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Burnley show the way forward

Paul Fletcher | 21:38 UK time, Monday, 25 May 2009

At Wembley Stadium.

Read and slowly reread - Burnley are a Premier League side.

It might take some getting used to over the next few weeks and it might be an unlikely story - but it is true and, in my opinion, fully deserved.

It is a victory for attractive football, the players who have worked so hard, their inspirational manager and for the supporters of Burnley who turned out in great numbers at Wembley on Monday - but also for hundreds of thousands of fans of other Football League clubs.

For in ending their 33-year exile from the top flight of English football - a time during which the game has been transformed beyond all recognition - the Clarets have given hope to supporters all over the country.

Their promotion says that you don't have to be the richest, the best supported or the most fashionable to climb the heights that every club is desperate to scale.

If you are well run, appoint the right manager who builds a squad rich in both experience and talented youngsters - and if you are united by an ambition and togetherness that will insulate you during the bad times and allow you to flourish in the good - then you can defy expectations and reach the promised land of the Premier League.

Burnley played 61 games in the 2008-09 season, came within minutes of reaching the Carling Cup final and, despite using just 23 players, lasted the distance to deservedly win the play-off final against Sheffield United.

Everything they achieved they did playing an attractive, ambitious brand of football. Whenever I saw them they were not afraid to express themselves, playing with a vim and verve that won them many friends. It was the case when they defeated the likes of West Brom, Fulham, Arsenal and Chelsea - and again during Monday's final at a Wembley reverberating to the sound of fans reveling in the occasion.

Wade Elliott caught the eye with his surging runs from midfield and his glorious winning strike that arced beautifully into the top corner. But he was far from alone. In Martin Paterson, Steven Thompson, Robbie Blake, Chris Eagles and Jay Rodriguez the Clarets showed they have a rich blend of youth, exuberance and experience in an attacking line allied by one crucial ingredient - flair.

Their impressive manager Owen Coyle would not have it any other way. I had a long chat with him a couple of weeks ago. The key concepts that came up again and again were his infectious enthusiasm for the game and his desire to see attacking football played on the ground.

coylekiss595.jpgIf you speak to his players they all say the same thing - that the Scot, who was appointed in November 2007, sends his teams out without fear and convinced they can win.

"You have to believe and the gaffer is the biggest believer in that changing room," veteran Graham Alexander told me after his seventh play-off campaign had finally ended in success.

"He wants us to concentrate on ourselves. It is about us - what we do with the ball and when we are without the ball. That is what the manager concentrates on day in, day out, in training."

Alexander has been a professional footballer since 1991 and has made more than 800 appearances for four clubs but he has never played a top-flight game of football.
His last play-off final was in 2005 when he came on as a substitute for Preston in their 1-0 defeat to West Ham at the Millennium Stadium. He was 33 then and must have thought he would never play Premier League football.

Alexander left for Burnley in 2007 and has since been remoulded as a holding midfielder by Coyle. The veteran has played with an almost demonic desire to succeed over the last few weeks, barking orders to his team-mates, arms pointing this way and that. I cannot think of any player who is more deserving of a crack at the big time.

Robbie Blake, at 33, is another old head in Burnley's team. Bottle of beer in one hand, tie hanging very loosely around his neck, the tricky winger was another Claret basking in the glory of victory.

Blake said that Coyle was so infectious that his players would run through walls for him.
And he revealed that Burnley's play-off victory was the realisation of a pledge that a group of players made after the Clarets came within two minutes of reaching the Carling Cup final.

"I knew we would win," Blake told me. "We knew it would a be fairytale - we can say it now but when we got beat against Tottenham we as a group took so much positivity out of the game. We said then that we were going to go on and get promotion.

"You have to be in the dressing room to believe how much togetherness we have. This is the greatest achievement of my career."

Togetherness is perhaps the critical factor at Burnley, the certain something that has allowed them to become more than the sum of their parts. That and the trust Coyle has in his players.

"I thought we were worth more than one goal but even when it did not come I did not panic - I trust them implicitly," said a remarkably composed Coyle afterwards. A teetotaler, he had a soft drink in his hand and resisted all advances to try some champagne, joking that his players would compensate with the amount they consumed.

Coyle succinctly placed in context the scale of Burnley's achievement. He said that their wage bill is one of the lowest in the division, the average attendance at Turf Moor is in the region of a modest 13,000 and estimated that although he had spent £2.75m in players he had brought in more from the sales of Andy Gray to Charlton and Kyle Lafferty to Rangers.

There are less than 80,000 people in Burnley and it is one of the smallest towns ever to reach the Premier League. But as long-standing chairman Barry Kilby pointed out Burnley is a "proper football town" and its citizens have rejoiced in their team's exploits.

The effect of the team's push for the Premier League has been noticeable in all sectors. Crime is apparently down, while doctors are reporting a reduction in the number of patients coming to see them. After the Clarets play-off victory over Reading I watched an article on television showing supporters queuing around Turf Moor for final tickets. One elderly supporter promised viewers the town would "explode" if they secured promotion.

Undoubtedly the success of the football team is proving to be a most welcome and soothing tonic when the economy offers little scope for optimism.

It is a time of almost indescribable excitement for Burnley and its football team.

Coyle described the Premier League as the most exciting and best league in the world. He now has the chance to test himself against some of the world's best managers and his players to compete against some of the planet's finest footballers.

The Clarets boss, a son of Glasgow, is apparently an early frontrunner to succeed Gordon Strachan as Celtic manager. He insisted his only focus is on the job at Burnley but the his achievements are unlikely to go unnoticed.

As things stand, however, Coyle will sit down with Kilby in the next few days and start planning the future.

Nobody quite knows what it will hold because the Clarets are on entirely new ground - and the proud people of Burnley can wake up on Tuesday coming to terms with their new-found status.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Good comments but hang on a minute Paul.
    I know the proud people of Burnley may hit the bottle celebrating but I am sure they will wake up before next Monday!!

  • Comment number 2.

    A fantastic achievement for a truly brilliant team. A Roy of the Rovers fantasy come true. Owen Coyle has breathed a new life into this club and the fans at Wembley were magnificent.Who knows what lies ahead but Burnley have firmly stamped their name on the footballing map this season.

  • Comment number 3.

    Despite the obvious connection, I can't see Owen Coyle being offered the Celtic job - certainly not at this stage of his career. Not enough experience, I'm afraid, especially in European football. Then again, would HE be interested in Celtic, rather than taking on the challenge of managing his transformed Burnley in the Premier League?

    An alternative previous Celtic player (albeit only for a couple of games) and an outstanding manager, is David Moyes. I suspect that Celtic would love to have him, but somehow I can't see him being interested!

    Good luck, Burnley and Coyle. We'll watch your progress with great interest. Celtic will be looking elsewhere for a new manager. Alan Curbishley?

  • Comment number 4.

    Straight up, Good Job, But im afraid Owen & Co, its going to be straight back down again....
    Sorry

  • Comment number 5.

