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Manager Jimmy Adamson used the platform of the club’s 75th Annual General Meeting to hit out at the supporters just two days before the 1972/73 season got underway with a home game against Carlisle United.

It was a tradition then that the AGM was held on the Thursday evening prior to the big kick off and, with no facilities for holding it at Turf Moor as there are today, the meeting was held at the Keirby Hotel.

Adamson, who had launched a tirade at the supporters just months earlier, accused them of being too critical when he addressed the meeting and urged them instead to play their part in helping the Clarets get back to the First Division. “It is important that everyone works for the good of the club, not only the players and staff but the crowd too,” he said. “They are becoming as important as the players.” He continued: “We expect to be criticised if we play badly, but sometimes the criticism has got beyond a joke. I know that I’m not a popular figure in Burnley. I would like to be, but that is not so.” When a shareholder pointed out that he had previously been popular, he replied: “That was in my playing days when things were easy.”

Outlining the club’s policy he admitted it was getting more difficult to find and develop young players but said that chief scout Dave Blakey had run a scouts’ conference in Blackpool to see how the club could woo new talent to Turf Moor. He did say that, under the right conditions, the club would still be prepared to spend money on signing players from other clubs but explained a couple of situations from during the previous season. “I tried to enter the transfer market a couple of times last season for a defender,” he said. “One club kept increasing the price, so I backed out. On the other occasion the player involved wanted the Keirby Hotel thrown in so again we dropped out of the deal. I will not be held to blackmail by players or clubs.”

He thanked the board for their support (one sure way of keeping your job under Bob Lord) and then paid tribute to John Angus, who had retired, and Arthur Bellamy, who had been transferred to Chesterfield. He said: “John Angus was a model player and a good example to any young professional coming into the game. He was a good advert for the game of football. Arthur Bellamy’s departure was because of economics. If a player of Arthur’s age is not getting a first team spot he is not prepared to languish in the reserves. He has been a wonderful example to the other players and a great person to have around in the dressing room.”

Jimmy Adamson remained unpopular with the fans

Chairman Lord it was who explained the reason for the continuing lack of a stand on the Brunshaw Road side of the ground when questioned by shareholder Mr Albert Hargreaves who said: “I don’t want to see a three sided ground, you as Sir Robert Lord and Burnley in the Third Division.” Lord replied: “I am sure you desire me to tell you something about the spare land on Brunshaw Road which should have a stand built on it. Believe me much time has been spent in going into various projects and as yet we have not been able to satisfy ourselves to the manner in which we can raise the money to build the required structure.

“We are closely in touch with experts, but I cannot at this moment tell you any more than we are desirous of erecting a stand there and we shall make every endeavour to cause our desires to become reality, but time will be needed. We are not a city, and being only a small town makes it very difficult to progress in anything but a well thought out and careful manner. To pay for the stand needs capital money and this is very difficult to come by with our income against top heavy expenditure. One must not forget that during the last seven years we have spent nigh on half a million pounds on a new stand, land and many improvements at both Turf Moor and Gawthorpe. One glance at our balance sheet confirms my statement.”

He continued: “No one would have been happier if we could have said we have made a start on the Brunshaw Road Stand, but the problem is we have got cold feet about the money. On our gates, which bring in only £4,000 a match, would you like to be responsible for spending £300,000 to £400,000 to be paid back over the next four or five years? We have another priority, getting back into the First Division, and that takes capital money. If you think that the first priority is getting that stand up then you share the responsibility with the directors. You will have to show patience. We are doing our best to keep the club on a profitable basis and I think we are making a darn good job of it.”

Mr Lord paid tribute to the departed Mr Harry Potts and then, in closing the meeting, wished the manager and players the very best of luck for the new season that was less than two days away.

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