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From Moses to Monty Python

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Phil McNulty | 08:30 UK time, Wednesday, 27 January 2010

At The Reebok Stadium

Owen Coyle travelled from Moses to Monty Python on his journey of justification after a night when emotions were as raw and bitter as the Lancashire weather.

Coyle, a deeply religious man, waxed biblical as he responded to banners and verbal abuse labelling him "Judas", insisting he is more akin to football's Moses after leading Burnley from the wilderness of the Championship to the Premier League's promised land.

He was at least able to detect humour amid the bile coming from 5,000 Burnley fans via a banner lifting from the finest line in Python's "Life of Brian" that told Coyle: "He's Not The Messiah. He's A Very Naughty Boy."

The famous Burnley declaration "Owen Coyle Is God" seemed an age away after his move to Bolton and his words of explanation were, to continue the Bible's theme, always going to fall on stony ground. At least he was able to seek comfort in a victory that allowed his new charges to move out of the bottom three as his old club dropped in.

Burnley fans register their dismay at Coyle's defectionBurnley fans register their dismay at Coyle's defection

It was only just over a month ago that I watched Coyle stand in the centre circle at Turf Moor and take acclaim in the manner of a conquering hero after Burnley, in his words, "stood toe-to-toe" with Arsenal and earned a deserved draw.

There is genuine sadness in the change those intervening weeks have brought after Coyle decided, in what he insists was "a purely footballing decision", to leave Burnley and move the 31 miles to Bolton. In doing so, Coyle has endangered his legacy to such an extent that there is every likelihood he will take the blame for leading the Clarets back to the wilderness if they end up being relegated.

The sense of betrayal among Burnley's fans was palpable even an hour before kick-off as they gathered with banners and chants - in one instance even a "Judas Coyle" haircut - all illustrating their contempt for a man they idolised just a few short weeks ago.

"Hypocrite. From Hero to Zero"..."Never Forgotten Never Forgiven"...and many more besides. None of them flattering. Coyle's appearance in the dug-out was highlighted by the flashlights of cameras - a signal for more invective to be aimed in his direction.

Coyle got what he wanted most from the night - the victory - but if he was hoping for a measure of sympathy and understanding from Burnley's fans, then he is in for a long wait. It will never come. Not on Tuesday's evidence.

Even he admitted he understood why Burnley supporters reacted in the furious manner they did at the mere sight of their former manager. Football and human nature being what it is, we all did - but Burnley must now focus on the Brian Laws era and what looks increasingly like a desperate fight for Premier League survival.

To wallow in the bitterness of Coyle's decision, understandable though it might be, will damage the cause and Burnley's fans must now move on. Laws rightly underscored their importance over the next few defining months, so perhaps it is better their early reacquaintance with Coyle allowed them to get it all out of their collective system.

Coyle made the conciliatory, some might suggest foolhardy, gesture of going on to the pitch at the final whistle to console the Burnley players he was trying to inspire a few short weeks ago, and also to applaud the visiting fans.

It was like poking an angry dog with a sharp stick. Cue more abuse, even when Coyle attempted to give a thumbs-up to the seething visiting support.

Coyle is an impressive figure and an impressive manager - hence the surprise expressed by myself and many others when he defected from Burnley to Bolton in what represents not a lot more than a sideways move. In its bluntest terms, I believed if he continued his progression at Turf Moor he might end up doing better than Bolton.

But he was passionate in defence of his decision after Bolton's win, deserved as it was through Lee Chung Yong's first half goal. He made an eloquent and persuasive case.

Coyle ran through a checklist of his achievements at Turf Moor, both footballing and financial, and you cannot argue with any of them. Don't forget, this was a manager who almost took them to the Carling Cup final as well as promotion last season.

This will not act as a shield against the anger of Burnley's fans, especially as they resemble a team who have had the stuffing comprehensively knocked out of them by the shock of his departure.

Coyle obviously felt the infrastructure and finance in place at Turf Moor meant Burnley could not move at the pace he wanted them to - the puzzle came with the belief that Bolton would be a massive upgrade. Time will tell.

All Burnley's worst fears were played out at the Reebok, where Coyle's effect on Bolton was seen in sharp contrast to the morale-shattering blow he has delivered to Burnley. Two insults for the price of one as far as Burnley are concerned.

Bolton are attempting to play more of the Coyle passing game but this transition will take time. Kevin Davies is still the fulcrum and the new manager is smart enough to utilise this strength.

The stats flowed - and none of them offered consolation to Burnley. This was Bolton's first clean sheet in the league this season while Burnley have only claimed one point out of a possible 36 away from Turf Moor.

As for Laws, he is already brutally aware of the task awaiting him. The worry was that, in the second half, the belief Burnley have shown on the road, despite the habitual defeats, seemed to be missing.

Laws got no help from good fortune either, with Chris McCann and the experienced Graham Alexander off injured inside 15 minutes. He was not feeling sorry for himself - but it would be a hard heart that did not feel sorry for him.

Coyle is now setting his sights on another promised land, namely Premier League survival with Bolton as Burnley attempted to avoid a return to the wilderness.

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  • Comment number 1.

    "a purely footballing decision" = I couldn't stop the rot at Burnley and will just survive relegation at Bolton. Then the job at Wigan that I've always dreamed about will be mine.

  • Comment number 2.

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

  • Comment number 3.

    You can certainly argue with the financial claims that Coyle has made, if a journalist in this country could be bothered to do some research they'd very quickly realise it was anything but the fairytale that's been painted about promotion to the Premier League. It was money spent, not Coyle that won us promotion.

  • Comment number 4.

    It was mentioned on TV last night that the Burnley Board looked back over the last 3 years to see which Championship Manager had done an excellent job at a club where results had been good enough working within a tight budget and Laws was the man. Not everyones choice maybe but Burnley needed a shrewd operator who can work with a limited squad on a limited budget. As an Accy Stanley supporter for over 40 years Burnley fans must be thankful for where they are and forget Coyle and move on and suport Laws

  • Comment number 5.

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

  • Comment number 6.

    Burnley relied totally on the skill and ability of their manager. They are overperforming by a monumental amount and 3 seasons ago you would never of said they have a chance to get where they are now.

    They have no money, poor facilities, squad of players who have the heart but fall way way short on ability. They only succeeded because Coyle worked out a system where they all worked and benefited as a team rather than building something round a few exceptional key players.

    Burnley through Coyle are livin the dream, this is the unlitmate for a football fan and without Coyle they wouldnt even be there.

    Just like burnley are taking full advantage of this position so too is the man that got them there, using his enhanced reputation to further his career and try and make his way to managing the best teams in the world.

    For some reason the burnley fans think Coyle owes them something.

    Its the other way round, and Coyles biggest mistake was walking on the pitch at the end of the game. He needs to turn his back to this childlike behaviour.

    What makes is worse is Burnly has replaced him with a manager who is nowhere near prem quality and more likely reflects the true standing of the club

  • Comment number 7.

    I'm having trouble trying to work out exactly what 'a footballing decision' is. And whatever it is, Mr Coyle's decision to leave to Bolton suggests that Burnley doesn't have enough 'football'. In that case, football must be about debt, dirty centre forwards and empty stadiums.

    Burnley might not have the most comfortable stadium in the world, or the best training facilities, but surely the example the team set by their successes last season only goes to show that football transcends those issues. Coyle had a warm welcome for life in Burnley, even if he'd've taken us down this season and moved on I can't see the reaction would have been this hostile. He'd have seen the job through and left us with a good foundation. It's the fact that halfway through a difficult season he decided, in a 'footballing manner', to take the reigns at a relegation rival.