    No.4.......Shut up about next season. We're still celebrating promotion and your already talking about relegation. How dull!!

    I for one am completely elated at achieving promotion. I'm not certain i will be able to sleep tonight!!!
    The whole nation seems to be talking about this tiny club that i have supported for so long!!! It blows my mind.
    I'm sure we'll lose Owen Coyle at some point but not before he keeps us up!!!

    Come on Burnley!!!!!

  • Comment number 6.

    Well done to Burnley on a result I didnt see them getting, in fairness. Its hard to see them thriving in the Premier League, but then the same thing could have been said about Bolton and Wigan, amongst others.

    What this does potentially mean, is that the championship next year is going to have a lot of very strong teams in it. West Brom,Sheffield United,Middlesbrough,Nottingham Forest,Derby County, possibly QPR and Crystal Palace, all in the way of Newcastle making an immediate return to the top flight.

    I think next seasons championship is going to be one of the most interesting for a lot of years. Assuming Kevin Blackwell doesnt follow through on the suggestion he made about resigning, then I think the three teams I listed first are going to be the main contenders for promotion next year.

  • Comment number 7.

    As a lifelong Blackburn fan I would like to congratulate Burnley on reaching the EPL. It will be just like the old days, cant wait for boxing day. We"ll show the rest of the premier league a real derby match,As long as Rovers win!

  • Comment number 8.

    What to say? Folk in Burnley - aside from a quite significant gang of miserable Yorkshiremen, the rest of the nation rejoices with you!

    Welcome to the machine.

  • Comment number 9.

    As a Grecian we as so called minnows have done a back to back and intend to continue......Well done to Burnley on their success.....I have not yet see the goal as BBC media will not allow me because I'm in frogland.....Unlucky Sheffield United reading stuff two apparent penalties were turned down........That's football and down to the men in black (or yellow, grey, red whatever colour they were vested with today)

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    Fletch, 25 years ago another "small town" team, Carlisle, was promoted into the "old" 1st Division but although it was enjoyable and exciting as a supporter unfortunately it was short lived. I hope Burnley's tenure is longer. And good to see a genuine East Lancashire derby.

    By the way is Carlisle the smallest town or city ever to be in the EPL or 1st Division ?

    And one for the trivia buffs - Carlisle have never played Man Utd in a "league" match. In 74-75 Carlisle were in Div 1, Man Utd in Div 2 !!

  • Comment number 12.

    Just back from Wembley, what a fantastic day for Burnley Football Club, and for the town in general, better than Stockport in 1994.

    superb, I just hope we can keep Owen......

  • Comment number 13.

    No.4
    ....All I can say is what a yawn your comment is and to no.5 I couldn't agree more.

    I am a Stoke City man living downunder. All I heard was how we were going to be straight back down and look what happened. A fairly measured campaign with our feet on the ground all the way whilst copping all the BS from the doubters.....

    For my money Burnley have a beautiful blend and I sincerely hope they can get a few more players to help deal with a long EPL season.

    I have watched them a few times this season and thought they were a great team so it's great to see them up and I hope they will survive with Stoke next year.

    It will be a really really close season next year. Closer than this one I feel. Wolves and Brummie will be no easy beats. Nor will Burnley and Stoke won't either.

    Good luck to you all and to all newly promoted teams and their fans BIG congrats and a warm welcome to the EPL.....

    Cheers from downunder

  • Comment number 14.

    Had to watch the game in exile in the Saudi desert and was so proud of the way the boys played, just wish I could have been at Wembley to cheer them on.

    With Owen Coyle at the helm all things are possible. Watch out EPL
    Burnley are back!!!!

  • Comment number 15.

    Moresby Park - 1974-75 was 25 years ago? Oops

  • Comment number 16.

    Well Done the Dingles you grasped it with both hands with football that is a good advert for the CCC and now the Prem and a special congrats to Grezza who we let go and has proved us wrong in his fantastic rennaisance at Burnley in the middle.

    See you next year and I don't mean CCC or cup comps !!!

  • Comment number 17.

    Superb. Burnley have shown that (and please do not take this the wrong way) 'small' clubs can win and still play beautiful football.

    A credit to themselves, the manager and I am sure to the EPL.

    Good Luck Burnley.

  • Comment number 18.

    Congratulations to all the promoted teams, but these play offs are a farce. Not one of the teams who finished third, or second in the conference, got promoted this season. What is the point of playing a whole season of up to 46 league games and then be subjected to the lottery of a knockout competition. I thought it was bad enough when Bury went out on a penalty shoot out to team that finished nine points behind them in the league, but then Scunthorpe getting promoted when they finished 11, yes eleven, points behind the team in third place is not justice. I am happy for the fans but it is just getting to be a joke.

  • Comment number 19.

    No. 11, Of the football clubs still in professional football today, Burnley is the third smallest town population-wise to have had a team playing in the top flight of english football. (Bury and Carlisle are numbers 1 and 2).
    Well done to the Clarets! These are the moments I follow football for.

  • Comment number 20.

    Congratulations Burnley I think you have given every team hope for the future it proves that you don,t need vast resources to achieve success only need that to reach the top 4 .Unlike most I think you will do well next season look at Wigan Fulham Stoke Hull as examples .Good luck

  • Comment number 21.

    what an amazing result ,but definately the right one,the club now has to work hard to give owen the support he needs to make a good fist of it next season ,they have the right man and he has the right stuff to go forward sensibly i really cant wait for those six points from rovers,maybe we can help them fill their ground now.cmon you clarets

  • Comment number 22.

    As a very disappointed Blades fan, I would like to congratulate Owen Coyle and the Burnley players for a thoroughly deserved result yesterday. I for one think that with a tactically astute young manager who demands his team play with flair and creativity, as well as having steel in their armour, will have a fair chance of staying up next year.
    Good luck to you.

  • Comment number 23.

    One has to think that the biggest challenge Coyle will face is maintaining that special dressing room camaraderie while sustaining the inevitable personnel changes that promotion will bring.

    And along with #6, above, it looks like next year's Championship may well be a more fascinating division to watch than the EPL!

  • Comment number 24.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 25.

    A great day for Burnley and a great day for football. As for that bloke who tried to put the mockers on you, probably some Arsenal or Man U fan who goes to 1 game a season and knows nothing about the history of Burnley Fc. What is apparent is that apart from the 4 rich clubs and a second tier of 4 or 5 others, the quality of the Premiership is poor. There were 8 clubs who got 41 pts or less, a total that in most seasons gets you relegated. Roy Hodgson proved that with a good manager and a team of committed players who try to play proper football, you can do well in this league no matter how big the size of your stadium. Burnley have all the right attributes- Stoke finished 12th so i reckon your boys can easily make mid table and most importantly for you guys be above Bolton and Blackburn ! good luck to you

  • Comment number 26.

    Well done Burnley for getting to the Premiership, although I am one of the disgruntled Yorkshiremen at the moment. Possible penalties aside I think Burnley were the better team and deserved it on the day, although I am still unable to fathom the logic of the playoffs in the first place!

