Burnley prepare for life in the Premiership for the first time in there illustrious history, 50 years to the season that Burnley were crowned First Division Champions. Owen Coyle or GOD as he is now known has achieved the unbelievable when he guided the Clarets into the promised land.
2009/10 starts with a full pre-season which covers England,America and Scotland, with money to spend Coyle has wasted no time in bringing in new faces to bolster his squad, the most expensive of these so for is Steven Fletcher who signed for a whopping £3 million pounds, doubling the previous highest fee ever payed by Burnley. he is joined by Tyrone Mears form Derby for half a million, Brian Easton from Hamilton, Richard Eckersley form Manchester United and David Edgar from relegated Newcastle United.
While in America, Owen gave a trialist a run out, Fernando Alexander Guerrero Vásquez, a 19 year old left winger, who against VC Fusion scored set up a goal and won a penalty, and in doing so alerted all sorts of interest, but Owen signed him initially on a year long loan with an option to purchase, he is quick, has a few tricks and his early career was only at a small Spanish side named Real Madrid! Burnley were back, and with Andre Bikey signing from Reading for an undisclosed fee, before Burnley's home game against Manchester United, little Burnley were looking at the stars.
Burnley's ideal signings seem to be young, hungry and keen to test themselves at the highest level, this has all the hallmarks to be a fantastic season. Another of these signing was loan man David Nugent who came to us from the south coast and Portsmouth.
It all started like a dream, after the opening day stutter Burnley beat Manchester United at Turf Moor with a stunnning goal coming from Robbie Blake, then followed that up with another 1-0 victory this time over Everton, Wade Elliotts gola settling the game.
Two heavy away defeats followed to Chelsea (0-3) and Liverpool (0-4) before besting Sunderland 3-1 with loan signing Nugent notching a brace.
Another heavey away defeat this time at Spurs where the Beast shipped five, but the home win over Birmingham kept Burnley in the top half of the Premiership.
A defeat to local rivals Blackburn live on sky, where Burnley looked the better team, but for goalkeeping lapses.
Burnley looked at the next few games and it seemed like we could do the impossible, Portsmouth, Hull City, West Ham, Fulham and Wolves were all winable on paper, Burnley took just five points from a possible 15.
Although a performance of epic levels came at Eastlands where Burnley held Manchester City 3-3.
Boxing day came and the visitors were Bolton, a draw then two days later its Everton and Owen Coyles last league game as Burnley boss another defeat (0-2). MK Dons was the first game for Burnley in 2010, and with the refusual of a press conference spoke volumes as it became aparent that Coyle was on his way!
Burnley had managed to snuff the approches for Owen Coyle from Celtic and from the Scottish FA for the Scotland national job, but the lure of Coyles former club Bolton Wanderers was too much of a pull for Coyle. Just 5 days into the new year and 2 days after the victory over MK Dons, Coyle announced he wanted to leave Burnley, a decision which left a sour taste in many of the Clarets faithful! One supporter wrote this open letter to Sky Sports, and it just about sums up the ill feeling around Turf Moor.
"Firstly, thanks very much for your time here. You brought us fantastic success playing great football with a young, exciting team. You turned the club round, brought us cup runs, victories against United, Arsenal and Chelsea and you helped us win promotion via the play-offs and a fantastic day at Wembley.
And now you've gone and ruined at all.
On Thursday you said the Bolton job was not for you, but was a great job for somebody else. And yet on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday your friend Alan Nixon, the Mirror journalist, ran stories saying that you were in talks with Bolton. And now it appears you have gone.
You spoke at great length in your time at Burnley about being a man of honesty and integrity, yet sadly you have shown none here. Skipping the post-match press conference on Saturday was weak, particularly given the excuse and the widespread press reports which confirmed you had spoken to the Bolton chairman on Sunday. We deserved better.
You will surely spout about how you have an attachment at Bolton. Well I've checked the records and you have spent longer at Burnley than you did there. And there is no way, absolutely no way on Earth, that those Bolton fans appreciated you as much as the Burnley fans did. You had something like 15 clubs, why is this one so spectacular? Particularly given that you were third choice behind Andy Walker and John McGinlay?
This may seem emotive, but Burnley fans genuinely believed in you and what you were doing. At Bolton there will be an expectation you will survive and thrive, but there were no such expectations at Burnley. See how the Bolton fans react if you get one point out of 30 away from home like you have with us this season.
On top of that Bolton are below Burnley in the league. Your success at Bolton may lead to Burnley getting relegated - you will be profiting from our potential failure. All this after leaving us mid-season and at the start of a very important transfer window. What about the deals you had lined up?
Every way I look at it you have betrayed the club that gave you your opportunity. Let's not forget that you were interviewed for Bolton two years ago and they weren't sure about you - we took the chance.
You could have chosen any manner of ways to leave Burnley. We all knew you were going to leave at some point but we all imagined you'd come back with a top-six club after establishing us in the Premier League. We'd have given you a standing ovation and sang your name from the roof tops. Not now, you would not have been short of options and you have chosen to leave in this back-handed, cowardly manner. You've made your bed and you'll have to lie in it when we play Bolton on the 26th of January.
When you were appointed, Brendan Flood said he thought we may have the new Bill Shankly. Who knew that instead all we had was the next Mark McGhee? "
Kevin Clarke 4th January 2010
After the unexpected departure of Owen Coyle and the entire backroom staff, Burnley turn to former Claret Brian Laws to manage the Clarets. Brian's first action was to employ Russ Wilcox as his assistant and promote Graham Alexander to player coach.
Manchester United at Old Trafford was Brian Laws baptism of fire, and although a 3-0 defeat was all Brian and the boys got for a truly battling performance where a little more luck and better finishing would have resulted in a fairer result for the Clarets.
After the defeat by Championship Reading in the FA Cup, Laws wasted no time in bringing in fresh faces, Fredric Nimani was first a loan deal from French giants Monaco, a tall imposing striker who made his debut form the substitutes bench against Bolton. Two days later Stoke centre half Leon Cort joined for a fee of £1.5 million, Nicky Weaver a vastly experienced goalkeeper joined on a free after leaving Dundee United in the SPL.
Laws second game as Burnley boss came at Owen Coyles Bolton Wanderers team, and he couldn't wipe the smile of the man now named 'Judas' face! Burnley going down 1-0.
The fans were almost unanimous in not wanting Laws, and with a forth defeat in four attempts, this time at home to Chelsea, the writing should have been on the wall for Burnley, relegation was an almost certainty, Laws was not the man.
In came former Celtic man Danny Fox who scored on his debut, the winner against struggling West Ham United at Turf Moor (2-1). Laws had his first win, but a 3-0 bashing at Craven Cottage brought the Clarets crashing back down to earth.
Defeats against Aston Villa, Portsmouth, Arsenal, Wolves, Blackburn (at home), Wigan and Manchester City where Burnley were 5-0 down at half time (at home). A draw against Stoke, and a first away win for Brian Laws and Burnley in the premiership, where Hull City were thumped 4-1. Three more defeats followed Birmingham, Liverpool and Sunderland. Burnley were relegated before the last game of the season, where a Spurs side came and somehow were beaten 4-2 by the Clarets.
The season ended like most people predicted when Brian Laws took over! Relegation!
What should have been, if Coyle hadn't jumped ship, If Laws wasn't seen as the 'best man' for the job.
2009 - 2010 Premiership, Relegated