THERE was a small hand-written note carefully concealed behind a sign on the Press table, writes NEIL BRAMWELL.


A couple of impish CISA members chuckled with satisfaction when the message was discovered.

By the end of the meeting, Peter Shackleton had received the message - loud and clear.

The 200-plus supporters left the Turf Moor bidder in no doubt that supporters would be unable to support his bid unless wholesale changes were promised at board level.

The role of the board - and chairman Frank Teasdale in particular - dominated the 90-minute question and answer session.

But Shackleton was put on the spot about a number of burning issues.

Here is a selection of the questions and Mr Shackleton's replies:

QUESTION: Do you not realise that the fans want rid of Mr Teasdale?

SHACKLETON: Yes, I do realise there are a significant amount of supporters that blame Mr Teasdale for anything that happens. But I believe the board should be congratulated for the job they did in difficult times. I recognise the club needs a new face. It may not be me. But if it isn't me I will find a man who can do the job. Whether Mr Teasdale wants to stay on the board is another matter.

QUESTION: Most people feel they have been treated with utter contempt by the board. Is this history being repeated?

SHACKLETON: We are going to change things. Things have to change. There would be no point putting in an investment and things remaining how they are. I think we have to get everyone pulling together and that includes the fans. I will make sure there is a change because that's the way I do things. The situation at the moment is not acceptable to me.

QUESTION: You suggested the club had survived because of good housekeeping. May I suggest the club has survived because of people going through the turnstiles? SHACKLETON: I think there is a considerable amount of truth in what you say but the board did a fantastic job at the time when they came in.

QUESTION: Is your offer based solely on a basis of getting the unissued shares?

SHACKLETON: That would be the most important part of it. If I could get 75 per cent, there would be certain advantages.

QUESTION: Is there no way you and Mr Ingleby can work together for the good of the club?

SHACKLETON: The situation with anybody who is interested in the club is that I am quite happy to talk. I would not ignore the programme seller if they had ideas.

QUESTION: Would the money available for players depend on whether we were still in the Second Division?

SHACKLETON: It would be illogical to spend as much money in the Third Division as in the Second. I did suggest I thought mistakes had been made when we were in the First Division. If I spent it all in the Third Division what do you spend when you move up?

QUESTION: What criteria will be given for putting additional money in after the £12 million?

SHACKLETON: There is no set limit on the funds to be provided nor is there any guarantee beyond the £12 million other than the backers will follow their money given the club's requirements for success on the pitch and comfort for the supporters at Turf Moor itself.

QUESTION: Why has it taken so long to sort this money out when the club is in its present condition?

SHACKLETON: The timescale of the movement is not unusual because of the nature of the deal.

QUESTION: Do you have an anticipated timescale for assuming control of the club? SHACKLETON: I cannot take the shareholders for granted but I anticipate I will become a major shareholder before the end of May and at the latest end of June.

QUESTION: If you will have control of the money, have you made provision for being knocked down by a bus?

SHACKLETON: No I haven't! You can rest assured I will make sure that is covered but my family is as daft about Burnley as I am.

QUESTION: Why all the secrecy?

SHACKLETON: Because that's the way my investors wanted it to be. The backers will be revealed before any extraordinary general meeting.

QUESTION: Is the 'million pounds' now a loan?

SHACKLETON: The first million would go in as a loan and then be converted to a gift when I become the major shareholder.

QUESTION: Why was the 'unconditional' million donation withdrawn and why was it made the day after the transfer deadline?

SHACKLETON: I have to say that I said what I believed to be true. When my investors started to realise that there was a possibility that I would not get the majority shareholding, they started to question very carefully the position of the first million. The timing was a coincidence only in the sense that I understand there was no specific request for it. QUESTION: Do any of your backers have involvement with any other football club?

SHACKLETON: There are a number of football clubs in which they have some involvement. There are none of those clubs in Britain.

QUESTION: Do you not agree that if this was your own brass, things would be far simpler? That's the case with Mr Ingleby.

SHACKLETON: My understanding is Mr Ingleby is not in charge of the whole money.

QUESTION: Would you intend to keep the current football staff?

SHACKLETON: I have my own views as a fan. I do not know whether they would do things differently if they were in a different position.

QUESTION: Would the wage structure be broken?

SHACKLETON: I would be looking for other people to give me advice about the best way to go ahead on the football front.

QUESTION: Have you made a gentleman's agreement with the board?


QUESTION: What are your impressions of Ray Ingleby?

SHACKLETON: I do not want to answer that question.

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