    I can't help thinking Burnley may struggle next year. It seems their success was down to playing good football and a great team spirit, and obviously it will be hard to keep the same togetherness with a number of new faces coming in. As far as the good football is concerned, i'd be surprised if they can pass the better teams off the pitch, and some of the lower teams like Bolton, Wigan, Stoke etc may prove to be too overpowering (Think West Brom this year).

    Good luck though, hope you can stay up!

  • Comment number 27.

    No 18. All the teams know the situation before they start.

    No 4. Ok, Burnley has only beaten the EPL teams in cup games BUT they have and lets not forget Sunderland and Hull were only saved because only 3 teams get relegated (they were as bad as the other 3).

    Add in Portsmouth, Bolton, Blackburn, Wolves and Birmingham (possibly Stoke if they suffer 2nd season syndrome but they have done what is most important and made the Britannia a fortress so if that stays the same they will be ok). So there are 7 possibly 8 teams who could either finish almost halfway, or bottom.

    Burnley could make Turf Moor as inhospitable as Stoke's ground, particularly from Oct-Feb when the fancy dan teams wont fancy the cold !!!! but they also play a style of football which makes you want then to succeed irrespective.

    One final point, they played 60+ games, no bleating about rotation or tiredness. Total respect for that, what i call true professional footballers, I just hope they dont get egos now they are in with the synthetic footballers of the EPL, that is their biggest danger losing the obvious team spirit that has got them up. REMEMBER THE TEAM YOU ARE EFFECTIVELY REPLACING WAS A TEAM OF EGOS FROM TOP TO BOTTOM, DONT FALL INTO THEIR TRAP AND YOU WILL BE OK.

    Many Congratulations, based on available resources,games played (without the benefit of rotating)and performances produced, team of the year irrespective of what happens in Rome

  • Comment number 28.

    No 18 - As its been stated everyone knows the score before the season starts. If you're not good enough to get Automatic Promotion then maybe you're not good enough for that division full stop and maybe one less team should come down - does that sound fair?

    I personally think that the play offs are great. They add that bit of excitement at the end of the season and it does mean anyone can come out. As it turns out Burnley were more than deserving there win and over this season they've done exactly what they needed to do to get into the premiership - They finished inside the Play Offs and then won their games to get up!

    Congratulations - Its going to be a long season for you but lets hope you can stir it up a bit! (Just don't play the same 'Football' as West Brom!)

  • Comment number 29.

    Burnley are back where they belong!

  • Comment number 30.

    I diasagree with a lot of the people on here the only reason that the Baggies went down playing good football was the amount of chances they wasted not the brand of football they played.Will they go stright down maybe but Portsmouth aren't in a good shape ,West Ham may struggle to keep their players ,Hull were awful 1 win in second half of the season,Sunderland may improve if the money comes in and obviously Wolves and Birmingham are in the same position as Burnley.Stoke will hit the second season syndrome of clubs working them out.So just taking those clubs gives 3 of the likely six strugglers so Burnley can maybe be one of the three staying up and good luck to them.

  • Comment number 31.

    Congratulations to Burnley, thorughly deserved the win yesterday and I wish you all the best for next season. Special mention to your fans who were up for a bit of banter before the game and after.

    Up the Blades

  • Comment number 32.

    Congratulations to Burnley and Karma to Sheffield Utd. You're just not good enough. Who are you going to sue now, the ref, the crowd the pitch. Hard luck boys and girls from all at West Ham Utd.

  • Comment number 33.

    Following my euphoria that my team are finally in the Prem may I say to the Blades what they already know. They were disappointing and played no differently to the 1-0 defeat at Burnley a few weeeks ago.
    In fact, this time Burnley could and really should have had another 2 to 3 goals.
    The Blades have a right to consider themselves short-changed with one penalty descision BUT if you pull jumpers and shove the opposition the Ref may let play on but he remembers that play and that effects his decision-making process.
    Too many long balls into our defence that we swallowed up. Not enough creativity; not enough wing play to by-line stuff. Nowehere near enough strength down the middle. Losts to work on for next year. Good luck.

  • Comment number 34.

    Another good blog and hats off to Burnley, they made the most of their goal and really kicked on.

    Let us not forget some of the key points though. Burnley were the better side overall. They were not the better side in the opening exchanges though until there goal was scored very much against the run of play. By that stage, Sheffield United could have already been one- nil to the good. Brian Howard was tripped, it was in the area and it was a foul. The game would have been a completely different contest with no doubt Burnley rattled and the Blades buoyant.

    I wish to take nothing away from the Clarets and their manager and wish them well, but key decisions play such an important factor.

    As well as the blatant foul on Kyle Walker that went unpunished for a challenge nowhere near the ball, there was also a handball by Clarke Carlisle just inside the box on the stroke of half time which has gone unmentioned. A pity the officials chose to miss that when they were so eagle eyed with Jamie Ward, the first of which he was pushed and the second hit him on the top of the arm. The Carlisle incident was just as clear. I was under the impression handball had to be below the elbow anyway, so please someone correct me on the precise rule?

    That aside, good luck to Burnley, granted to have used only 23 players shows fortune with injury but by doing so much with so little you have given hope to the likes of the Blades and many clubs in the Championship.

  • Comment number 35.

    Just a few thoughts and observations I'd like to add. In relation to what an earlier poster stated, every team begins the football season with the same amount of points, knowing that if they can achieve certain positions in the table, they can either win the league, secure a 2nd spot auto promotion, or a chance to play for the third promotion spot. It is understandable to perceive the seemingly unfairness of being the team finishing third, and then having to continue to compete for promotion against the 4th, 5th, and 6th positions. I can only imagine that it is a money-spinner franchise by the F.A., but also the chance for teams to appear at Wembley, alongside the cup campaigns. It also provides for a dynamic, rather than an anti-climatic finish to the season, but I do grant you, it does seem unfair for the team originally achieving third spot. Nevertheless, I doubt any team would turn down the chance to play for the third promotion spot if given the chance.

    This year it was Burnley who grabbed the final placement, and as much as it may grieve other teams, Burnley's advancement into the Premier League is still merited. When you look back at their season, at the money available to the manager, and the size of the squad, and the amount of games played, they could have easily folded through fatigue, or failed through lack of resources. They didn't! They stuck to their belief, cemented by a team spirit instilled by a shrewd and very positive manager.

    Just because a team is considered a 'big' club, it is not an arbiter of guaranteed success. It is the consistent 'quality' of play with each game that brings in the dividends, and that is the message to all clubs, big and small. Yes, having the financial resources helps to bring in 'quality' players, but unless the team gels, it can easily become a failed expense.

    Burnley is a small town, with a small population from which to draw its support, but even so, their success this season will bring in larger attendances, and this is something worthy of note to Burnley's support...do your bit and attend in larger numbers, week in, week out. The symbiosis between the team and its support cannot be under-estimated, it is so very important. There has to be a balance between the two to maintain belief, and to help bring in the success. If it becomes a one-sided affair, then mediocrity or even failure will not be too far away...see Newcastle for an example.

