With Heath starting his first full term as a manager, expectations were high, especially when he broke Burnley's Transfer record when he signed Paul Barnes from York City for a fee of £400k.
Heath appointed John Ward as his no2, he then released John Francis, Warren Joyce, and Nathan Peel along with youngsters Matty Taylor, Glen Davis, Wayne Dowell, Derek Adams and John Borland.
Our new manager was learning fast, with his interview with the Clarets official match day programme he stated " The first thing is that there is no such thing as a free transfer. Every player that joins Burnley without us paying the other club actually costs money. First division footballers want First Division wages and that is a 'hidden' cost that people have to bear in mind before they think about knocking us for bringing in free transfers" wise words indeed, words that are accurate in every season whom ever the manager may be.
With these words ringing in everyone's ears, Heath went out and brought back 'Big' Vince Overson, a former England U21 international in the form of Damian Matthew, and Nigel Gleghorn.
(Paul Weller(left) who joined Burnley as a trainee in 1993 and went on to a 11 year stalwart at the club, after a brief spell at Rochdale, he returned to work at the Centre of Excellence at Burnley)The season looked bright With our own 20 league goal getter paired up with new signing Paul Barnes with youngster Andy Cooke waiting in the wings, Burnley just might have the fire power to take us up, but it wasn't to be Barnes hit 24 League goals including a 5 goal haul against Stockport County, (a feat Andy Lochhead managed 31 years earlier). Nogan notched 10 before his "Fall out with Heath?" and was subsequently transferred to Preston, Andy Cooke meantime bagged himself 10 league goals.
A poor finish to the season saw Burnley miss out on the play-offs, and Heath left! to become No 2 at Everton.
Heath had Burnley playing well, and to leave after just one season was bad to take, but to leave the Managers position to take a No 2 position? that just defied my logic.
1996 - 1997 Division Two