SEAN DYCHE believes the imminent arrival of Alexis Sanchez at today’s opponents Manchester United highlights the huge challenge facing the likes of Burnley to keep afloat in the Premier League.
Sanchez is expected to sign a deal worth £500,000 a week at Old Trafford, more than the wage bill of the Burnley squad who will look to end their six-match winless run against Jose Mourinho’s men at Turf Moor.
Every time a super-power spends enormous money on a player that drip-feeds down so every player you phone about has miraculously gone up in valueBurnley boss Sean Dyche
Despite their recent slump, the Clarets have continued to exceed expectations in the top flight, but Dyche conceded the spending power of the top clubs is making it increasingly difficult to do so.
Dyche said: “I don’t think any of us are surprised by the gap in the Premier League – I think it has been there a long time and it is getting harder year on year since the business model of football has changed.
“I always got the impression when I was younger that even the big clubs with the spending power had an eye on the business side of things.
“It seems to me now that people are putting more and more money in. It doesn’t seem to be a six-monthly thing any more – the big clubs have big backers and they are going to get backed continually.”
While Burnley can only dream of offering a player a six-figure weekly salary, the astronomical sums commanded by stars like Sanchez still have a direct effect on clubs like the Clarets by distorting the market further down.
“Every time a super-power spends enormous money on a player that drip-feeds down so every player you phone about has miraculously gone up in value,” added Dyche.
“They will look at it and say, he might not be as good as that, but he must be somewhere nearer on the sliding scale.”
Dyche will be boosted by the timely return of Scott Arfield for the visit of United after the midfielder suffered a hamstring strain in the New Year’s Day defeat by Liverpool, but striker Jon Walters has been ruled out for up to eight weeks following knee surgery.
Burnley’s poor run has put their brief march into the Premier League’s top four into sharp perspective, but Dyche maintains his squad can take plenty of encouragement from their performances during a testing festive period.
He added: “Overall I’m happy with the performances. Every single team outside the top six has an awkward run and there lies the gap between the top six and the rest of the Premier League.”