    I would like to see Burnley's first season in the Premier League to be one about consolidation of merit to remain in the PL. Avoiding the drop back to the Championship is the target, so a mid-table placement at end of next season will be quite respectable.

    A big thankyou to Owen Coyle and the Burnley Football team, for providing a belief and hope, and indeed success, to a town that has too long been impoverished of either. Burnley folk are smiling again, and not without merit!

  • Comment number 36.

    Burnley will be my (and probably a lot of other people's) 2nd club after having the pleasure of watching them this season.

    Their style of play is well suited to the premiership, although obviously it'll be a tough task playing international standard players week in week out.

    Best of luck next season, and great to see how Patterson gets on.

  • Comment number 37.

    Congratulations to Burnley, don't really remember the last time they were in the top division back in 1976, and wasn't even born when they were league champions in 1960. I do remember though 1987 when Burnley almost went out of the league altogether. Just goes to show its not the end of the world when that happens.

  • Comment number 38.

    A couple of pennies I'd like to throw in.

    Firstly to join most contributors in congratulating Burnley in their promotion. Hoping they can repeat this seasons results against Arsenal and Chelsea next season. To be fair, I'm also hoping they can repeat their result against my lot. They were unlucky in the Carling semi but it was a great performance nonetheless.

    A personal gripe to add to the debate on whetehr the Playoffs are a good/bad thing. We all know it's a money making exercise first and foremost. For those involved it's the agony and the ecstacy thing and very easy to get caught up in. I went to the Ipswich/Barnsley playoff (partner was a Town fan) and it was a great game, great atmosphere. But to my mind, the playoffs take away from the meretricious intent behind a league system. You're either playing for automatic promotion, relegation or the right to play in an end of season competition. And yes I know everyone starts at 0 points in August and we all know the rules etc etc. Just saying that in my opinion it's inconsistent taht when you play all 46 games that 4th, 5th or 6th have the opportunity to go up instead of 3rd. How about introducing the same for relegation places? Winner stays up... Anyway, rant over about the playoffs. We've got them, they're here to stay and Burnley are on the way to the Prem. Good Luck. Wishing you every success - except against Spurs :-)

  • Comment number 39.

    Now then - I think coffeeandnan is getting slightly carried away with his comment that Burnley are back where they belong. Having never been in the Premier League I think they now have to prove they belong there.

    I hope that everyone eventually made it back to Burnley - when I left the stadium several hours after the final whistle there must have been the best part of 100 coaches still trying to get off the car park. The Clarets fans inside looked as though their promotion joy was being slowly eroded by the dreaded Wembley traffic.

  • Comment number 40.

    I find it difficult to understand why The FA has to put a Premier League Ref. in charge of these matches. It is not fair to the Referees, who all Season, control matches between Championshop Teams, only to see a Premier League Referee steal the glory of a Final. Why not give the the championship Refs a chance, after all, The Premier League Refs probably don't know their way to Burnley, Sheffield, Crewe etc!

  • Comment number 41.

    #34, the 'trip' on Howard was a coming together of the players - yes the Burnley player touched but there was no intention and it would have been an incredibly harsh decision on Burnley & referees have to be certain when it comes to awarding pens.

    Granted the one on the full back should have been given as a pen but given the view the ref had it was 1 where he couldn't be 100% certain (and for him to have been 100% certain he would have to have been behind the goal).

    For it to be given as handball it can hit anywhere on the arm and frankly Jamie Ward is a complete idiot and rather than aim your irk at the referee it should be directed in the direction of Ward.

    With the Clarke Carlisle one was that on 1st view my opinion was that it didn't hit his arm but even if it did given the venom on the shot there wasn't much he could do about it.

    So all in all I'd say I can understand the reason why Dean gave the decisions the way he did but from a Blades perspective it will be a case of if we had a bit of luck 1 would have gone our way.

  • Comment number 42.

    Number 34 - this is exactly the reason why the majority of the country was rooting for Burnley - the culture of whining at referees/anyone else at Sheffield United that was created by Warnock and fostered by Blackwell.

    I agree, at least one of the penalty shouts was probably valid (although you seem to be the only person in the ground or watching TV who spotted "the Carlisle handball" and the first penalty shout was AFTER we had scored), but Sheffield lost not because of poor refereeing but because their players did not turn up for the game. Burnley could easily have had 3 or 4 and the ONLY shots you had on target were tricklers from 30 yards. Sometimes you should just admit that the better team won and you deserved nothing from the game.

    That said, I would like to offer commiserations to Sheff Utd fans. You have been great over the season and were unfairly labelled a "hoofball side" for most of it - you showed what you can really do against Preston. All of the Blade's fans I spoke to yesterday were very magnanimous is defeat.

    On the subject of the playoffs, whilst money is a factor it is also important to keep excitement going until the end of the season. If promotion went to the top 3 teams, the majority of clubs would have nothing to play for from January onwards. Playoffs allow a greater number of clubs/fans to fully participate come the end of the season, and in my opinion is what truly differentiates the Championship from the boring Premiership, which only 2/3 clubs seem capable of winning.

  • Comment number 43.

    Too much on here about new faces. The old faces have a good record against premiership teams this season and played 61 games. The manager may want to strengthen the squad and if he does then fair play to him, but the players we already have are as good as many of the teams we'll be up against. I for one hope the chairman invests some of the money in securing the club's long term future so that we don't have to sell off our best players to our rivals just to survive.

  • Comment number 44.

    By the way is Carlisle the smallest town or city ever to be in the EPL or 1st Division ?

    ---------------

    No. Glossop is.

    They were in the top division for one season a long long time ago.


  • Comment number 45.

    I'm really glad that Burnley are up after all the problems they have suffered over the years.
    Always had a soft spot for them(probably because of my first hero, Andy Lochhead, having played for them and my team, Villa) and always seemed to get on with Burnley fans when I've met them.
    To those that say they will go back down, bet you were saying that about Hull and Stoke this time next year.
    At least Burnley are guaranteed 6 points from when they play Blackburn
    ;-)

  • Comment number 46.

    Comment #15
    artshade, put it down to "digital malfunction" of left hand and "failure to proof read".
    Not quite in the dementia league yet but I do remember Bill Greene scoring Carlisle's first goal in the 1st Div - against Chelsea at "The Bridge" !!

  • Comment number 47.

    @ 44
    Glossop North End were promoted in 1899, then changed their name to Glossop.

  • Comment number 48.

    i'm glad Burnley are up; it means we won't get panned 5-0 by them again :).


    although they were VERY fortunate to get a win in the reverse fixture! but you need those sort of breaks to achieve great things.

    i for one am glad to see a team like Burnley have a long-overdue resurgence.

  • Comment number 49.

