BURNLEY operational director Brendan Flood is standing by the club's decision to allow leading scorer Andy Gray to join Charlton Athletic, and insisted their selling club' tag is unwarranted.

The Burnley board have been criticised by sections of the support who felt Gray's transfer to their Championship rivals could have been avoided.

But Flood revealed player power' was too influential in the deal, and insisted, with the money from the £1.5million-plus sale going straight into manager Owen Coyle's transfer fund, it would be for the long-term benefit of the football club.

"In context, if we'd sold our best player and didn't have other options I think that's fair enough to criticise. But there are four forwards at the club already and we probably only need one more to top it up," said Flood, after strikers Ade Akinbiyi and Robbie Blake scored in a 2-1 win at Coventry on Saturday.

"I've invested £5million in the last 12 months and we will be reinvesting every penny we get (for Gray) and some more.

"We've got serious offers in on four players and we're still negotiating. We'll hopefully get two or three."

However, Flood called for patience among fans as Burnley continue to build a squad strong enough to mount a Championship challenge.

"We're expecting some success on two or three of the four possibilities that we've been looking at," he continued.

"We know that the end of January is the end of the window but Owen's doing his best to get the players.

"For decent players there's competition to get them. We're going for the better players and that takes time.

"We could have 100 players here tomorrow if we lower our standards, but we're going for a higher standard of player.

"That involves a lot of sensible negotiations with their clubs to make sure we get value for money, and similarly with the player and agent in a structure that keeps everyone happy."

He added: "We've got to be positive but understand there's a lot of activity behind the scenes.

"Rome wasn't built in a day and Burnley needs a lot of re-building."

Flood confirmed Burnley were looking at players north and south of the border and wouldn't rule out Alan Lee returning to Turf Moor from Ipswich Town, but added: "We can't afford to be exclusively focused on one player.

"Discussions are ongoing but there's nothing agreed as yet.

"We haven't dismissed Glenn Whelan and there are a couple of lads from Scotland we're interested in.

"There are often a number of prospects that come to you over every other day."

This is only the second January transfer window Flood has been involved with since joining the board in December 2006, and he admitted he had been taught a valuable lesson from his latest experience.

"I think my view is that the popular players get tempted by agents and other clubs and have more power than the board," he explained.

"If they want to go, it's almost like they are going on strike because they won't give you the productivity you want.

"They attempt, I think, in a genuine way to hold you to ransom, and I think that's almost where it got with Andy.

"The defining moment for me was when Andy's dad (and agent) rang me several times on Thursday.

"If he'd stayed we would have had a very unhappy player on our hands, plus I think (Charlton) would have continued to work away at him.

"That would have jeopardised any value we got in Andy Gray.

"It's sad, but that's how the popular players operate these days. They're very streetwise."