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Laws Faces Split Board Over His Future

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.

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

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Wednesday May 12 2010
Time: 12:01PM


Interesting split, you would have thought based on Flood's book it would have been him championing Laws cause rather than Kilby. Kilby though is showing his characteristic trait I think to be cautious giving everyone a fair chance. I am though sadly not convinced Kilby has this one right and if the numbers against are 7:2,it looks like Laws days may be numbered
12/05/2010 12:06:00
Where does the LT have this information from thought TMP - how reliable can we say it to be? I also am surprised to hear it is Kilby wanting him to stay and Flood to go - I thought the views were the other way round? The main point I agree with in your article is their being 'no fuzzy half way'. He either stays, or he goes. Keeping him and 'seeing how he does for ten games' would be the worst all round in my opinion.
12/05/2010 12:10:00
Could have been leaked Dale by the anti vote! That would kind of force the issue dont you think?
12/05/2010 12:13:00
Now on officual site that the media speculation was nonsense and that the club won't make a further statement and that Laws position is not under threat. Doesn't sound like the LT journo Suzanne Geldard will be getting an invite to Barry's World Cup barbies this time around!
Couch Potato
12/05/2010 12:39:00
You couldn't make it up. The club have now issued a statement saying Laws job is safe and the local media reports are wrong. The LT must have had a vivid imagination to make all that up.Stil at least we appear to have a decision but not one that is likely to keep a lot of Clarets fans happy. Wonder what happens if we play ten games next season and we haven't done well?
12/05/2010 12:42:00
Just seen on Sky Sports News that Laws has the backing of the board and its on the Clubs official site that he is stopping, this is my own view its a disgrace leaving Law in charge to try and get the Club back in the Prem. Do the board and Laws not see that most of the fans don't want him the mans a complete joke they need to look at the position of Sheffield Wed at this point in time. When it goes T**s up Kilby needs to look at himself because this is not in the best interest for BFC.
12/05/2010 12:45:00
You couldn't make it up...? Let's invite Suzanne to the Vital Burnley World Cup barbie and ask her how she made it up. We could offer her a choice of sauces for her next big stories!!!
Couch Potato
12/05/2010 12:45:00
The decision to keep Laws (just confirmed by the club website) is a shrewd one indeed. He will be given 10 games to show his (lack of) worth, will be sacked by mid December and we can then recruit someone in a similar boat on the cheap, who has experience of managing teams in Div 1 and wonderul stats on Flood's lastest report. Favourites, if they too have poor starts: Alan Pardew or Alan Irvine? Cant help think the board have bottled it or perhaps Flood and Kilby have agreed a "progressive alliance" despite their differences?
Eyresy's Left Peg
12/05/2010 12:46:00
I think they have bottled it and that the decision will prove to be the wrong one, not so much because Laws might not be able to turn it round,he might, although his record does not give you much confidence that he will, but because there is and always will be a significant number of Clarets fans waiting to pounce should anything go tits-up. It's a risky strategy and a compromise that is probably doomed to failure just like the Lib Dem/Tory pact
12/05/2010 13:05:00
I hope the fans show there appreciation for the spineless decision by the board to keep Laws as manager with a lot of anger.
12/05/2010 13:08:00
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