    People are talking about Burnley being back in the top division after 33 years, but don't forget that in that time they've come within a whisker of dropping out of the league altogether!

    You correctly point out that its a boost to all teams that you can achieve great things with good management and a supportive board etc.

    Here's another thing, next season there will be SIX Lancashire teams in the Premier League. Someone please remind me how many Yorkshire sides there'l be in the Prem in 2009/10 . . .

    Well done Burnley.

  • Comment number 50.

    With both teams being good "footballing" sides there are alot of similarities to be drawn with West Brom, however there is alot more steel about the Burnley side that have got promoted compared to that which got west brom promoted. To me Burnley look a much tougher side,to go with the good football they play, and with the spirit shown yesterday they could repeat the feats of Reading and Ipswich in their first seasons, playing good football and surprising the big boys.
    Good on Burnley well done to all

  • Comment number 51.

    Forest know what Burnley are capable of in the CCC.

    Burnley look a good footballing side and have some experience in the team which will be vital in their prem league survival.

    A great day not only for Burnley fans but also for football in general as it shows us all what is acheiveable if you have the right manager and the right attitude from the players.

    I hope they go really well next season

    Please get more than 11 points! we still need Derby as the worst team in history (it matters in Nottingham, trust me)

  • Comment number 52.

    Well done to Burnley. They will be far more deserving of a place in the league than their almost polar opposite, sorry Newcastle, fat with overpayed underworking players and lacking in a team spirit.

    Though I'm sure there will be some bargains to be had for Burnley by the drop of Boro and the barcodes, I hope the purchases are more astute bargains than big purchases. Maybe you'll be able to snaffle Greening and some others.

    There are some talents in the squad for sure, and I as a Manchester United supporter am pleased to see Eagles back in the top flight.

  • Comment number 53.

    Elliot looks class but how long before he is snatched up by one of the big teams ?

  • Comment number 54.

    The media keep talking about Burnley being a tiny club, but I distinctly remember them being in the 1st division when I was a child. I well remember the name Leighton James. The EPL might be obscenely wealthy & hyped up out of all proportion, but it is no more 'the top flight' than the old 1st division was 'the top flight', so why shouldn't Burnley be there once again? However, as a Leeds fan, & ex Sheff Wed steward, the best thing about Burnley being in the EPL is that Sheff Utd aren't!:-)

  • Comment number 55.

    Congratulations to Burnley - you thoroughly deserved it! I for one would be really interested in how well you would do with more or less the same team, preserving the spirit you obviously have in the dressing room and not interupting it with the inclusion of many expensive fancy Dan's as many clubs have made the mistake of doing on promotion.

    Good luck

  • Comment number 56.

    Having supported The Claret and Blues since 1944, when I went with my aunt to Turf Moor, I am sincerely pleased that they have made it back to the Top Div. In spite of them defeating Sheffield United, who I worked with when they were chaired by my old Boss, Reg Brearley. Good luck to hem all and the fans for 2009/10 season

  • Comment number 57.


    Too quick too soon for Burnley. They cant survive in the permL. Hull and Burnely will go down next season. They have to build the team first in order to chase their ambition, not just coming from nowhere, they cant even have a decent squard to play in the PermL. I dont think Burnley will splash out on new players, they'll only keep thier promotion money in case they go down next season, coz it's huge amount of money and they cant afford to lose it. Anyway, enjoy the time in the PermL while it lasts.

    If Hull, Stoke and Burnley stay up, I'll shave my hair.


  • Comment number 58.

    Well Done Burnley, and as a Bournemouth fan I celebrated the goal like a Cherries one!!
    Wade has always been class and has watched a couple of Bournemouth games this season, a genuinely nice guy. Very poignant at the moment as the one and only bid on the table to buy the Cherries has been withdrawn - we may be looking at the start of the end for us...and Wade unfortunately went on a free transfer!!
    Hey ho....best of luck next year guys.....

  • Comment number 59.

    From one Claret and Blue supporter ( WHU ) to another - well done Burnley. You too believe in football being played as it should be played. It would have been an absolute travesty if SU had gone up. A team epitomised by the brute force of Chris Morgan ( and I am being flattering ). A team that even makes Stoke City seem to be the last word in style ,creativity and flair. ( sorry SC ).Do they scout from the Neanderthal League Div 3?

    And what would OC gain by going to the backwaters of the SPL - and to a Div with just two teams in it? Nothing in my opinion.

    But let's not forget Reading of two seasons ago. They barnstormed the Championship and then the PL playing attractive football but couldn't sustain it second season around.

    I look forward to seeing how you perform with great interest.I hope well.

  • Comment number 60.

    Don't think it's entirely fair to say Burnley won't survive in the Prem unless they spend big.

    Ipswich did it and came 5th with pretty much exactly the same squad that took them up. Any replacements came from within the club. It helped that they had a striker (Marcus Stewart) who had an excellent season. The team had a great collective respect and spirit, and to my mind, this wasx eroded when in the second season a few "big" names were signed. Upset the balance of the side as well as the team dynamic and we all know what happened then.

    It was great to see the post match stuff yesterday where almost all the Burnley staff were complimenting each other - Clark Carlisle used the term "privileged to be part of the squad". I think Burnley will battle for each other in the Prem. There are no big time charlies and hopefully they'll enjoy themselves. Teams that enjoy themselves usually do ok if there's a little bit of quality and a little bit of luck in the mix. The spirit is there, the quality may not be first class, but certainly on a par with at least 5 or 6 other Prem teams at it currently stands. I hope they get the luck and have a great season.

  • Comment number 61.

    Well I'd just like to thank all you FOOTBALL fans out there for the positive comments about a great club.
    What a brilliant day Monday was for all Burnley fans. Roll on next season!
    One last vote of thanks to the many Sheffield United supporters who have wished us well. It must be a real downer to end the season on such a low note.
    Come on you Clarets!

  • Comment number 62.

    Another Scottish Manager doing well. I am Scottish and proud to say so with the likes of:

    Sir Alex Ferguson
    David Moyes
    Alex Mcleish
    Owen Coyle

    With a support cast of:

    Joe Jordan
    Steve Clarke

  • Comment number 63.

    Congarts to Burnley. The best team won on the day. Sheff Utd didn't play well. A lot of their experencied players did not perform. Their best 2 players were Naughton & Walker (2 kids). Owen Coyle has done a marvellous job at Burnley. It just shows you that if you have the right man in charge and a squad of players playing for each other, you can achieve success. I wouldn't say that they are automatic for relegation next season. At the start of this season, most people were picking the three promoted teams for relegation from the EPL. Only 1 were relegated. There were a lot of teams in the EPL that are a shambles.

    So congrats again and best of luck next season.

  • Comment number 64.

    I expect to see how you perform with great interest too···
    http://www.nowgoal.com/22.shtml

  • Comment number 65.

    Burnley beat Reading twice and after 59 games at that point, we thought we had the easiest of the Playoffs, but as we know these are one off cup finals and Burnley were worthy winners.