    As for uncomfortable wooden seats in the precious Premier League. Get a grip. It's about time people remembered what football was really about. Maybe then we'd get some proper 'footballing decisions'.

  • Comment number 8.

    Cyril, why do you want us to go down so badly? For the most part of the season we have broke the premiership mould and shown that smaller clubs can get to and compete in the league. This is a real kick in the teeth at the moment as we have been totally decimated by Coyle and the entire backroom staff defecting to Bolton. Last night was dire the worst thing was that we abandoned our footballing principals and decided to try and 'out fight' Bolton.

    As for rather going to the Reebok then the Turf - are you having a laugh? A soulless ice hockey ground/shopping centre, out of town or a traditional proper football ground. Arm chair supporter are we?

  • Comment number 9.

    Owen Coyle has a life to live. Obviously Bolton gave him an offer he couldn't refuse...and he wanted to take the next step in his life and obviously benefit his family. I don't see nothing wrong with that...

    Burnley fans, is that how you repay a manager who brought you this far?! Maybe he you go back to the championship that's when you'll know how to be thankful for the little you have.

  • Comment number 10.

    It may have been tongue-in-cheek, but if Coyle is going to compare himself to Moses, leading a group of people out of the wilderness, I think he's missing the point that Moses didn't then leave the people behind while he joined a new lot.

    FWIW, I think Coyle was right to leave Burnley, but comparing himself to Moses as opposed to Judas misses the point the Burnley fans are making. And I'm sure he hopes he isn't being too prophetic, seeing as Moses never made it to the promised land...

  • Comment number 11.

    Another good blof from you here Phil.

    To me this just demonstrates just how short some football fans memories are.

    A bit off subject here, but I remember going to watch the United v Blackburn game in the 05/06 season. Blackburn won at Old Trafford 2-1.

    Phil quick piece of trivia for you, who scored Blackburn's goals?

    Blackburn's winner was scored by virtue of a mis-placed pass from Scholesy (collectors item). Obviously a fans reaction to a goal is very heat out of the moment, but the man a couple of rows behind me screamed, 'you useless ginger b****rd,' that after everything he has done for the club, which really ticks me off. But like I said, you could perhaps be forgiven as this is an 'on-the-spot' reaction, however this kind of behaviour from fans really iritates.

    I thought Coyle was right to remind Burnley fans of what he has done for them, - by means of a clever biblical reference. He has pulled Burnley from the mire, two seasons ago Burnley were a middle-of-the-table championship club, seeminly going nowhere fast, however Owen Coyle has managed to achieve fast-track success with them, getting them into the promised land, playing attractive football (albeit conceding hat-fulls), with very limited resources compared to many championship clubs never mind premier league clubs. A phenomenal achievement!

    To be honest when I heard Bolton were sniffing around owen Coyle, I thought they had abbsolute no choice of luring away from Burnley, as he seemed very dedicated to the project currently running at Burnley. I would add as I am only 17, I wasn't aware at this point he had played for Bolton and had connections with them.

    On the flip-side of the coin, what more was there for him to achieve with Burnley? Maybe he felt he could take them no further. Lets face it with the money, and players he had at his disposal at Burnley, he has worked a miracle getting them this far, and Coyle may have looked at this and thought lets go out on a high!

    Another thing, with his 'Bolton link' I feel Coyle must have viewed this as ann opportunity he couldn't afford to miss, as undoubtedly managers are commited tontheir clubs, but it must be that much more special taking charge of a club you once represented as a player.

    So to close, although Burnley fans may feel angered, in my view they should respect Coyle's decision and take into acccount everything he did for them, because in my view they wouldn't be in the healthy position they are without him.

    And all this 'Coyle-bashing' may help Burnley fans get Coyle's departure out of the system, but ultimately it won't change what has happened.

    So move on, and good luck for the future!

  • Comment number 12.

    The bit the football press totally missed at Bolton under Megson was the demise of our core supporters, who after generations of loyalty, simple abandoned their season tickets in the face of some truly negative football. Not that under Big Sam we purred like the Arsenal, but we embraced a passion and desire to upset the norm and climb into the rarefied air of European football.

    I remember Owen Coyle as a player, held in the same regard as Big Sam, McGinley, Campo and Jay Jay, and regardless of the press reaction, Coyle’s arrival at the Reebok has been truly remarkable, a club woken from the unwanted slumber, once again up and ready for the fight.

    Top six, no, in today’s Premiership world the top four's money cartel has impressive defences, which Villa, Spurs and City have still not breached, however, a return to the days when we were a pain in the side of those boys, most definitely.

    Sideways move Phil? No, I see this more like a David Moyes move, and if Owen can replicate the stunning management Moyes has provided at Everton, I for one will be content.

  • Comment number 13.

    A lot of football fans get a form of Munchausens whenever their manager leaves and try to score points by playing the victim - it is really quite pathetic seeing grown men holding up Judas banners!

  • Comment number 14.

    Moses led the chosen people into the wilderness, not out of it! Hopefully, having had the opportunity to vent our spleen, we can now move on and focus on our team.
    Too much has been said and written about Coyle and it has been too much of a distraction.

    Cyril - wooden seats are far more comfortable (and warm) than plastic. Plastic seats, plastic fans and a plastic team?

  • Comment number 15.

    Surely the risk Coyle would have been taking by staying at Burnley is that the season could have ended with relegation and his good work would have been quickly forgotten about. Phil Brown stands as a good example, a manager whose team performed above itself for half a season and then plummeted back down the table. I certainly haven't heard him being touted as a candidate for big jobs??!

    If Burnely had stayed up and then progressed under Coyle he would have been considered a very good manager but with the resources they have available this would have been difficult if not impossible. If he keeps Bolton in the Prem and they then move up the table and maybe even push for Europe next season Coyle will most likely be a candidate for any major job vacancy that turns up.

    I completely understand the Burnley fans bitterness towards him and he has taken a risk but in terms of a career move and in footballing terms, the decision he made is a logical one.

  • Comment number 16.

    To Chris...a lot of what Owen Coyle said to us afterwards appeared to be based on the lack of financial firepower that would be available to him at Burnley, and as a consequence he would be unable to move the football side of things forward as quickly as he would have liked. I would suggest it was a footballing decision, but one made on a strong financial basis...if that makes sense.

  • Comment number 17.

    I can understand why Coyle took the Bolton job at this the past he's stated that the only jobs he'd leave Burnley for were Bolton and Celtic. As he passed up the Celtic job in the summer, he wasn't going to let this job go past him, because he couldn't be sure how long it would be before either post would become available again. I believe that is the reason he decided to take the Bolton job now, rather than stay at Burnley.

  • Comment number 18.

    As a Preston supporter I say well done to Burnley and hope you stop up. It just shows that with organisation and commitment what can be acheived. I know that some P N E fans still feel aggrieved with Billy Davies for leaving us after the play offs,but I say thanks for the memories and excitement and good luck. I suggest the Burnley fans say the same to Owen Coyle.

  • Comment number 19.

    Bottom line, Coyle had a contract with Burnley, he owed it to them to see his contract out before moving on, whether for money or "footballing decision". For not doing thta, for not accepting Burnley wanted him to stay and for re-enforcing the false divide about clubs (some should survive in the PL and maintain stauts quo, some shouldn't) the term Judas is more than reasonable from the Burnley fans. Whether are not he is dignified or decent is irrelevant, those are perceptions, the reality he left Burnley with a job unfinished, that is all the record should show.

  • Comment number 20.

    Coyle never promised he'd stay at Burnley, their fans need to get over it and start getting behind Laws.

