With the disappointment of last season's possible quick return to the Premiership behind us, Burnley Boss Eddie set about trimming his top heavy squad.
Players who were out of contract and not offered new deals were Steve Thompson who signed for his boyhood team St Mirren, Kevin McDonald who as yet hasn't found another club, 1000 game man Graham Alexander who at 40 years of age wanted to find a club where he would get more minutes on the pitch, Preston North End obliged.
Chris Iwelumo left for Watford for an undisclosed fee, Clarke Carlisle was sent to Preston North End on a season long loan, Jack Cork went back to Chelsea (his wage demands were well out of Burnley's reach). Youngsters Kudiersky, Lynch, Anderson, and Micheal King all were released.
Burnley were almost static in the transfer market in June/July with so many out, only Trippier and Ben Mee both on season long loans form Manchester City coming in.
Youth players who were given their first pro contracts were Attacking Midfielder Joe McKee, Striker Joe Jackson, Hard tackling Midfielder David Lynch, Winger/Striker Ross Wilson and Belgium Youth International Medhi Lazzar. Add to those Alex-Ray Harvey and Wes Flecther who are both on there third deal, and Striker Dominic Knowles who signed a second one year extension, Eddie Howe is building on the youth.
With pre-season well under way games at Altringham, Bury, Torquay and Bristol Rovers as Eddie Howe decided against the friendly games on the other side of the Atlantic which the former managers opted for, instead he opted for a South Wales training camp.
At Pre-season went beating Altringham(4-2), Bury (3-0), losing to Bristol Rovers (2-0), then beating Torquay (3-1), all was well as all the players getting time on the pitch.
Then the news we had all been expecting! Owen Coyle, the man we called God threw his cards on the table and bid £3 mil for Tyrone Mears and Chris Eagles, both key players and both with a single year left on thier contracts! The board were left with little option but to accept Boltons offer, and Burnley's talisman and possibly the best right back in Burnley's recent history were gone!
Howe went out and spent straight after when he finally signed Republic of Ireland International Keith Treacy from Preston at the third attempt, the first two tabled bids were turned down flat by the cash strapped club, the reported figure was a cool million, but officially released as undisclosed.
And on to the last pre season game at home to Sunderland, a game where Burnleys new Number 9 Jay Rodriguez scored the winner in a 1-0 victory.
With the first game of the season looming it doesnt look like any more players will be coming through the Turf Moor gate, but with still an air of optimism, and the chance to blood some of the younger players, maybe we are awaiting another Jay or New Captain Chris McCann from the Gawthorpe training ground?
As first games go the first of the campaign wasn't the best, 0-2 down to Watford who had Chris Iwelumo in thier starting eleven, but with two firsts in the last 20 minutes by new signing Keith Traecy and a first for the club by Charlie Austin rescued a point for the Clarets, the game ending 2-2.
Jay Rodriguez wrote numorous chapters in the history books when he scored 4 in the 6-3 victory over Burton Albion in the League Cup.
In the wake of the first two games Burnley sold Danny Fox for another undisclosed fee said to be £1.8 million, uproar within the Clarets faithful erupted, even worse when bids reportedly were put in for Jay Rodriguez by Fox's new employers Southampton and North East giants Newcastle United.
Eddie Howe stated in his press conference after the 2-0 debarcle against Crystal Palace that it wasnt his choice to sell Fox, it seems like the board of directors are making sure Burnley will be here for years to come.
Burnley went out and signed strikers Danny Ings and Zavon Hines, Ings was a reported one million pounds (most of which will be add ons) but disastor for the 19 year old as he injured his knee before a competative ball was struck, and Hines from West Ham United where a tribunial will settled the fee Burnley had to pay, which was £300.000.
With new signing Ings out for at least six months, he was imediatly joined by Martin Paterson who has had a torid time with injurys over the last couple of years, he will be out for some time.
In a very indifferent season where there was some great performances a 5-1 victory against Nottingham Forest, an away win 2-1 against West Ham United, a great comeback against Hull City where Burnley came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 with 2 of the goals coming from David Edgar, a 4-0 home win against Jummy Bullard's Ipswich Town.
But with those highs came some lows, two 2-1 defeats against Leeds United, where Burnley twice had the game won only for leeds to score late goals and snatch all the points.
Eddie Howe brought in winger come striker Josh McQuoid from Millwall on loan, and in doing so loaned out new signings Treacy (To Sheffield Wednesday), Treacy has all the talent to be a top division player but lacks consistancy to take him there, Zavon Hines was also loaned out to get some first team action to Howes former club Bournemouth and the out of favor Amougou who looks to have played his final game for Burnley seeing out his contract at Bristol City.
With yout team graduates, Fletcher at Crewe, Joe Jackson and Alex-Ray Harvey at Barrow, Kevin Long first at Accrington Stanley than at Rochdale with Clarke Carlisle at Northampton Town after leaving Preston and with Howe releasing Leon Cort from his contract, Burnley look to start next season with a fresh team with no big wage earners sitting on thier hands.
Eddie Howe's first season in charge ended with a whimper a 4-0 defeat to Blackbool, leaving the seaside club cemented in a play-off position, but with the squad trimmed even further and the Leagues intoduction of financial fair play, Eddie and Burnley are in a very strong position.
Other casualties in Eddies Cul, are Amougou who will see out his contract after a loan spell at Bristol City, Brian Easton who was told his contract would not be renewed went on trial to Leeds United, Youngsters Knowles, Wilson, Lynch and Yadolahi were released without kicking a first team ball in anger, Yadolihi i thought was an outstanding prospect and Lynch will have a profesional career somewhere.
The season ended in a whimper the last game was a dire 1-1 draw with Bristol City who played the last 15 minutes with a centre half in goal after goalkeeping legend David James went off injured. With the tabloids linking Jay Rodriguez and Trippier with big moves away, its going to be a long summer holding off the vultures.
2011 / 12 Championship