Towards the end of the 2011/12 season Burnley said goodbye to their Chairman Barry Kilby, who after over a decade at the helm stood down due to bad health. Barry Kilby who had Burnley's Claret blood running through his veins stood tall through all sorts of troubles from ITVDigital, not renewing fans favorite Stan Ternents contract, and the departure of Owen Coyle amongst the lows. But he and Burnley stood tall, it is the end of an era but in Joint chairmen Mike Garlick and John Banaszkiewicz Burnley seem to be in good hands two more men with Burnley's Claret Blood running through their veins.
On to the football side, Burnley lost Jay Rodriguez to Southampton for £7 million, a new Burnley record transfer fee, Brian Easton left as his contract elapsed, Alex-Ray Harvey also left Turf Moor unfortunately never having to show on the big stage his enormous potential. Young Scottish forward Joe McKee left, he joined Owen Coyles Bolton Wanderers, Young Zavon Hines also left Turf Moor after the club didnt renew his contract, he eventually signed for Bradford City, Dominic Knowles also left the club and had a succession of impressive trials especially at York City where he came of the bench to notch in a 2-0 win over Gateshead.
On the recruitment front, Burnley signed Jason Shackell from Derby County with a fee rumoured to be in the region of £1.2million, a colossus of a centre half who was made Burnley captain at the expense of Chris McCann. Luke O'Neil came in from Mansfield for an undisclosed fee, with George Porter who arrived from Leyton Orient for a initial £90.000 rising to a possible £260.000 with promotion and appearance add-ons. Joseph Mills came on a season long loan from Premiership Reading. Midfielder Brian Stock was the last through the door when he signed from Doncaster Rovers for another 'Undisclosed' fee.
The pre season started at Altrincham where Burnley hit the ground running with a 4-1 victory, a 1-0 win at Bury followed. Burnley then traveled down to the south to play Bath, Cheltenham with Burnley winning 3-1 and 4-0 respectively. Burnleys last pre season game was at Rochdale where the 3-1 defeat wasn't the only dark cloud to pre-season, as Danny Ings suffered a knee injury ruling him out of the start if the season.
Burnley's development squad also had a pre-season, although it consisted of the first year pros and the youth squad, they lost to Barrow 3-0, but beat Mossley 2-0, Alfreton 3-0, Padiham 2-1 and Droylsden 4-0. The Development squad has pulled out of its respective league which consisted of lower league teams to play behind closed door games against better opposition including Scottish Giants Glasgow Celtic and newcomers to the Championship Huddersfield Town.
The season started with a potential banana skin game away at Port Vale in the League cup, but Burnley with the first team on show coasted past the valiants 3-1. The league cup also saw Plymouth Argyle come to Turf Moor, and with a disappointing display saw the Clarets through on penalties after a dire 1-1 result after 120 mins. Burnley and Eddie Howes side drew Charlie Austin's former employers Swindon Town in the next round, but a 3-1 defeat saw Burnley's League cup run end.
The first league game of the season came just four days later in the shape of Owen Coyle's relegated Bolton with a squad full of Premier League players. Burnley won with goals from Martin Paterson and Charlie Austin. A plane flew over Turf Moor with the message "Judas Coyle - You Reap What You Sow" a pop at Coyle, with the 15.000 Burnley fans in Turf Moor left the former manager in no doubt how they felt, But more importantly they sang their hearts out for Eddie Howe, the new darling of the terraces.
Eddie Howe was the new terrace favorite, but with fewer than three months into the new season, Eddie's made a decision based on his family to leave and return to the South Coast. As hard as it was to take, very few fans could feel angst towards the Howe. Eddie had built a team the fans could truly get behind, and his signing Austin breaking all sorts of scoring records,
With the international break upon the club, and with the club lying in 19th place as both the top scorers in the divisions and the worst defence, watching Eddie Howe's Claret team was nothing but entertaining. Charlie Austin already having 2 hat-tricks to his name in the 5-2 home victory against Peterborough, and the 3-3 home draw with Sheffield Wednesday, even his last game saw the Clarets score 3 times, unfortunately Crystal Palace scored one more taking the game 4-3 even tho Burnley were two goals up early on.
The first game after Eddie's departure was local rivals Blackpool, and in the manager's seat was Burnley legend Terry Pashley, Pash is Burnley's stalwart being involved with Burnley's youth side since the early 90's after being hired by Jimmy Mullen. Blackpool came and were put to the sword by 'Pash's' Clarets, with a defensive display Burnley had been crying out for, resiliant and compact, the 1-0 win courtesy of Charlie Austins 16th of the season and Burnley keeping the first clean sheet since the opening day. Next up for caretaker Terry Pashley was Bristol City, and although the defensive resilience wasn't present the fighting spirit was there in abundance, taking the game in time added on 4-3. Terry's last game before a new manager was in place was against league leaders Cardiff City, and they showed the Clarets why they were flying high battering the Clarets 4-0.
Next game, new era! Bookies were all over the place trying to work out who would be Burnley's next permanent manager, with scoundrel Coyle being favorite for most of the time, Steve Lomas of St Johnstone, Micky Phelan,Manchester United's No2, Steven Pressley of Heart of Midlothian, Ian Holloway from Blackpool, Micky Mellon of Fleetwood Town were all in the frame, and of course Sean Dyche who eventually ticked all the joint chairs boxes and became the new Clarets chief
First up for the new Burnley boss were Wolves and Leeds United both at Turf Moor, but with two clean sheets and goals from goalscorer supreme Charlie Austin and Martin Paterson saw the new man Dyche win his first games 2-0 & 1-0. defeats followed at Ipswich Town and at home to Charlton Athletic.
Sean Dyche inherited Eddie Howe's team in almost its entirity, with just former boss Brian Laws with three signings Wallace, Marney and Lee Grant in the regular first team squad, with Pato being signed by Owen Coyle, Jensen by Stan Ternent and Michael Duff signed by Steve Cotterill. It is Eddie Howes signings which make up the rest of the first team squad with Kieran Trippier, Ben Mee, Jason Shackell, Marvin Bartley, Junior Stanislas, Charlie Austin, Danny Ings and Sam Vokes all being signed by Howe, he also has signed George Porter, Luke O'Neil, Danny Laffetry and Kieth Treacy, With former skipper Chris McCann coming through the youths.
Very quickley into Dyche's reign was the tenth derby with Blackburn Rovers in the last 34 years, and he and the team didnt disapoint unlike the Coyle team which surrendered at Ewood and the side Laws who were cheated at Turf Moor, Stan Ternent's team which were humiliated home and away, and Cotterills who's battling team were unfortunate to lose in the FA Cup in 2006. Sean Dyches side over run Blackburn in a totally one-sided game where Blackburn's only shot on target found the net and with thier goalkeeper, former England Number 1 Paul Robinson in outstanding form, it ended 1-1 with Vokes scoring the equaliser, a draw was hard to take for the majority of the 21.000 crowd, as it was Burnley who should have been out of sight by half time.
The early signs with Dyche in the hot-seat are bright,
To be continued..................................
2012 / 13 Championship