    Why is it in football that if a manager gets offered more money it's not acceptable, whereas in any other walk of life changing jobs for more money is a no-brainer?

    If Burnley fans look at it this way instead and that Coyle had never been manager, the chances are they'd still be in the Championship. What's been better, having a season and maybe more in the Premier League, or staying in mid-table mediocrity in the Championship?

    Coyle got them top-flight football for the first time since 1974 or whenever it was and has given them a decent chance of staying up, which Burnley fans would have taken without thinking at the start of the season. He should go down as a great in Burnley's history.

    Bolton are an established Premier League club with more potential than Burnley, they'll have more resources to buy players and pay better wages, it made sense for him to join them.

  • Comment number 21.

    Dear moderator,

    it is obvious why my comment is still awaiting moderation, but I feel I have blanked out that word sufficiently so that iit would not cause offence, but readers would still be abkle to interpret what I mean.

    This is the first time this has happened, and I'm a little disappointed as I feel I've done my part, and I find it difficult to understand that what I've said would cause any offence.

    Anyway hope you make the correct decision, and publish my comment for viewing.

  • Comment number 22.

    As A St Johnstone fan I remember being very surprised when he got given our managers post. He had turned down 2 transfers to us as a player and people even said they would not renew season tickets

    He won us over with 3 national semi finals in 2 seasons and was seconds away from promotion to the SPL, but we all knew he was better than Saints and when Burnley came calling he left. it was the week of a cup final and while some were upset we moved on. Now we are back in the SPL and in yet more semi finals so Burnley can survive

    I can understand their fans frustrations as he has moved to a team in the same league and a local rival. If Coyle had left to go to Dundee or Dundee United as Paul Sturrock did from St Johnstone we would have had the same reaction and to this day despite the foundations Sturrock laid for our most sucessful season in the last 30 years Sturrock is still refered to as Judas!

  • Comment number 23.

    Burnley fans. Get over yourselves, Owen Coyle is the reason you are enjoying the premier league this season. He is the reason you got to see your team beat one of the best club sides in the world at Turf Moor. Concentrate of giving your boys the support they need otherwise you will go down. They need you to re-create the self belief Burnley have shown all season. If you keep playing at Turf Moor the way you have been playing you will be fine. I hope you stay up and let's get some of the rubbish out of the league like Hull (with their idiotic manager).

  • Comment number 24.

    Rick, I'm a Hull fan, and there's not many peolpe I cant stand in football, but Brian Laws is one of them.

    So there's two reasons why I really want you to go go down. You go down then it's more likely we stay up and, I don't like Brian Laws.

  • Comment number 25.

    An interesting blog Phil, as a Burnley supporter that attended last night's game I was not suprised at all at the vitriol directed at Owen Coyle, it was always going to happen, we will move on as clubs do but with the fixture coming so soon after Coyle's departure it was inevitable that he would get some stick,I think the Burnley supporters are as miffed about the decimation of our backroom staff as well as Coyle leaving and consequently he becomes the one who is targeted, I for one am firmly behind Brian Laws and whatever happens this season (even relegation !) i'm sure Burnley fans will continue to show the same passion and commitment in the in answer to the blog, we have moved on !
    And just on the wooden seating issue Cyril, that is absolutely typical of the arrogance of some premier league supporting idiots...try following a real football club !

  • Comment number 26.

    this is for JON

    if you have ever read the story of moses, he led them into the wilderness to escape persecution and suffering as slaves, please, don't take things out of context

  • Comment number 27.

    I’m not sure that Burnley FC ever considered themselves ‘in the wilderness’. Until last night, possibly. Perhaps people are right and the Burnley fans should remember what Coyle did for the club (apart from dumping them in the brown sticky stuff, of course). But perhaps people should also remember what Burnley did for Coyle. Name me another manager who’s failed to get a win on his travels and still been hailed a god by the fans.

    Going onto the pitch at the final whistle last night was (hopefully) Coyle’s final act of betrayal. You don’t point sticks at angry dogs. You certainly don’t point them at wounded dogs. Burnley fans are deeply hurt, and understandably so. Many have compared his departure to being dumped by a spouse/partner. One that you loved. One that told you how much he loved you, how he was there for the long-term, etc. Discovering that, behind the lies, he’s actually been sleeping with someone else and is abandoning you simply because that someone else has a bigger bank balance, nicer house, faster car and more comfortable seats is hard to take.

    However, Moses didn’t get to the promised land and Coyle isn’t there yet. Burnley played exceptionally badly last night, but Bolton weren’t a whole lot better.

    The fat lady might be warming up but she hasn’t sung yet.

    Up the Clarets!

  • Comment number 28.

    Total nonsense Burnley fans getting upset. Coyle done a good job & got you's to the promise land. The problem with some fans, grown men might I add (like a 60 year old in the image above holding a judas sign) is when they don't get what THEY want they make a scapegoat of the manager. Who before him (Coyle) you's had the cigars out languishing above the relegation zone in the C'ship. Coyle had ambition & got promotion, what more do Burnley want???

    Coyle wanted to done something different, yes he may have moved from Netto to Lidl but whats wrong with that, let him get on his bike & cycle the 31 miles. Why, especially in Football do we hate someone for moving on to a different team, surely you thank someone for their services, move on & have the bit between your teeth to beat that person the next, not slate them abusively.

    The Bolton fans got Megson sacked, THEY hurled abuse at him for months no one feels sorry for him & you don't see Megson holding signs up outside the Reebok. But when a manager wants to move on the fans get upset......

    Isn't it more entertaining Coyle managing down the road & the likes of Tevez playing for City now I think so. ;-)

  • Comment number 29.

    All the best managers to gain promotion stay at least until the end of the first season, Coppell, Allardyce, Bruce, Pulis, even Jewell. No matter how much they struggled. He obviously wasn't confident enough in his own ability to keep them up and so jumped ship before it tarnished his reputation. Can't see him doing particularly well with Bolton, any success he does get was built by Megson anyway who was unlucky to lose his job. Some of these fans just don't know how to show faith do they?

  • Comment number 30.

    When he signed his contract renewal with Burnley in July, he was told exactly what his budget was going to be, and by signing it, he agreed to that. This is why all his whingeing about his budget throughout December rankled with Burnley fans.

    For all his talk of attracting players to the club for the right reason, the football we played, the fairytale cup run and promotion, and not the wages (playing staff wages capped at 15k per week), the moment he got a better monetary offer, off he went into the sunshine

    It is the hypocrisy which gets to us loyal Burnley fans more than anything.

    You could understand if he had left at the end of the season had we gone down, but to go mid-season, to a direct relegation rival, and take all the backroom staff with him, purely for the wages, THIS is why we will forever call him a traitor.

    I was there at the Reebok last night, and the Burnley fans sang their hearts out, it wasn't just a torrent of abuse as some have suggested. There was a lot of abuse for Coyle at the start and end of the game, but during the match it was our normal songs.

    As for Bolton's football, well, it is effective, but there's little else you could say in favour of it. Coyle is going to have his work cut out to make anywhere near like his beautiful football ethos

  • Comment number 31.

    The people that say that Owen never promised them he'd stay... he had a contract at Burnley. What's better... giving a person a little taste of the best cake, showing and suggesting that you can bring them more and then taking it away to someone else , or not them never having tasted the cake?
    I'm sure Burnley fans wouldn't have really minded if they went back down after the season.. but when the person that took you there then abandons the club mid-season and also takes away training staff.. that disrupts the club too much that their chances are severely slashed to battle for survival. Surely it's understandable that they wanted a fair crack at the the premier league, and it being notoriously difficult for any promoted team to lay claim to being in the premiership, it doesn't help when the person you highly regarded as being the reason you were there then leaves the club in a shambles in the relagation zone with even more against them than just a change of manager.