    Its interesting that when I was younger I watched Burnley vs Wolves in the (now) Johnsons Paint trophy final, both teams just having been promoted from the basement of English football - Next year a premiership fixture!

    What Burnley need to now is to get the sqaud up to premiership level, they are weeks behind some of the teams in the Premiership like Bolton, who have known their fate for some time. People said Reading would go back down, this year it was Stoke and Hull, but outside of the top 4, or indeed top 8, all the teams are much of a muchness. If you can get points at home against the other 11, you have a great chance of staying up.

    Its the second season slump you have to worry about.

  • Comment number 66.

    great article
    fantastic to see yet another north west club reach the promised land of premier league football.
    as a bolton supporter, welcome to the premiership, hopefully you'll stay up and shock a few along the way, apart from the whites of course.

  • Comment number 67.

    Congratulations to Burnley from a Wolves fan! Not many people remember what we did in the past and others go on about the fall from grace of Leeds and Newcastle. Our two clubs were in the fourth division not so long ago. To hell and back together and I for one am pleased.

    Both Burnley and Wolves got promoted playing good attractive football with the perfect blend of youth and experience. Grit and determination and the will to win got us both over the line in the end something these other big clubs need to pay attention to. Sheffield United and Reading may of had better squads, but argue different when it comes to mentality and first elevens, you both got what you deserved - nothing!

    We've both been written off, something we're used to! Bring on the Premiership, we're both here to show you what we're about! And, if we both do go down it won't be without a fight and both the claret flag and the gold will still be flying high!

  • Comment number 68.

    Their promotion says that you don't have to be the richest, the best supported or the most fashionable to climb the heights that every club is desperate to scale.

    -----

    Congratulations to Burnley but it is hardly something new.

    West Brom, Charlton and Barnsley have all made it to the premier league as relatively small clubs while playnig good football. It's a great story, but please dont pretend it's unique

  • Comment number 69.

    I was there in 1987 when Burnley had to beat us (Leyton Orient) at Turf Moor to stay up, congrats on your somewhat meteoric rise lol.
    However, the fact that Burnley are giving hope to other smal clubs etc isn't really true. Still have attendences of 13,000, over 4 times what we get, most clubs in the lower echelons are entirely subsistence clubs, selling to survive, not for ambition.
    Another great blog though mate, I read every single one!!

  • Comment number 70.

    well done Burnley!
    my team Ayr United achieved promotion through the play offs on Sunday and i know how good it feels.
    Burnley rounded off my weekend perfectly by helping my coupon come up on monday!
    congratulations Owen Coyle, another young Scottish manager showing the English how its done!!!

  • Comment number 71.

    as for comment number 59 slating the SPL.
    European places, the destination of the title and relegation were all decided on the final day in the SPL this season, arguably making it far more exciting than the Premiership this season!
    when the team finishing last in the Premiership makes 20 times as much money from tv revenue as the team winning the SPL the difference in the standards should be far greater!!
    teams like Dundee United and Hearts would hold their own in the bottom half of the Premiership.

  • Comment number 72.

    I personally hope that Owen Coyle does stay despite the rumours linking him with Celtic. It was be fascinating to see how he goes about a season in the Premier League - will he continue to try to buy talented young players or feel the need to bring in players proven at top-flight level?

    Will his infectious enthusiasm be able to lift his squad throughout what often proves to be a long and difficult season for promoted clubs?

    And will Burnley continue to play attacking, attractive football? Sometimes in the past teams have been well served by shutting up shop - I cannot imagine Coyle sending out one of his teams to do that.

  • Comment number 73.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 74.


    An excellent aritcle, Paul and many thanks for your reasoned , measured and intelligent coverage of Burnley's final few weeks of what will surely prove to be seen as one of our most historic.

    Following an ecstatic day amongst the vociferous Burnley 36,000 plus at Wembley, am feeling rather too emotional to pen anything at present of meaningful perspective but I encourage all to read 'ELYSIUMFIRE' @ NO.35.......wonderfully expressed, couldn't have put it better even after a few days of sobre reflection....well said , mate !

    Began following The Clarets as a 6 year old in season 1970/71 from the front row of The Cricket Field Stand directly behing the goal.....sticking by and with your chosen team is a lifelong journey and wow! what rewards it can bring......joy, raw passion,exhiliration, pride and Burnley on both the front and back pages of today's edition of The Times !!

    Gratitiude on behalf of all fellow Clarets to all the fans of other clubs who have expressed their encouragement and enthusiasm at this unforgettable time. I hope you will all have one eye on Burnley's results next season.

    Claret , Proud and Very Hoarse.

  • Comment number 75.

    I think I am still in shock that Burnley actually finally did it. I have to keep repeating it over and over to myself. I am old enough to have seen them play in the old First Division when I was 13 (December 1975 at Highbury - lost 1-0 - a very late goal I seem to remember). Also was there (and many points in between) when they beat Leyton Orient at Turf Moor to stay in the league.

    Now I am in the States I haven't seen them too often in this memorable season since I only get to see EPL games on TV. I think I will be following next season's EPL with considerably more interest than normal.

    Congrats boys - wish I had been there to see it. Hopefully, it'll be more than a single season but even if it isn't it'll be a helluva ride!

  • Comment number 76.

    A day when football beat hoofball, a massively overrated second-rate manager was once again outwitted and his tactics (and laughable mind games about the ref) backfired massively. A day when a once proud and inventive Yorkshire team showed their one-dimensional game and supporters who sadly retreat once again to the bunker of denial and finger pointing. With luck Blackwell will go along with several of their poor, poor squad (the self-appointed 'best team in the league' comments were a truly laughable claim) and Sheffield Utd will emerge a much better team without the thuggery, long-balls and bad cheating.

    As for Burnley, a footballing team has got out of the league of death and into the land of greed. Once can only hope the money, the egos, the hype and the pressures doesn't destroy them.

  • Comment number 77.

    Congratulations again to Burnley Football Club and to Owen Coyle. Shame that a few Scotish contributors want to turn it into a Scottish thing. Just what is with some of you? Do you suffer from such low self esteem that you have to forever tell us all ( and yourselves ) how wonderful you are? Borrrring! Good on yer Owen Coyle. Stay with Burnley.

  • Comment number 78.

    Absolutely delighted for Burnley. As a Tranmere fan who suffered 10 years ago with three failed attempts at the top flight, its great to see a club of similar size and resources as us make to the promised land. Birkenheads population is actually around 130,000. It gives us all hope that with a good manager, a close knit bunch of players committed to playing the game the right way, it is possible to make the step up.
    And you did have a helping hand from a Tranmere fan too, Referee Mike Dean is a Rovers fan who even travelled to Europe in the Anglo Italian 15 years ago!
    Lets hope your manager doesnt fall into the trap of bringing in cut price foreign players to build the squad. A couple of good Scots would be better.
    Anyway, well in lads, hope you have a great season.
    PS My mate was made up to because he works at a company full of Preston fans!

  • Comment number 79.

