BURNLEY boss Sean Dyche says Ross McCormack’s big money move from Leeds United to relegated Fulham has had a knock-on effect with player trading, even in the Premier League.
The Scotland international, last season’s Championship top scorer, last week completed an £11million switch.
And it is already proving bad news for buying clubs, especially those whose policy is – like Burnley’s – to buy British.
The Clarets won promotion with a squad made up almost entirely of Brits, the only exceptions being Australian reserve goalkeeper Alex Cisak, Canadian David Edgar, Republic of Ireland international Keith Treacy, Cork-born Kevin Long and Austrian international Ashley Barnes, although he was born in Bath and has played all of his career in England.
Their summer recruitment drive has followed a similar pattern, with all five signings so far born in the UK.
The Clarets have set their sights on strikers Troy Deeney and Lukas Jutkiewicz. But with Watford already determined to get top dollar for their 24-goal top scorer, McCormack’s steep price tag has played its part in seemingly pushing that deal beyond their reach.
“I think it’s blown the market open,” said Dyche of the McCormack fee.
“That’s a real surprise – not because he’s not a good player, because he is a good player, but I think that’s one that’s really probably caught everyone unawares.
“I’m surprised by the level of the number (of the fee), but there is an advert for teams coming out of the Premier League who are still cash strong and are willing to go and spend it.
“It’s a different dynamic, those clubs are used to spending vast amounts of money. For us we’ve been coming back and trimming and making sure the club is running efficiently.
“It’s a different mindset with those big numbers. But it is what it is, it is the market.”
Up until signing Ashley Barnes from Brighton in January, Dyche had not spent a penny on a transfer fee as Burnley boss.
This summer he has so far spent £2million on two of his five signings, with Marvin Sordell costing £500,000 from Bolton and Michael Kightly £1.5m from Stoke City.
But the financial benefits of winning promotion to the Premier League, with Burnley having the potential to earn £120m in their first year, have brought different problems on the transfer front.
“The good thing last year with having no money is that you are in a certain pool. We’re still only in a certain pool because it’s fair to say we can’t get some of the players that Manchester City and Liverpool will be after.
“It’s kind of similar, but it is different because we have got more financial leeway,” said Dyche.
“The difference is, if we were in the Championship now we’d be powerful. You come into the Premier League and you’re now the smallest end of the Premier League market.
“So although we have better finance we’re still nowhere near the clubs that have been in there for years.
“You only have to look at a Hull, who went in there and then got to Christmas and invested heavily and stayed in there, are investing.
“But because we’re new to it and we haven’t got the big super-power backer that some clubs have got then we still have to be flexible but careful.
“We still have to work within certain guidelines, but they’ve just loosened.”