    Whatever his reasons for going to Bolton, the aftermath from Burnley was no surprise and should have been, as I'm sure it was, part of his considerations at the time. This is part and parcel of the move and he'll have to live with the tainted reputation he has left there.

  • Comment number 32.

    Football fans have a short memory. Go back eight-ten years and Bolton were where Burnley are now, newly promoted. Those pronouncing doom over Burnley and Bolton's salvation would do well to look at Newcastle. This game has a funny way of biting you in the bum. Don't be surprised if, come May, Bolton need a favour from Burnley to stay up. Football is cruel like that.

  • Comment number 33.

    I can't believe the people that have put us down for certain relegation! What's even worse is the people saying we'll be worse than Derby!

    I think we have proven a point Coyle or no Coyle! We used the game last night to vent our fustration but now we have moved on! THANKYOU PHIL!

    We WILL stay up! We WILL fight! We WILL NOT surrender! There's much more to Burnley than a (F)Lying Scotsman!


  • Comment number 34.

    I'm not a fan of Burnley, Bolton or any Premiership side so I thought I might make a few objective observations:

    1 - #3: If it was money spent rather than Coyle that won you promotion then there's nothing to be upset about is there?

    2 - Burnley fans, ask yourselves this: Would you rather have not had Coyle at all? If the answer is yes then you prob wouldn't be in the Prem right now. If the answer's no, then stop whining. The guy did well for you while he was there.

    3 - #19: Yup Coyle had a contract with Burnley and Burnley had every right to hold him to that contract, however they chose not to. This is pretty normal in all businesses, especially football. If Coyle had lost every game this season and was rooted to the bottom of the Prem then I think the chairman might have looked to end his contract as well.

    4 - I can see why Burnley fans are upset - as I said, he was obviously a good manager for you - but grown men taking the time to write banners, get so worked up and abusive etc. Honestly, back your manager and get a life! And I'm not writing this as an 'armchair' fan, I'm at every Ashton Gate game to watch Bristol City (and yes - that does include last night's embarrassment). I'm just writing as a grown-up.

    5 - #14: Correct re Moses. Although to be fair to the old fella, he did lead them out of Egypt, which was none to pleasant for the Jews at the time what with the slavery and all that. Not comparing the Championship to slavery mind you, though bearing in mind the game I watched last night, it isn't always that far off. Also completely agree that any fan with half a brain would rather visit Turf Moor than the Reebok. And wooden seats are definately the way forward. Was gutted when I found my seat in the Dolman stand had been changed one year.

    Apologies for having a little vent and I know it isn't only Burnley fans that nehave in this way. It just gets a little tiresome.

  • Comment number 35.

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

  • Comment number 36.

    Owen Coyle did a fantastic job for burnley. Let's not forget that...Moving to Bolton? Mystery!!! Why oh why would you do that?

    Well maybe it was the boards lack of ambition, not giving money to bring players in that resulted in the jump. There is a balance between keeping within a budget and spending a little to help you survive. Not sure if the board have that concept yet.

    Brian Laws was cheap that is why we got him. Will he help us survive? I hope so. We might even be able to pick up another point away or even 3.

    As for Bolton. There seems to be a confidence that they have money. Look at the actual accounts, you maybe suprised. The playing staff are not that great either. Yes they have some good players, but most of the squad is not upto the job and over paid. Good luck selling some of them with the contracts they have.

    Coyle has a lot of work to do to change the style of play. Most of the team will need shipping out, heavy investment to bring them in. That was not the case a Burnley. Most of the players were cheap, hungry and young. That is why they have the desire that they have. They don't cost a fortune and have a point to prove. What have Bolton got? A bunch of players that have just avoided relegation for a few seasons. It will happen to Bolton, they will go down sooner rather than later. This is why Coyle's decision is a little strange ' footballing matter' no i think not. Mr Coyle is entitled to earn more money and why not, i would if i could, but at them same time i would like to finish the job I started.

    We have to move on from that, the focus should be on the Burnley team. We still have the same players, they need to find that fight again. 17th is what we would have settle for at the start of the season. Lets go for it. Don't celebrate too early Bolton fans, it's only 3 points, you are not out of the woods yet.

  • Comment number 37.

    28. "The Bolton fans got Megson sacked, THEY hurled abuse at him for months no one feels sorry for him & you don't see Megson holding signs up outside the Reebok. But when a manager wants to move on the fans get upset......"

    Democracy. A manager moving's not the point. It's at what time he left them, the situation they were in, and also the fact that he took backroom staff as well. He might as well have taken the canteen sink too.

  • Comment number 38.

    Interesting piece Phil, but there are an awful lot of clubs in the north west trying to make it into the big time. Burnley made it up but will probably not now survive.

    I think Coyle's move made sense because, unlike Burnley, Bolton are an established Premier League act. This is a very important consideration. So it isn't really a sideways move. Shouting the rafters off at Turf Moor can only take you so far, after all.

    As for other opportunities for Coyle, where exactly are you thinking of, Phil? None of the big clubs would have gone for him. As for the rest, Bolton are amongst a group of ten or so clubs vying to survive. Three will fail in the attempt and Bolton will probably not be one of them now.

    The same applies to Mark Hughes. Leaving aside the media fuss over his dismissal, it will be interesting to see what kind of club takes Hughes on next.

    My view is Hughes will be out of a job for a long time, unless he follows Maclaren's example and goes to the Continent.

  • Comment number 39.

    All you sneering Burnley fans, get over yourselves! Owen Coyle has moved jobs, he hasn't brought your club to the ground, he hasn't left with all of your decent players, he's moved on to another job. At the end of the day he's moved job for the good of himself, I'm absolutely sure that he is more concerned with his own life/career than with what you lot think he should do.

    I also noticed that some people on here are now saying that Coyle wasn't really the reason for Burnley's success (one person saying it was the money spent). If this is true, you wont really miss him then will you...

  • Comment number 40.

    If Coyle wanted to prove himself as a manager Bolton is not the place to do it. Their financial clout, whilst bigger than Burnley, is nothing in comparison to the rest of the Premier League and some of the Championship. He should have built up his stock at Burnley and then moved when a mid-size club called.

  • Comment number 41.

    It's laughable that Coyle is comparing himself to Moses. Moses didn't part the Red Sea and when his people were half way across, abandoned them leaving them to drown.

  • Comment number 42.

    Great blog Phill. I think the Burnley reaction is a tough call.

    As a neutral I can see why they would be angry, as they have been dumped and are now likely to go down. Regardless of what someone has done for you, you would always feel hard done by when a manager quites for another club- especialy when its close by and a potential relegation rival.

    In reality, in some respects they should have been greatfull, but it's how quickly he jumped ship and left them in them to their fate that probably annoys them. Plus when you like somone and they leave- bit like when you get dumped/break up with someone- you hate them for a while/but also like them! Similar here. Deep down they like him, but are annoyed he went and slept with the next door neighbour!

  • Comment number 43.

    I think what is meant here by a 'footbaling decision' is better for his career. Remember Paul Jewell when he was working similar miricles at Wigan and was hot property as far as managers were concerned. Forward to Derby and getting routed week in, week out. Which Premier League club wants him at the helm now? I think Coyle cashed in while his stock was high knowing that their luck could change at any minute and he could soon become a forgotten man. At least he has a chance to cement his reputation as a Premier League manager at Bolton. So give him a break!

  • Comment number 44.