    Good article Paul. The main thrust about Burnley's style, commitment and desire rings true. Having watched their exploits all through the season, and seen them deservedly undo Arsenals '2nd string' and a host of other supposedly 'top class' sides in the cups it's great to see them come up at the last.

    Couple of things though......

    Tbh though I don't see why people keep making such a fuss about the number of games played? In days of yore (that weren't so long ago..) a 60 plus match season was no big deal, and it was done with squads of around 17 or 18 (or less) in a game in which the physical demands, in terms of challenges, kit, pitches hell, even the weight of the ball (those who've played the game will understand), were much greater. To a good team it should make no difference how many games you play. Just ask Fergie...... ;)

    On the EPL being the 'promised land' and the chance to play against 'an array of talent' again I'm not sure which league it is to which we are referring? Certainly not the one we see very week in which yes, four teams have a LOT of mainly foreign talent, but after that it thins out more rapidly than Bobby Charlton's hair in the 60's! There is a strong argument that in fact it was in the days of old that we had more talent, as while yes, the top sides still creamed off the top players, but EVERYONE, even some of the strugglers still had some real stars and the mid table sides were certainly far better endowed than the odd journeyman who can't make into the big fours World than we have at that level today.

    Sorry, but there is to much rubbish talked about the EPL and hype about how 'chock full of stars' it is. I'm sorry, but it just isn't. Otherwise we wouldn't have to endure so many poor games on Setanta and Sky when the big clubs are 'busy' after a week in Europe. :)

    That said, welcome Burnley to the EPL, hopefully they can add a ray of sunshine in what is, for the most part, a pretty grey World.

  • Comment number 80.

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  • Comment number 81.

    I'll start first by sending my commiserations to all Blades fans and the way they kept their composure during the long trudge back from Wembley to Sheffield.

    The Blades turned out to be a touch blunt against a very sharp and astute Burnley side who were brimming with self belief and determination.

    Sometimes defeat is hard take, but for Blackwell its no use whining and whingeing about referees and dodgey decisions.
    It was for me a momentous occasion to be at Wembley to see the Clarets deservedly win,as the last time I was there in 62 we lost out to Spurs. One of their goals was from a very dubious penalty. This was given because Tommy Cummings had allegedly handled inside the box. I saw it with my own eyes Tommy chested the ball down and despite a clear mark on his chest up near his left shoulder the ref saw otherwise - remember when pitches used to have mud on them ! This was clearly a bad decision but we didnt go bleating on about it.
    Ward very deliberatley handled the ball twice, one of them 'Maradonna' style, and fully deserved to be sent off. There was some substance to the two alleged penalty decisions but the Burnley challenges, whilst clumsy, did not appear to be deliberate attempts to cause foul play.

    Barry Kilby - a real Burnley man and through and through, and successful self made businessman who knows the real value of money - will not be wanting to spend stupid money on grossly over paid prima donna's.And along with Owen Coyle's undoubted ability to find talented , hard working and loyal players, who play for the team and not for themselves
    should stand them in good stead for Burnley's forthcoming Premiership debut.
    How refreshing it is to hear a manager, just for once,having the belief that he can build a Premiership side without the need to chuck money around like its confetti ! A far cry then from the Newcastle's of this world who might just struggle up against some very usefull Championship Teams. Mark my words. Two Championship teams to watch next season. Swansea and Doncaster Rovers ! Long live the CLARETS !

  • Comment number 82.

    Just wanted to congratulate the Burnley team and it's supporters on a magnificent achievement. Although my home team is Grimsby Town, i've always considered Burnley to be my "second team" ever since the late 60's when my favourite Grimsby player Doug Collins was transferred to you in 1968. Probably sounds a bit naff , but it's true. Anyway, all the best for next season.

  • Comment number 83.

    Well done Burnley. Better team (by a mile) won. Hope you do well next year. Shows money ain't everything!

  • Comment number 84.

    83. Ah yes, Doug Collins, was a great player and a valuable asset for Burnley back in the early seventies. One of the reasons why Burnley struggled so much in 76 was the fact that they had such a small squad.
    Trouble was, Bob Lord, the then chairman bless him, was a very stubborn, blinkered old man and when Jimmy Adamson needed to bolster the squad with a couple of relatively cheap but experienced players the old man refused.
    Poor Jimmy and the team were unlucky and constantly short of men dew to a seemingly never ending injury list. A couple more astute buys like Dougie Collins would have probably saved the Clarets from the drop.

  • Comment number 85.

    I was sitting having a drink on Euston Road with a few Burnley fans before coming back north. What was amazing was: they were from OSLO, NORWAY!

    No, not Lancastrians living abroad. Norwegians supporting Burnley. And they really knew their stuff, I can tell you.......and all the chants!

    So if Owen Coyle's looking for a place to go on pre-season, maybe Oslo's worth checking out??

  • Comment number 86.

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  • Comment number 87.

    An alternate perspective:

    If Burnley had suffered an average amount of injuries, they would likely have been mid-table.

    If they had been seriously hit for much of the season, they could have been struggling against relegation.

    Maybe they're going up because they've gambled on a small squad and got insanely lucky?

    A team like Forest or Coventry or Barnsley could have made the play-offs if they hadn't lost key players for long spells.

  • Comment number 88.

    I'd like to add the usual congratulations to Burnley - despite being a Sheff Utd supporter myself (and veteran of 3 failed Play off finals), if we weren't the opposition I'd definitely have supported Burnley in that game. Hopefully for next season, Burnley can keep the nucleus of that side and perhaps introduce a couple of quality additions to strengthen the squad. But Burnley's performances this season against premiership opposition have shown that there isn't that much tinkering needed so I hope they don't overdo it. Burnley are a Premier league team on merit.

    It's a shame when these blogs are interrupted by a MINORITY of West Ham fans who just can't let the Tevez affair go, it brings both clubs' reputations down and just looks like sour grapes. Put the tabloids down, guys, the courts sorted it out and it's football from now on!

    On the tube back home I said to my brother that I don't think I'd know what to do if we actually WON one of these matches, but once the usual post-Wembley/Millennium stadium downer was over, I started to look forward to what should be a storming season coming up in the Championship with a great mixture of big and little clubs, personalities and above all an even chance for everyone. What a great league!

  • Comment number 89.

    Glory Glory Burnley.As a fan since I saw the greats in 59-60, Jimmy Adamsom, McIlroy,Pointer,Connelly,the great Colin McDonald etc you have made most real football fans very happy in your run to the premership.
    Owen must stay and build a bit more so that when April comes next year Europe will beckon and hopefully we won't play Hamburg SV this time.
    The Chairman's generosity to season ticket fans is amazing so let's hope next season you finish in the top 8. I shall welcome you when you play Pompey and the London teams as I don't travel very well. God Bless Burnley-Jeff (West Sussex)

  • Comment number 90.

    There are some really nice comments on here... along with some ???

    We are still not sure whether Owen is staying, but whether or not we now have ourselves in the EPL.

