers around, which makes us very suitable. We came to see the club and found a good team of professionals with well established operations. You have to understand that since we started analyzing the process and acquired the club, two years have passed, so you can see it wasn’t that simple.
What are your plans for the future? What other European league or club should I run?
We have done some collaborations with other teams in Europe, and at some point we will end up buying another club in Europe, but I can’t tell you where. In Spain there are two teams that I would like to collaborate with to be able to give up our young players, because as you know from the Brexit issue, we have restrictions, especially in the case of Latin American footballers, Spain is the ideal place for their own agreements where our signatures are stopped .
We especially like Mexico, due to its proximity to the United States and because it is the second most watched league on television in the US after the Premier League, with MLS taking the third place.
Do you think the Premier League is the most competitive league in Europe today?
Of course I do, why do you think six of the best Premier League clubs are trying to create the Premier League? I think the Premier League is very special, it has a great football system, in the UK and England, the Premier League is able to put all of these things together in one place.
Television revenue distribution differs from that of other periodicals. It’s very competitive, it’s not just two or three teams, honestly, it’s the whole league. For example, this season we managed to defeat Liverpool, which we have not achieved in 27 years. All teams want to be in this league, because they are the ones who invest the most money and they are the ones with the most money. 1.4 billion people watch the prime minister every week. There is no regular competition that attracts such an audience, which is why everyone wants to be here. If you like to play basketball you want to do it in the NBA and if you like to play football Premier is the best place.
How has the epidemic affected the Prime Minister?
It is very difficult. Tough soccer around the world and in all sports. It’s not a good situation for anyone, bad for sports, business, people, etc. It’s tough for the prime minister because so much of the income depends on having an audience in stadiums. The big clubs have suffered a lot of losses. What clubs have done these years is diversify their sources of income outside of television, which is why they need to fill the stadiums.
And what about those clubs without the rights to broadcast television and whose budgets are based entirely on box office income. As well as that, Sponsors They invest less if fans don’t attend meetings. On the other hand, talking as a spectator, although I still attend matches live, the experience of watching the games behind closed doors is completely different, it is more like watching them play in the park, being able to hear the screaming between players and coaches, what is very interesting, But you lose all the excitement from feeling the resounding excitement of the stands cheering for their teams. Hopefully, for the last two games of the season, starting in May, and although we still don’t know how many they are, we estimate that it’s 25% of the total capacity.
Finally, how has Brexit affected the status of foreign players in the Premier League?
It is very difficult to bring foreign players to the Premier League. A scoring or registration process has been established, which every player must go through regardless of their country of origin, except for the British. The current situation favors the integration of the latter in comparison to foreigners. In addition, the pandemic has prevented us from tracking down young players or “scouting” as countries lock down. Anyway, too early to analyze the consequences of Brexit, ask me in two years and we have definitely learned to adapt.
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