    I can understand the anger and disappointment that Burnley fans feel towards their old manager. However my sympathese have to lie with Coyle.

    As we have seen across football in recent years, at all levels and in all countries both players and managers can go from a legend to receiving their P45 in no time at all. Further more this is not solely an issue for the Premier Leagues elite and clubs with new found riches who are chasing success. Simply look at Darren Ferguson and Peterborough for proof.

    I am not agreeing with this, I am just stating it as fact. Coyle left Burnley for "footballing reasons" which we can only assume means furthering his own career. Burnley fans feel as if they have been uncermoniously dumped by a manager that they thought would stick by them.

    The sad fact is that if results started going the other way then the Burnley board would have done exactly the same to him. Therefore I don't thinnk that fans should show anger towards a manager that did so much for them because they know, deep down, the club they love would undoubtedly drop him with no more love, if they thought it was in their best interest.

    Enjoy the good times with managers or players until one side (club or staff) decides that they are going to look after their own careers.

    I dont think its a good thing but its a sad fact about the nature of the game.

  • Comment number 45.

    Cyril - what are you talking about?

    Burnley play far more attractive football than the "lump it up to Kev" tactics of Bolton.

    And what genuine football fan (who has no involvement with the club) wishes he went to a game purely to see genuine anger of honest fans who have been let down by a manager?

    I hope Bolton drop like a stone through the leagues.

  • Comment number 46.

    I think that it will be a crying shame if Burnley get demoted. Not just a burnley fan but as a footy fan. The premier league is getting way out of hand atm. Players paid stupid amounts of money, clubs in masses of debt on the verge of going out of buisness and worst of all the fans!!! You need a club like 'little' Burnley to remind you what the game is a about. A club that is managed within it's means, a club that has humbled the likes man u, arsenal and chelsea within the last year, a club where the fans are loyal no matter what and the players play for the team and not the blooming money!!! No other club in the prem has good old footballing traditions like burnley (that is not to say you are all traditionless). Some of you winge because you have to sit on wooden seats when you come to burnley (thats cos we save the plastic ones for ourselves in the north and east stands :P), and turn against a manager who has helped you avoid relegation(yes you, you pathetic bunch of boltons fans)or because your latest billionare owner isnt pumping as many millions of pounds into your club as you hoped. And for some reason you all think burnley has no right to be in the prem. You need a club like us to remind you of what it is all about, the football. Good attacking football, with plenty of drama and upsets!

    And to sssssssssspppuurrrrssss you obv have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. It is not like Owen Coyle took away the players ability when he left the club. Not like he took Alexanders unfalting ability to score penalties is it? Or Eagles pace and fancy little tricks he does. Was it Owen Coyle who kicked that ball to score the goal in the play off final? Nope, that being said he is still an good manager. But Brain Laws knows how to keep teams with small budgets playing attacking footy too.

    I for one have no bad feelings for Coyle, he did well for us. He deserves much better than Bolton though, I wonder how long it is till they turn on him when he cant keep you afloat. But I also think the burnley fans desereved to get it off their chests! He did leave us at possibly the most important point of the season. But now we should forget it and start getting behind the team and Mr Laws!

  • Comment number 47.

    Clarethen got this right. Moses led the people out of Egypt and they then spent 40 years in the wilderness before he died. Joshua then led them into the promised land. Simple facts wrong.

    Here is the scenario. Bloke has job, leaves job for rival company. Fans do it all the time, why not managers?

  • Comment number 48.

    Interesting blog and as a neutral I have to tend to agree with the columnist, however I'm sure its not that easy for Burnley fans.

    However, they do need to concentrate on their own club now and in my view bring in a player or 2 to freshen things up and give them a chance of staying up. We're 27 days into the transfer window and no new signings thus far. Surely there's a player out there they could get that wouldn't bankrupt them?

  • Comment number 49.

    Burnley fans weren't the slightest bit bothered when they pinched Coyle from St Johnstone mid-season.

    Now that it has happened to them there seems to be a lot of uproar.


    Hypocrisy in the extreme.

  • Comment number 50.

    I think it is far too simplistic for some posters to say Burnley fans should just get over it. It is human nature for them to feel betrayed by what happened.

    I hope, however, that they now focus on getting right behind Brian Laws because he, along with his players, need their help and I have seen just how superb their support can be this season.

    I asked Coyle last night whether he was hurt by the reaction. He said he had a genuine understanding of the feelings of the Burnley fans, but listed his achievements and insisted he was the only one who knew all the facts behind his move.

    Having witnessed the great relationship Coyle had with Burnley's fans, I do think it is genuinely sad that it has turned sour in this way. That's football I suppose.

  • Comment number 51.

    Burnley fans - get over it! Leave the guy alone! He's provided you with the most successful few years you could possibly have hoped for, and everyone knows you couldn't go much further. Ok, Bolton is hardly a massive step up,but it is a bigger place with a bigger fanbase and a bit of money to spend. Burnley's population is in the region of 50000, yet he got you into the premier league! The population of Darlington, the bottom club in the football league is 100000, twice as big, probably twice as many fans, yet they're completely screwed. Enjoy being in the premier League, don't blame a guy who has given you victory over Man United, an incredible Carling Cup run and promotion to the Premier league for making a career choice. He's not even from Burnley, he's Scottish. He probably never supported them when he was young so how you can call him a traitor I'll never know. Now if Paul Scholes or Ryan Giggs signed for Liverpool after having an entire career at United and supporting them all their life, then yes, maybe they could be called traitors. But Coyle, a Scot with no history at Burnley before the last few seasons? Be thankful that he has given you lot, an absolutley tiny club, a season of playing against some of the best teams in the world. Honestly, why are so many football fans so stupid and wound up that they turn a feeling of disappointment (which is understandable) into a personal feeling of hatred. Grow up you fools. He's at a bigger (if only slightly) club and probably getting paid more money. If any of the angrier Burnley fans out there randomly got a job managing Hartlepool for a couple of years, taking them into the Premier League with no money to spend, and earning, I don't know £100 000 a year, and were suddenly offered a job managing Sunderland who had money to spend and offered you a much bigger salary, would you accept it? Of course you would, because you're not Hartlepool fans, you'd taken the club as far as you could, you're ambitious and the money is better. It's common sense, it happens in every industry. Deal with it and enjoy your one off top flight season!

    By the way I'm a Liverpool fan and have no care in the world for Bolton. Think yourself lucky Benitez isn't your manager.

  • Comment number 52.

    Nice blog.

    I was at the game last night, and I still feel numb. I think Bolton actually put together some nice football moves last night, whilst Burnley's biggest threats came from a couple of Alexander corners in the first ten minutes.

    I don't understand Laws playing 'hoofball' against Knight and Cahill - we were never going to win that battle. Why didn't we play some balls down the channels where Eagles and Paterson were or attempt some through balls from midfield for Fletcher and Nugent to run on to (i.e. play to our strengths)?

    Laws tactics over the last two games havn't been right, and the players we've been linked with today fill me with no confidence.

    Coyles tactics and signings were also suspect on occasions but there was always optimism amongst Burnley fans with him at the helm; it didn't matter if we went a goal behind because we were always confident of scoring ourselves. The way we rolled over last night after going 1 nil down was heartbreaking.

    Coyle was a fantastic manager for Burnley, and I hate not being able to 'wish him well'. And what he did last night after the game was awful - there was no need to 'console' our players on the pitch in full view of the Burnley fans and then come over to the travelling support. It has left a very sour taste.

  • Comment number 53.

