Portadown Football Club is delighted to be able to announce a partnership with English Premier League side Burnley.
Burnley, who are under new ownership after being taken over by an American consortium in January of this year, are keen to partner with one club in each of the nations of the UK as well as the Republic of Ireland and have invited Portadown to be part of the journey the new owners at Burnley are embarking on.
Portadown and Burnley are of course no strangers to each other as Dane McCullough made the move from Shamrock Park to Turf Moor last summer and over the past 18 months Bobby Edwards as well as Lee Bonis and George Tipton have all been on trial with the Lancashire club.
Recently Burnley brought all of their football from the first team to community schemes under the Club’s umbrella and are keen to work with Portadown coaches to develop and improve via reciprocal coach exchanges, coach education and opportunities for our coaches to visit and watch Burnley’s senior first team staff deliver sessions and work with some of the younger Burnley squads. There will also be the possibility of player loan agreements between the two clubs as Portadown aim to implement a pathway to Premier League football for the best young players coming through our youth system and beyond with the most talented young players from the club travelling regularly to Burnley for football camps and assessment.
Outside of the benefit to Portadown from an on pitch perspective Burnley will work with ourselves on commercial and sponsorship opportunities as well potential staff placements and exchanges to enable Portadown staff to experience and learn how Burnley’s commercial and media operations run at Premier League level, there is also the opportunity for the clubs to work together on community schemes.
Portadown Chairman David Jameson and Vice Chairman Paul Jackson had the following to say on the link up with Burnley
Portadown FC are delighted to be able to partner up with Burnley FC, we are all well aware of how great a club Burnley are, steeped in history and tradition and currently playing in the English Premier League, so when approached to create a formal link between the clubs this was an easy decision.
With formal links set up on the football end of the club, including coaching and player development, this link will also see both clubs co-operating in the off-field side of football with regards to commercial operation, media and general working operations which makes us very excited for the potential of the relationship.
It is well known the huge steps that Burnley have undertaken with regards to their Academy structure and with the recent announcement of our own Portadown FC Youth restructuring, we are looking forward to working hard on making sure our club keep striving to be the best it can be and this step is another way of achieving.
Portadown manager Matthew Tipton added the following at a zoom press conference hosted at Turf Moor yesterday afternoon with the local press and media
The partnership has been in the pipeline for a long time, I know Matt Williams who is the Chief Operating Officer of Burnley for over 20 years from my time at Oldham. For us it was a no brainer when we were asked to come on board with Burnley, the benefits will be massive, not only through the football side of things but the off field package that they’re offering in terms of shared resources, sport science and our youth coaches getting the opportunity to learn from Burnley youth coaches, things like that are massive for us and with myself going full time over the past few weeks it will only help us progress.
I want to drive the club forward to the best it can be and back to where the club was previously, we had a tough 3 years in the Championship but we’re out of it now and we can see progress on the pitch, albeit small steps this year, but over the next 5 years we really want to be pushing and moving the club into the top echelons of the Irish League again.
Dane McCullough joined Burnley last summer and done well and Lee (Bonis) and George (Tipton) were over training with Burnley’s U23’s last week so Burnley understand and see we’ve many more young players coming through and playing first team football at the ages of 15 & 16 and I think that’s the attraction to Burnley.
We have to be clever in our thinking in terms of recruitment as we see the Irish League market condensed as it is with twelve Premiership clubs and the same players moving around three or four clubs so we’re looking outside of that, that doesn’t mean Burnley are going to stockpile us with players on loan, although we would like to get one or two, but it’s also a fact other players come on Burnley’s radar who might not be ready for Burnley and need to come out to play ‘real football’ which we would class as first team football and if we can get sent one or two nuggets from that it’ll be brilliant.
We have to build relationships to get us back to the top and it won’t just happen tomorrow, this is a long term relationship which will work for both clubs and with a bit of luck we will get a lot of success from it.
In a press release Burnely said
Burnley Football Club is to expand its reach to all four corners of the British Isles after agreeing strategic partnerships with football clubs in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland.
Scottish Championship club Ayr United, 2007 League of Ireland champions Cobh Ramblers, Portadown of the NIFL Premiership and Cymru North team Llandudno will all become partner clubs of Burnley F.C.
Giving the Clarets a footprint across the UK and Ireland, the partner clubs will benefit from Burnley’s football expertise in development and education of their coaches and players, sharing of data across youth academies and sport science and access to tools such as AiSCOUT.
In return Burnley will widen its scouting network for talent identification in the partner clubs’ region, with the most talented young players from each club travelling regularly to Burnley for football camps and assessment when identified.
All clubs’ academies and women’s teams will compete in a summer pre-season games and tournaments, while loan deals for Burnley’s academy players to gain experience at senior levels will also be considered.
Alan Pace, Chairman of Burnley F.C., said:
This is an exciting opportunity for us to grow Burnley’s footprint and profile in every corner of the British Isles and benefit from working with some fantastic clubs on our doorstep.
We look forward to developing a strong working relationship with Ayr United, Cobh Ramblers, Portadown and Llandudno which will no doubt benefit the clubs, the coaches and their players for many years to come.
This is very much the first step in our plans to expand the football network of Burnley, build the relevance of our club beyond the North West of England and ensure that Burnley’s academy continues to be a high-performance hotbed for future first team players and international footballers.
Matt Williams, Chief Operating Officer of Burnley F.C, added:
While there are clear benefits to the football side of the club, I believe there will also be significant benefits both operationally and commercially for all sides, none of us are naïve enough to think we know it all, and I am sure we can learn from our partner Clubs as much as they can learn from us.
We wanted to partner with clubs we felt would fit with what we stand for. The four Clubs are at the heart of their local communities, have a passionate fan base and have chairmen and directors, who like Alan Pace and his team are ambitious and constantly looking to improve.
We have developed a great understanding with Portadown in recent seasons and this is a natural step for us both and our relationship with Cobh can be traced back to 1921 when the Clarets were crowned League Champions prompting the newly formed Club in Ireland to wear the famous Claret and Blue, in addition they are currently managed by our former defender Stuart Ashton.
Like ourselves Ayr have a relatively new Chairman who has a real ambition to push the Club forward and challenge for promotion to the SPL whilst our friends at Llandudno are keen implement a professional approach to their Club and I couldn’t be more delighted to welcome the four teams on the journey with us.