    I was at Wembley, and whatever happens, I had the best weekend of my life.

    Bring on United.... !!!!! And Rovers!!!!

    Graham

  • Comment number 91.

    As a lifelong BFC fan it was a true privilege to be at Wembley where we opened the gateway to the promised land of the Premiership. A small club yes, but none without a bigger heart and desire.
    A truly fantastic day, its in my top 5 days of all time.....only one dampener and Paul you hit it right on the head....the traffic getting out from the carpark. It was close on 8.30pm when we left! Spirits were high but it would have been a nightmare if we would have lost!
    Looking forward now to seeing the Drogba's Rooney's and Ronaldo's of this world gracing the Turf!

    Mr C

  • Comment number 92.

    well done burnley ,speaking as a blade i hope you enjoy next season

    sad to hear some of the comments directed towards my club from "neutral" fans

    i think if you knew what really went on during the tevez arbitration and the stuff that was brought to light you might have a little more sympathy

    unforunately it seems football journalist nowadays would rather write about fairytale stories than report on the facts

    what happened to the premierleague /f.a. joint enquiry that was given evidence by lord griffiths that west ham carried on cheating AFTER they were punished for illegally fielding a player who then went on to singlehandedly keep them up

    anyway good luck burnley ,great manger great fans but dont be fooled by these madia types full of plaudits for you now next season when you are conceeding soft penaltys left right and centre they wont even mention it in their reports

  • Comment number 93.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 94.

    From Caracas, Venezuela congratulations to Burnley, the Clarets. I lived in Nelson from 1974 to 1977 where I was sudying at Nelson & Colne College, and used to go to Turf Moore to see the Clarets. I remember, if I am not wrong, that Burnley was at the top of the then first division, when they drew 1-1 with Liverpool, I can't remember the year. Lucky you people from Burnley, Nelson, Colne and all Lancashire that soon will be watching all the Premier League teams playing Burnlet at Turf Moore. Once again congratulations and from Venezuela I will be following the Clarets's fine performance.

  • Comment number 95.

    ok, im sorry if this is propoganda. However, ive been a burnley fan all my life, not by choice (i dont think anyone becomes a burnley fan by choice, your born into it), my dad was taking me to games before i can even remember them. We didnt go to them for a few years, we missed when we nearly went down to non league status (ironically we were in lincoln that day for a day out). We started going again in the 1991/1992 season and what a great time that was, that was the best season for burnley imo, (i missed this season cos ive moved abroad (what a shame)).

    anyhow now comes the propoganda part. like 10 years ago (maybe more i dunno) i was reading the fanzine and it came up with an interesting fact. U take the size of the town or city, then divide it by the number of league clubs there, then divide the remaining population by the average crowd, you find that burnley is (or was) the best supported club in the entire league.

    Certainly the passion when we went there is amazing. I lived in halifax, and the contrast between the 2 clubs is amazing. I would go to burnley on match days, and the local newspapers would have the club on the front page. the colours of claret and blue seem to be everywhere.

    My new co workers have heard me on a number of occassions about the team this season, but as anywhere abroad its all man u and liverpool. When i came in on tuesday after the game, i came into congratulations, to which i replied, looks liek we are gonan get an easy 12 points of your boys next season!!! COME ON YOU CLARETS!!!!!

  • Comment number 96.

    Anyone thinking the playoffs were unfair on Sheff Utd or Reading should think again. Although they finished in higher positions, over the course of the full season Burnley beat Reading 3 out of 4 times and beat Sheff Utd 3/3 times. Who can then say they didn't deserve to go up?

  • Comment number 97.

    As I watched the playoff final last year seeing Hull City get promoted I said to my son that, wouldn't be nice next year if Burnley could do the same! Nuff said, as I have watched Burnley from an early age sat on my Dad's shoulder at the tender age of 7. I watched the high flying Clarets battle away against the other top teams of Wolves, Spurs (with Danny Blanchflour), Preston (with Tom Finney), West Brom, Blackpool (with Stanley Matthews). What a real treat to see real honest football in the Premier League from a side that has no fear of anybody. With their ability coupled with teamwork and hard work there could be some upsets. Chelsea will have a culture shock when they are warming up at Turf Moor on a chilly November day with the wind coming off the moors and freezing their bank balances. This is will test their teamwork and abilities on a slightly frozen turf coupled the warming smell of the manure tantilisingly fresh off the bleak moorland farms. Such home comforts for the people Up North. Bring it on you southern people of distant lands. I bet Gary Lineker and Lee Dixon will be putting them to go down just as Hull City last season. It's about time some other clubs had a turn in the top flight on merit. So watch out next season, there could be a few shocks on the way for some clubs. Newcastle deserved to go down because they lost it at the beginning and all the way through the season and that is a fact, as Rafa would say. Don't discount Stoke City or anybody else, nobody is immune to relegation. It is easy for the Match of the Day pundits to sit there and pontificate on everything that has happened in a match but it is entirely different when you are playing.

    Anyway, good luck to everybody and may the bottom three be relegated, as long it is not Burnley and Hull City. Come on the Clarets and the Tigers. And Hull City are the only Yorkshire team in the Premier League and proud of it. Phil Brown has done a great job as Owen Coyle has and teamwork and a lot of luck will be what we want.

    Kevin Blackwell is a bad loser he does nothing but moan as Neil Warnock used to do. It must be the water in Sheffield, tha nose!

  • Comment number 98.

    RE 97. Did you stand in the 'Enclosure' up against the perimeter wall and shout " pass the hot milk Danny " when Blanchflower had the ball !
    And do you remember a young Alex Elder follow the old man Matthews about even when the wizard did'nt have the ball. My dad said that if Stan had have gone off for a pee, Elder would have followed him to the bog.
    Eh those were the days lad !

  • Comment number 99.

    RE 98. Yes I did stand in the 'Enclosure' but I did not remember shouting that. Yes I saw Alex Elder, he did not look any 'elder' when he hung up his boots. I remember the Cup Final Team of '62 coming to play Bowls at Earby Bowling Green with Bob Lord, I've have got that on video, taken by a local cine camera enthusiast at the time. I then took my son when he was 7 and he sat on my shoulders in the 'Longsight'. I even remember the game against Crewe Alexander with a few younsters in the side namely David Platt, Geoff Thomas and somebody whose name I have forgotten and I think Crewe won 3-1! I remember one match against Chelsea in the late sixties when the Clarets beat them 5-0 and they had the stars of the time Osgood and co. We gave them a good beating so look out Chelsea!

  • Comment number 100.

    Re 99. And that time we fielded 10 reserves against Chelsea and we were 3-0 up at half time. The match finished 3-3 and I think Greaves got all their goals. Blacklaw was the only 1st team regular for the Clarets. Then the F A fined BFC a thousand quid for not picking their strongest team.
    Can you still smell the aroma of 10,000 Park Drives being simultateously dragged? Its a wonder we're still alive with all that passive smoking !

 

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