AND then there were four... Brendan Flood stunned Burnley this week by announcing his resignation as director after six years, trimming an already streamlined board further still.

Although it came out of the blue, the consequences of the Rossendale born businessman’s decision may not seem that drastic to the club on paper.

He retained the title of operational director when Barry Kilby stood down as chairman in May. But after John Banaszkiewicz and Mike Garlick took joint stewardship of the Clarets, and with the appointment of Lee Hoos as chief executive, Flood was all but phased out. He was certainly not as heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the club as he had been previously.

But from a transfer and contract point of view, such were the level of contacts he has gathered he could still push a few buttons, turn a few screws, in that respect.

Flood indicated he has stepped down for personal reasons after a long, ongoing battle with the Bank of Ireland reached a conclusion.

The break, it would seem, has come at the right time for him personally. But for the club, the timing couldn’t be much worse.

His beloved Clarets sit seventh in the Championship and, on current form, are in with a shout for another crack at the play-offs.

With 18 games to sustain that push, they are only a point worse off than they were at the same stage of their promotion season.

The 2008/09 ‘Dare to Dream’ catchphrase was not coined by Flood, but it tripped off his tongue. He dreamt big.

His cash injections helped to bring in Martin Paterson and Chris Eagles – two players that were influential in taking the team that Steve Cotterill built onto the next level.

It could, of course, have been catastrophic if things hadn’t worked out that season. But with a cup semi-final under their belt, and a few Premier League scalps along the way, before winning at Wembley ... it couldn’t have gone better.

Flood’s ambitions and ideas are believed to have become a source of frustration for other directors, however. He was seen as too much of a maverick in austere times.

With nine professionals out of contract this summer, Burnley are facing an overhaul of playing staff if new deals cannot be agreed.

At the moment, that seems an unlikely outcome for the majority with paycuts of up to 40 per cent being proposed.

Although Flood had taken a back seat, he is respected by agents and long-standing players, and could have been influential in encouraging some to stay and build on the good work that has been put in place.

Flood is no longer a part of that process, but someone needs to take on board a bit of his bravery to keep the Clarets competitive.