Laws Faces Split Board Over His Future
A revealing article in the Lancashire Telegraph today suggests the Board are split over whether to retain the services of current manager, Brian Laws or not next season with the majority in favour of a change.
Back in January both Barry Kilby and Brendan Flood appeared confident that they had appointed the right replacement for Owen Coyle.
Coyle had stabbed the club in the back by accepting the offer to manage Bolton and not only that but he had taken the whole of the backroom staff with him.
Those defections appeared to take the heart and soul out of the Club and players alike and it would certainly be a difficult task for any manager to take over in those circumstances.
Brian Laws was eventually appointed and the decision justified based on an accountants report from Deloitte and Touche suggesting he had the best record for managing Championship clubs on low budgets. Clarets fans though treated his appointment with indifference with some openly criticising the Board for their lack of ambition pointing out we were playing in the Premier League now and that Laws had no experience in the top flight.
Although most Clarets fans were willing to give our former player and new manager a chance, as the second half of the season unfolded it was clear all was not well.
Rumours of unrest in the dressing room were compounded by a poor run of form where we just could not seem to win either at home or away. Crucially those performances in the main were lacklustre and a lot of the time lacked grit and passion culminating in the defeat at home to our deadly rivals Blackburn Rovers. In 18 Premier League games, the team could only muster three wins and one draw; poor form which ensured our relegation back down to the Championship after just one season in the top flight.
Laws was clearly struggling at Premier League level and looked out of his depth. Of course it didn`t help his image to also have been sacked previously by Championship side, Sheffield Wednesday, a club that ultimately too would face relegation. Not many managers have been involved with two clubs in one season both of which were ultimately relegated! The unrest amongst Clarets fans has recently spilled over onto the pitch with a few 'Laws out` banners spotted at our last game of the season against Spurs at Turf Moor on Sunday but perhaps more worryingly was also the booing of the manager both during the game and even during the post-match lap of honour. This of course too was despite the impressive 4-2 victory over the Champions League qualifiers.
The big question now being asked by Clarets fans is whether Brian Laws will still be our manager come August when we kick-off our campaign in the Championship with a view to returning immediately to the Premier League at our first attempt.
The answer to that based on an article in the Lancashire Telegraph today by Suzanne Geldard would appear to still be unclear.
The Board met on Monday night to discuss the managerial situation and could not decide an outcome despite four hours of discussion. They were clearly split on the issue with Barry Kilby and Brendan Flood in two separate camps.
It would appear Chairman, Barry Kilby and one other director pleaded the case for Laws defence whilst Operational Director, Brendan Flood and six other directors clearly wanted him to be found guilty and discharged of his duties. The majority vote may force the issue by the end of the week.
Even Barry Kilby though does not appear to be totally convinced with an indication that he would prefer to give Laws just ten games next season to prove his worth.
I have to say that could be the worst of both worlds. We now have to rebuild a squad in the close season for our promotion challenge in 2010/11 and surely we have to decide whether we can trust Brian Laws to deliver the goods depending on the amount of money he is given from the parachute payments and any player sales. What sort of message does Kilby's idea send out to new potential players coming in? Oh by the way if you sign for us, the gaffer could be sacked after ten games?
The more I think about this dilemma the more I think we need a quick decision which should be one of two options with no fuzzy half-way house. Either show total faith behind Laws and get on with it or bring in a new manager and quickly. I just can`t see the first option working with far too many on the Board already doubtful and the second option would certainly clear the air as far as a number Clarets fans are concerned.
If we stick with Laws, I will say what I have always said give him until Christmas but there is a risk with that if he fails in the first part of the season having spent some or all of the parachute money.
I would prefer a new manager because I think it would give the majority of fans a buzz and make them all look forward to next season without the 'Laws Out` baggage bubbling under the surface all the time.
The LT article also ends with the suggestion that both Phil Brown currently on managerial gardening leave at Hull City and Swansea City manager Paulo Sousa are bring tipped to potentially replace Laws.
Interesting times but for heaven`s sake let`s put this one to bed this week so we are clear where we are and can start preparing for next season.
The Club have since issued a statement on the Official Site claiming that the local and national media reports are inaccurate whilst clarifying that Brian Laws position as manager is not under threat.
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