    #3- what are you talking about? Coyle pointed out that he sold 5 millions worth of players and bought 3 millions worth that made the club a 2 million profit from transfers. For a squad that only used just over 20 players last season, thats hardly anything to do with money spent to get you promoted.

    I understand the reaction from the fans last night. If for instance he had gone to someone up the table like Villa or Liverpool etc that first meeting with Burnley the fans would of adored him still. No fans or anyone outwith Coyle's head knows the ins and outs of his deal to go to Bolton. This however could be the best move he ever makes - if he keeps Bolton up -. He is going to try and change a team that is known for long ball tactics and being physical into a team that trys to play football and if he succeeds everyone will notice and that will get him a "proper" job in the future.

    Football is cruel at times but with my club (Hibs) I'm used to it. Clubs like us lose players all the time we adore to the Old Firm and can't properly replace them but you guys lose 1 man and it's like it's the end of the world. Maybe it's time to get over it and get behind Brian Laws before you are in a chamionship promotion chase again.

  • Comment number 54.

    That's definitely football for you, Phil. Carlos Tevez was idolised by United fans but the second he joins City he's vilified. I'm sure if he'd joined any other club than City it wouldn't have been so bad but that's still what happens in football. If Steve Gerrard were to leave Liverpool, whether it be for Chelsea or Real Madrid, I'm sure the fans would have a short memory and would slag him off to high heaven when he returned.

    I suppose a great part of the Burnley fans' response to Coyle's decision is the untold implication of the move, which is that Coyle doesn't believe Burnley are good enough to stay up, even with him in charge. I sometimes wonder if this situation would happen at all had Megson been sacked in the summer, what with Coyle turning down Celtic back then.

  • Comment number 55.

    Burnley fans should be getting down on their knees and thanking Owen Coyle for getting them into the Premier League.

    Hope you enjoyed the ride. It could be some time before you're back.

  • Comment number 56.

    Arsenalforlife. What has the BNP got to do with it. I didn't vote and most of the town didn't. The fact that no one showed up got them in. This however is nothing to do with football. We have a number of black players in our squad and plenty of supporters from multi-cultural and multi-faith backgrounds. So don't bring that into it, if anyone should take a look at themself it is you, why would you make such a small minded idiotic comment. Oh yes and Arsenal glory seeker

  • Comment number 57.

    #35 There's always one isn't there ? Don't tar all of us with the same racist brush you fool, there is a lot of hard work going on in the area to eradicate the issues that we have and is not helped by people like you fuelling it. Anyway there has been some good points on both sides of the argument here and I think many supporters see the broader picture of what's happened at Turf Moor, I just want to concentrate on the positives and the future and please Phil no more Owen Coyle and Burnley blogs...your'e not helping either !
    Up the Clarets

  • Comment number 58.

    He was never going to stay at Burnley long term if a more attractive position became available and the Burnley fans need to be realistic about that.

    Coyle did a fantastic job at Burnley and the fans should remember that too. He probably felt he took the club about as far as he could and left them in a fantastic position.

    Bolton aren't a massive club, but I think Coyle would consider them to have a bigger budget, have better facilities to allow him to move a step closer to being a successful Premiership manager.

    Let's also not forget that Allardyce proved it was a club capable f challenging for the European places and it's a club close to his heart.

  • Comment number 59.

    I think Coyle has made the right choice. It was a nice story: getting Burnley promoted; playing nice football; attacking the big boys. It was never going to last though, and I think he would've done well to avoid relegation. Burnley just don't have the structure or finances to stay in the Prem.
    I think in Botlon Coyle is at a club that has a reasonable Premiership history, a new stadium and a chairman who will back the manager (in terms of patience and finances). If Coyle can do well at Bolton - which I think he can - then I feel there will be bigger jobs available to him than there would have had he stayed at Burnley.
    As for the Burnley fans, I can understand that they would be upset, but what more do they want from the man? He got them back into the top flight, gave them a good cup run and provided entertaining football; there really wasn't too much more he could've done.

  • Comment number 60.

    I don't understand the accusation that Coyle "took the backroom staff."
    Surely they chose to go with him?

  • Comment number 61.

    given the fact he would be out of a job if he lost 7 or 8 games in a row, why should he care? clubs get rid of their managers without giving them a fair chance most of the time, so why should managers threat clubs with respect?

  • Comment number 62.

    Burnley didn't have divine right over Coyle, we paid you around £3M for him apperently and hes moved on to a club he played for and supports, Burnely need to get behind Laws and fight for survival. Coyle placed you in the strongest position he could, he knew he needed to move on and it's liike when Big Sam left Bolton.
    Newcastle had more money, larger fan base, larger staduim, bigger name players. Like Bolton have a larger fan base, larger staduim, more money and bigger name players, PLUS he actually played for us and is very well reagarded, Newcastle were below us for the last 4 seasons so that can be seen asd a sideways movement even more then this one. But you didnt hear us in the news calling Sam a Judas and that he betrayed us, no we got on with it and survived and you should start trying to as well!

  • Comment number 63.

    arsenal for life, absolute shocking comment. why should the football team be relegated for something the town does - whom the football club arent directly linked with?

  • Comment number 64.

    Jamie Riley - I agree that fans make on-the-spot reactions that are sometimes ridiculous. These days it's all 'who are ya?' and other meaningless, generic football songs where fans just substitute the name of their own team for the one that was there originally. Nothing has any soul anymore and this annoys me more than most things about modern football.

    But I understand the Burnley fans' anger here. Coyle did a great job getting them where they are now, and they've done it by playing football - not doing a Hull (bitter Spurs fan here!) and trying to kill difficult matches through ultra cynical tactics. In fact, that might turn out to be Burnley's downfall. (I don't have anything against Hull by the way, and I know they're scrapping for points.)

    Although Bolton have been up for a lot longer than Burnley and no doubt have a far superior infrastructure, that's surely an inevitable part of being an established Premier League club. With time in the Premier League comes greater income, and greater income leads to superior training facilities, stadia, etc. If he'd stayed and kept Burnley up for a couple of years, surely they'd have been on the road to achieving what Bolton have achieved? I might be proved wrong, but I do feel that it looks like a sideways step to a club that was in Burnley's position not so long ago.

    All in all, hang in there Burnley fans. Us Spurs fans know from bitter experience that you can't get proccupied with someone who's turned his back on the club and moved on to pastures new. You've got to focus on what you do, and channel your energy into supporting your boys. They've been great to watch and made a real fist of things at Turf Moor. They'll need your support and your hope if they're to recapture that. As long as you slip-up on the last day of the season, I hope you manage to do it soon!

  • Comment number 65.

    I think any town which has elected a member of the BNP to represent them in any form of parliament deserves to be relegated.

    They dont deserve to be watched by millions of multinational people throughout the world and they certainly do not deserve money from SKY.

    Only because you had to cheat to get a point off us in December!

    Honestly, it's funny how people have turned on us! Seriously it is hilerious that we have been punished so serverly! HAHAHA!

    Now go back under your rock you plastic!

  • Comment number 66.

    Whats wrong with someone having ambitions, clearly owen thought that bolton was a step up, am sure most people in their own work place would take a promotion if the oportunity came their way, football in that sense is no different, players and managers have ambitions.

    While i can understand fans feeling dissapointed i find it pathetic seeing people with judas banners, i mean come on, comparing him to judas is going a tad far dont you think? I find it slightly cringe worthy grown men swearing and hurling abuse at him, what kind of example does that set.

  • Comment number 67.

    All this episode has done is confirm that a great many football fans are detached from reality and aren't worth trying to reason with.

  • Comment number 68.

