BURNLEY’S promotion to the Premier League is worth ‘tens of millions’ of pounds to the town’s economy, according to commercial and political leaders.
Business chiefs say the town's profile will soar as big matches are beamed around the world to an estimated TV audience of 4.7billion.
And with financial experts Deloitte estimating that promotion to the world's richest league is worth £120million to the football club, the town’s businesses are also set to reap the rewards.
Burnley Council’s chief executive Steve Rumbelow said the team’s fortunes mirrored the borough's recent success of the town, which was named the most enterprising town in the UK last August.
Mr Rumbelow, a regular at Turf Moor, said: “It’s quite an interesting parallel with the town as a whole.
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“When we were relegated from the Premier League, four years ago, both the town and the club suffered.
“Generally speaking the club and the town’s fortunes are linked and this last year certainly we have been on a journey together.
“We all know how important football is to the town. Being in the Premier League gives the club a great platform and that rubs off on the place.
“Even things like Sky doing a short flim in the run-up to the season, which gets shown to millions of people around the world, help get our name out there. You can’t buy that.
“It is a massive achievement. What it means in pounds and pence, you can’t say exactly, but it’s probably tens of millions.”
Adam Bull, senior consultant in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said the benefits for the football club would be felt for the next five years.
Mr Bull said: “Promotion for Burnley will be worth at least £120m. Around a £60m uplift for their season in the Premier League in 2014/15 - even if they finish bottom - and then, should they get relegated after their first season, around £60m in parachute payments spread over the following four years if they do not return to the top flight in this time.”
Stéphane Cueille, managing director of Aircelle, Burnley biggest private sector employer, said he was proud to be associated with the club.
He said: “I was actually there with my son on Easter Monday for the decisive game. I’m looking forward to next season immensely to see how we cope with life in the Premier League.
“Travelling recently to Hong Kong to visit a customer, I was surprised to meet with people who knew about Burnley thanks to the football club. It is just amazing.”
Kevin Clark, chief executive of Enterprise Lancashire, said one of his business contacts had already shunned the offer of a corporate box at Old Trafford in favour of Turf Moor.
He said: “I hope the added profile of Premier League status brings the town inward investment and supports our enterprise culture. The success of the club enhances many of the recent gains the town has made. Long may it continue.”
Brian Hobbs, president of Burnley and District Chamber of Trade, said businesses should be prepared to take greater advantage of the Clarets’ success than they did in 2009.
He said: “I think the last time we got promoted the town as a whole was a whole lot more positive.
“Those who took advantage of the extra visitors coming in from other places did very well. The main thing is that businesses have to be prepared to make the sales.”
Burnley Council leader, Julie Cooper, said: “As well as the success on the pitch, promotion brings a huge economic benefit to the town.
“Burnley is a town on the up and, from a business point of view, promotion is fantastic. It puts Burnley on the map and will bring more people to the town.”
Mike Damms, chief executive of East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said: “There’s going to be significant public recognition, as well as the town receiving more visitors, both in terms of rival supporters, new Burnley fans and more people who want to visit the home of a Premier League team.
“More high-profile Premier League footballers will visit, and more businesses will want to be associated with Burnley and with Burnley Football Club.”
Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said Premier League football was a ‘major boost for the town’.
The Liberal Democrat added: “The town is already on the up and up, unemployment figures are down so now the people now have more of a spring in their step.
“This is a major step forward for the team and for Burnley. We’re a premier town and now we’re a premier team.”
Public relations expert Julian Jordan, of Nelson firm Brandspankin’, said promotion made Burnley a more marketable town.
He said: “From a PR point of view it’s a huge opportunity for the town, as we now have a global audience.
“The reputation of the town has been transformed in recent years and the profile of the football club will give the area a competitive advantage.”