Date:Tuesday May 11 2010
Brian Laws attended a board meeting at Turf Moor last night according to media reports; a meeting that may well have decided his fate.
The Sun yesterday also suggested that Laws could be replaced by former Norwich gaffer, Nigel Worthington, the current manager of Northern Ireland. His contract with the Irish Football Association runs out in 2010.
The Daily Telegraph also reports today that there is a split in the Board with some of the directors keen to look at alternative managers. Leicester's Nigel Pearson and former Hull manager Phil Brown are understood to be on the shortlist.
Rumours abound that there is a clause in Brian Laws contract that he would face dismissal if the Clarets failed to hit a 29-point target. The club have certainly not denied the speculation but neither have they confirmed it.
The Clarets though finished on 30 points following the 4-2 victory against Spurs last Sunday in our last game of the season so the contract speculation may be a red herring anyway.
The victory at least ensured we finished above Hull on goal difference and in financial terms we now gain an extra £800,000 for finishing third from bottom, a factor which could be taken into account in Laws favour.
Despite finishing on a high there were still rumblings of discontent at the Spurs game from some of the Clarets fans. A few scattered 'Laws Out' banners could be seen around the ground and some Clarets applauded Spurs fans when they chanted 'You're getting sacked in the morning'
Some booing of Brian Laws could be heard at the end of the match despite the win and there was even verbal discontent during the traditional end of season lap of honour
Whilst I don't condone these actions and never will I am sure the strength of feeling was not lost on Barry Kilby and Brendan Flood. I could see both in the Directors box on Sunday sitting some distance apart and I would certainly have given a penny for their thoughts as the match unfolded.
The whole situation does beg the question whether the Board are on a hiding-to-nothing if they retain the services of Laws
You have to feel sorry for Brian Laws. He has never really been accepted by the Clarets faithful with the vast majority of fans seeing the appointment as underwhelming. You have to blame the Board for that and surely now they can see the folly of trying to justify his appointment on the basis of working with low budgets in the Championship when at the time we were plying our trade in the Premier League. His record in the Championship and in the lower leagues hardly stands out either with a win rate of only about 35% and of course he will now always carry the yoke around his neck with a heavy weight on one side saying 'Sheffield Wednesday Relegated 2009-10` and on the other side 'Burnley Relegated 2009-10`
There is almost an ironic danger that he could become Burnley's 'Gary Megson'. If that happens we would appear to have lost out twice to Bolton! First they sack Gary Megson and tempt Owen Coyle to the Reebok in January. That single fact alone broke the hearts and backs of everybody at the club including the players and if there is one single thing we can point to for our demise it has to be the departure of Coyle. Burnley though then made matters worse in my opinion by bringing in a low-key manager with no experience of the Premier League.
We needed a high-profile dynamic manager preferably someone with Premier League experience or at least someone with a pedigree of getting Championship sides promoted. The players could have looked up to someone like that and it might have made the loss of Coyle less painful.
I am afraid the appointment of Laws simply looked cheap and ambitionless and his only hope was to ensure our Premier League survival. He failed in that task only winning 3 games and drawing one from 18 league games.
The question is now can we afford to give him a chance in the Championship when his win rate is not that impressive. I like many others have said we should give him a chance at least until Christmas but the ones that say 'Laws Out` now do have a point. Can we risk spending money on players under Laws and then find ourselves struggling by Christmas? Can we afford to risk going on any bad run that would have an increasing number of fans baying for blood verbally at games? Thankfully that is not something I have to answer but it`s a question I am sure is at the back of most of the Director`s minds. What is clear is that we need a quick decision, hopefully this week. If the decision is made to sack Laws then we need to sort out a new manager quickly so we can rebuild the squad without losing out on potential targets once the transfer window opens.
This is almost getting as exciting as sorting out who will be Prime Minister or electing the Pope. They say there is no smoke without fire but what colour of smoke will eventually come out of the Turf Moor chimney?
Please note the Editorial comments and opinions on this site are the personal views of the Editor and should not be construed in anyway to be representative of those of other Clarets organisations of which he belongs eg Clarets Trust. This applies to both the front page articles and posts in any of the forums
Date:Tuesday May 11 2010
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