    1. At 09:25am on 27 Jan 2010, Blip2097 wrote:

    "a purely footballing decision" = I couldn't stop the rot at Burnley and will just survive relegation at Bolton. Then the job at Wigan that I've always dreamed about will be mine.


    I must have missed something here. Since when has lowly Wigan been a dream job, even compared to Bolton who at least have four FA Cups to their name, and Burnley who have cup AND league titles to their credit? Wigan are a footnote compared to either of them. And as far as I can tell, Coyle has never had any link to Wigan personally or professionally. Delusional comment that I'm surprised was even published.

  • Comment number 69.

    62. At 2:05pm on 27 Jan 2010, Shane 'Tamir Cohen' Gilligan wrote:

    "Burnley didn't have divine right over Coyle, we paid you around £3M for him apperently and hes moved on to a club he played for and supports..."

    Supports? really?

  • Comment number 70.

    "Arsenal for Life" what wonderful idea relegating the team if the town has elected BNP Councillors ! As the London Assembly has a certain Richard Barnbrook (BNP) listed then that will be the end of Chelsea , Spurs , Fulham , West Ham and of course Arsenal ?

  • Comment number 71.

    The Burnley fans seem to be really focussed on the upcoming game with Chelsea. Mr Drogba must be rubbing his hands in anticipation.

  • Comment number 72.

    tripefc - it will be him next after throwing the coin into the burnley crowd in the carling cup last year!

  • Comment number 73.

    4 games in and the Reebok is getting back its spirit and the team are more confident. Much has been written about Gary Megson time at the club, and his relationship or lack of it with the fans. I for one, would like to thank GM for signing Chung Young Lee and Gary Cahill who are developing into real Premiership talents. Matt Taylor,Fabrice Muamba and Sam Ricketts might yet join them as great buys, but for now they are pulling their tripe out for the club, and that will do for me.
    Not since we moved to the Reebok including the Big Sam years have we ever been described as free flowing.
    I tell you now, the best is yet to come, OC has the fans on his side, he has the vision to play football the way it should be played, and has the man management skills to get 110% out of the players.
    Smiles all round, young team, young exciting signings even if they are on loan adds up to brighter times around the corner.
    For the waverers who stopped coming to the games, come back it is the new improved BWFC with added OC.
    50-1 for the FA Cup, we are worth an each way punt for sure mark my words

  • Comment number 74.

    68... I think it was a joke... (I think if you laugh now.. no-one'll notice )

  • Comment number 75.


    I think you miss the point here. Yes Burnley fans should move on as he is clearly not going back there. But I think Coyle has shown what we all know is true of a large majority of sports people these days and that's that they are motivated largely by money. I can understand why he went to Bolton, having played there it was obvious he would be tempted as he was when Celtic went in for him. But he could have been patient and waited to be Bolton manager in the future, not this time.

    I think he did a superb job at Burnley with (by premier league standards) limited resources. But isn't it sad that he didn't want to carry on working overachieving at Burnley. Personally I feel he owed them until the end of the season, but maybe it was taking its toll.

    If I was a Burnley fan I would back Laws, he is a solid manager - kept Sheff Wed on an even keel, but he is going to need all the help he can get at this level, but I think he could steer Burnley to safety.

  • Comment number 76.

    Burnley 2009/2010 = Hull 2008/9. Hull started better in the Prem & just escaped relegation. Burnley didn't start quite as well & probably won't. Some promoted sides start well on confidence brought over from previous season & unfamiliarity. But once they are worked out & start losing, the confidence goes too. It seems to me that Burnley would need to spend a lot of money - facilities, ground, players - to do a Bolton & remain in the Prem for a long time. perhaps the present owners haven't such grand ambitions & Coyle realised that. After all, where was he going to go after Burnley - not "Top 8". So if Bolton have the ambition (which their management are prepared to back) to spend to remain in the Prem, it wasn't an unreasonable decision. There's a lot to be said for quitting while you're still ahead!

  • Comment number 77.

    If Coyle had left for say, Birmingham, would the Burnley fans still have been so aggrieved, or is it just because he went to Bolton?

    All fairly similarly sized clubs in terms of support, from afar I'd say both Birmingham and Bolton have slightly bigger & better set-ups (ie stadium, facilities, cash) though perhaps Birmingham have moved on from that under their new owners.... I'm just intruiged to know whether the real problem Burnley fans have is that it's a rival club he's left for and the 'side-step move' argument is just convenient.

  • Comment number 78.

    Brilliant, someone has finally realised that in a sport where wages of £20,000 per week is seen as low that it is financially motivated!!!!

    Next you will be telling me that football is the only sport that doesn't recognise the need to get results right and use tv replays!

    Still, as long as everyone is happy and the Irish fans have a Summer free to do something else now.

    What a great sport this football is.....not

  • Comment number 79.

    Interesting that a deeply religious man would do such a thing.

  • Comment number 80.

    // At 2:53pm on 27 Jan 2010, BulletMonkey wrote:

    I must have missed something here. Since when has lowly Wigan been a dream job //

    Yes, you have. It's called sarcasm.

  • Comment number 81.

    I don't think it is all lost for Burnley. Remember they could've gotten something against United (is it just me or is it that every new manager's first game in charge is against Manchester) if it weren't for a wasteful David Nugent. Survival is very much in their hands and the fans should start supporting the manager like him or not.

  • Comment number 82.

    I think the timing of his departure is the main problem. If he had gone to Celtic last summer or Bolton this summer (Even if we stayed up/went down) it would not have left in this much trouble.

  • Comment number 83.

    I believe that Owen Coyle has done a tremendous job for Burnley and his move to Bolton represents a step in the right direction, for what could potentially be a successful career.

    Bolton on the surface appear to be the bigger club; they have a bigger stadium, bigger budget, better facilities and an established premier league squad. Not only this the position of Bolton in the league meant that Owen Coyle would not have to perform miracles to progress up the table- the likes of West Ham, Wolves, Wigan, Portsmouth, Hull and indeed Burnley all seem more likely candidates for relegation- and thus enhance his reputation further as a manager.

    The above, combined with his 'loyalty'to Bolton from his playing days means that Bolton should certainly be described as a step in the right direction for his career- that is providing he can re-establish them as a mid-table PL outfit in the coming seasons.

    I also think that whilst the Burnley fans have every right to be aggrieved with Owen Coyle at the moment, they should be able to forgive him in the future. Until his arrival at the club, they could barely even be described as 'rivals' to Bolton in recent times!

    Owen Coyle may have received a vast amount of stick from Burnley fans for his suprise departure to Bolton, but at the end of the day I believe that he made the right decision and that ultimately (I hope) Burnley fans will be able to forgive him.

  • Comment number 84.

    The picture in the article reminds me why I can't stand most aspects of football, a bloke well past his forties holding up a banner like that, sheeesh, get over it, there's more to life than long balls. I hope both Burnley and Bolton go down.

  • Comment number 85.

    It's just a case that he went to a club that has been in the EPL for some years in a new stadium with more money to spend and more money being put in his account each month.

    Given that it isn't a difficult decision is it?

    A shame for Burnley but thats life.

  • Comment number 86.

    Not sure, I wasn't there and don't know much about Coyle, but his after-match actions surely involved a great deal of acknowledgment about Burnley fans' anger. Thumbs-up probably meant 'I understand your feelings, I don't blame you, I wish the best for you, I still care for you & hope you understand'

    As for the 'footballing decision' I interpret that to be meant not as a dig at Burnley, but as a reference to his (also) beloved Bolton in such a state.

    I won't say 'get over it' to Burnley fans, but I would say that all things considered, Coyle should be forgiven, if not beloved.

  • Comment number 87.

    Oh, grow up Burnley fans! He did a great job for your club, a better offer came along and he took it. In the real world, people take jobs with better pay and prospect all the time. Why should footballers and managers be any different? Get real.

  • Comment number 88.

    ‘Moses’ the Hebrew name, means "the one who draws out"... (there’s a thing)

    The Moses story starts in the book Exodus (very poignant) and ends in Deuteronomy.

  • Comment number 89.

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

  • Comment number 90.

    How did Burnley employ Coyle? Oh yes poached from St Johntone 3 days before a cup final. Hmmmmmm

  • Comment number 91.

    As a Bolton fan I can see that Burnley fans do have some right to be annoyed at the way Coyle left but i feel that some of the suggestions that bolton fans were ungrateful to megson for keeping us up and will turn on Coyle are unmerited.

    I dont think that Bolton fans feel we should be hitting the heights we reached with Allardyce a few seasons ago but Megsons style of footbal was so terrible to watch that if he couldn't back it up with results then he was bound to get some criticism.

    While we have and never and, most likely, will never play free flowing football like Arsenal, under Allardyce we played effective football which had touches of flair within it. We did the basics well and had plyers like youri djorkaeff and jay-jay to add a bit of class in the final 3rd.

    However under megson we just had a team completely lacking in flair and originality. I for one was sick and tired of seeing gavin mccann on the right wing because megson was so scared of the opposing wingers that he was afraid to attack. It really did become lump it up to kev and see what he can do and it failed to produce the required results, thats why the majority of bolton fans turned their backs on megson. Its also why we are happy to see Coyle because he will look to play more exciting football, it wont happen overnight as the burnley game proved but im hopeful he can at least make the football watchable again.

  • Comment number 92.

    Owen Coyle did his best for Burnley and I, for one, am grateful. I wish him luck and success at Bolton. He is NOT a Judas.. some "fans" can get a bit over excited.. What I'm really worried about is the Laws appointment. It seems Mr Kilby has already settled for relegation.

    As for the fan with the plaquard, I'd suggest he thinks of himself as 'Once a fan... Now a Fool.'

  • Comment number 93.

    There is a faint bell ringing that not only did Burnley poach Coyle 3 days before a cup final, they did so on the recomendation of the chief exec of another football club ............. Gartside of Bolton perchance?

  • Comment number 94.

    You'd never see Wenger break his contract. A Christian man Owen Coyle obviously is. After all, all bad deeds can be erased, right?

  • Comment number 95.

    I don't like the idea of moving to a league and geographic rival mid-season, regardless of the scale of the opportunity. It is extremely unsettling, even more so in the case of burnley and in that respect Coyle has done something potentially very damaging to a club he has done great work at. What a shame.

  • Comment number 96.


    "I do think it is genuinely sad that it has turned sour in this way. That's football I suppose."

    Just because it is how it happened in this case doesn't mean it is in every, or that it should be, it should not. There is too much hatred, bile and bigotry in the game and any attempt to defend it as "part of the game" or "the way it is" is out of order.

    Look at the expressions on the faces of the Burnley fans last night, and then the ones of the mugshots from the Utd-City game last week, from the pictures alone you wouldn't be able to tell which set the Police were after! The fact that one set used physical and the other verbal abuse is neither here nor there, both were abusive and both are a disgrace.

    Take the average match day, 90% of the chants from the stands would be unbroadcastable on TV/Radio, every Monday my chelsea seson ticket holding friend regales the team with the songs sung at the weekend at the chelsea match, if I repeated any my post would be removed for breaching house rules.

    I contstantly here people I know use foul mouthed rants to describe oppostion players, whose only "crime" is not to play for the team they support, a perfect example being Ronaldo, every time he scored for United all I'd here the next day is "Ronaldos a [insert 3+ expletives of your choice]" and the moment he's playing at Madrid it's "Quality player, United were stupid to let him leave"!

    The bigotry, bile and hatred in football is disgusting, it's pathetic to see grown adults behave that way and shocking how the media build it up then stand by and wash there hands when things kick off.

    Whats wrong with appreciating the skill of an opponent? Whats wrong with admitting the better team won? Whats wrong with thanking a leaving player/manager for a job well done and their hard work? Whats wrong with a bit of civility? The lack of the above is whats wrong with football!

  • Comment number 97.

    Some people really do go over the top. The Burnley fans should show him some respect really, he is the best manager theyv ever had, hes made them into a premier league team, something that none of us expected. He doesnt owe Burnley anything, its the other way around!!!

    Its his dream to manage the team he used to play for so let him do it in peace.

  • Comment number 98.

    As a Swansea City fan, I can sympathise with all you Burnley supporters. Although he didn't take us to the Premiership, Martinez guided us from L1 to the Championship playing football that was admired throughout the football world. There was a real buzz that within a year or two, the Swans could actually challenge for the Premiership. Then he left. For Wigan. Bigger budget, bigger club 'lifelong ambition' etc etc. He should have stayed with Swansea for a few more seasons, gained a bigger reputation, and then would have had, potentially, a much bigger choice of Premiership clubs (not just the bottom 3 or 4, but virtually any one outside of the obvious top 3 or 4, perhaps). Martinez and Wigan are in a fight for their Premiership life. So is Coyle. So is Laws, but he has the backing of Burnley fans to do the best he can - or he should have, as we have given Sousa our support when he came in after Martinez 'reluctantly' left. Martinez and Coyle: dodgy decisions, IMO..

  • Comment number 99.

    I totally understand why some Burnley fans feel agrieved about Coyle leaving them, they feel betrayed and it is it their right to protest, as long as its only verbal and doesn't manifest into physical abuse.

    For those of you who say "get over it" I challenge you to think how you would feel if it happened within your club. I know I'd feel pretty gutted too. For those who are slating those fans for over reacting I'd like to remind you that the word fan is an abrieviation of the word fanatic, so it's the nature of the beast to be passionate and over react, we've all done it and those who haven't have probably never followed their team in a stadium and if they have actually been to a match it was more then likely on a corperate get away. (The prawn sandwich all-in package deal)

    I do however take offence at the Burnley fan who said that teams with new stadiums have no tradition. How does having an old run down stadium make you more of a "real" football team then say Arsenal, Man City or Bolton that have newer and better facilities? All it means is that your club can't afford to make an upgrade, because if they did, believe me they would.

    Back to the subject at hand, although I have an understanding of the pain of the Burnley fan I also think Owen Coyle has the right to do what he thinks is best for Owen Coyle. Managers get pushed out and dumped weekly in football so don't give me any of the "but he had a contract" rubish, because we all know that if the results weren't favourable to the Burnley board then they would of got rid of him, contract or no contract. With all due respect I think that Bolton are a considerably larger club then Burnley. They've had a prolonged spell in the PL and have invested their money in the infra structure of their club. I don't see Bolton as a "small club" punching above their weight, but that is how I percieve Burnley. (Sorry). I think the appointment of Laws does not really show a lot of ambition, though I'll happily admit I could be wrong, there was no guarantee that Coyle would have kept Burnley in the PL just as there is no certainty that Laws won't be succesful.

  • Comment number 100.

    Short memories from some Burnley fans - suddenly it was money that got Burnley promoted and nothing to do with Coyle, who a few short weeks ago was being revered as a messiah.

    Truth is, he galvanised the Burnley players and was the main reason Burnley gained promotion. Laws seems a strange appointment seeing as he failed at Wednesday, who have been flying since Irvine took charge, which would suggest Laws under-performed there, and Burnley cannot afford an underperforming manager as they are going to have to continually over-perform to survive this season in the Prem.


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