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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Grezza Leaves Turf Moor

It had been widely speculated that Graham Alexander could be leaving the club and now this has been officially confirmed.

The 39-year-old had struggled to feature in Eddie Howe's first team last season and failed to make one start under the new gaffer following the departure of Brian Laws.

Grezza still had one year of his contract to run as player-coach but it is widely thought that he still wanted to play football rather than concentrate on the coaching side. This appears to have been the sticking point despite only recently Howe telling BBC Radio Lancashire that Alexander remained in his plans for the coming Championship season.

However he has now left Turf Moor after having the final year of his contract at the club cancelled by mutual consent.

The Scottish international joined the Clarets from Preston in August 2007 and certainly had his high spots with the club. He of course helped Burnley gain promotion to the Premier League as well as eventually replacing Steven Caldwell as club captain. His success rate from the penalty spot was of course legendary and only last season he became only the second outfield player to reach 1,000 career appearances in English football.

A club statement has been provided which reads:

'Burnley FC would like to place on record its sincere thanks to Alexander, who has been a model professional and influential leader during his four years at Turf Moor.

"The club captain was hugely instrumental in the Clarets` rise to the Premier League and played a major role during the club`s inaugural top-flight campaign.

"Towards the end of the 2010/11 season, the (Scotland) international then made history by becoming only the second outfield player in English football to make 1,000 senior appearances.

"However, the aim of the Burnley Football Club board of directors, with the full backing of manager Eddie Howe, is to now pursue a long-term strategy of lowering the average age of the playing squad.

"In closing, everyone at Burnley Football Club would like to wish Graham every success in his future playing and coaching career."

It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to Grezza and I am sure all at Vital Burnley will wish him well in whatever career path he now chooses. A great servant,one of the best and a superb ambassador for the game epitomising everything that is good about football today.

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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday July 4 2011

Time: 7:26PM

Your Comments

No surprise really,sad but all good things come to an end! Just a pity a coaching role at the club could not be found to tempt him enough. Fair play to the guy if he still feels he wants to play though. The fact though is he is not good enough now at Championship level
turfmanphil
The writing was on the wall for grezza, a true pro on and off the field hope he finds what he looking for in the future. All the best Grezza its been a pleasure watching you in claret and blue.
Fedupclaret
Sad to see him go - Proud to have him at the club for the last four years. Unbelievable penalities but he was much more than that. Best of luck to Grezza in the future playing/coaching.
claretdale
Really, really hope he finds what he wants. Many, many thanks for what he has given to BFC. All the very best Grezza.
cornwallclaret
A fantastic ambassador to the club and to football in general, Grezza will be greatly missed at Burnley Football Club. I'm sure all Clarets fans will wish him all the very best for the future, as I certainly do. Farewell to an absolute star.
Brompton Claret
Echo the above sentiments, still thought he could have played a role for us but you do have to look to the future, good luck Grezza wherever you end up.
8clarets8
Best of luck Grezza! You could still sue Burnley for breaching age discrimination laws ("the aim of the Board is to reduce average age....)
boltonclaret
Yes, agree with all the above. Really sad but inevitable and it's true that all good things come to an end, and Alexander really was a good thing for this club. I hope things work out for him whatever his plans are.
WelshClaret
Arise................ SIR Alexander ....... for we the clarets faithful salute you sir !!!
hollinsclaret
I don't think in nearly 50 years of supporting the Clarets, I had ever been so confident about Burnley scoring a penalty when Grezza stepped up to take 'em! That if nothing else will be my endearing memory of the guy!
turfmanphil
Terrific penalty taker, can't remember anybody scoring more than him at least not in my lifetime.
8clarets8
12% on the on line VB poll want him as Club Captain is this a case of VB needing AV urgently?
VinRogue
How many of us would have predicted this outpouring of emotion when Cotts brought Grezza on to the Turf? How many of us thought he had the ability to play midfiled in the PL? I just hope the next player to miss a pen realises they're out at the end of the year! :-)
Couch Potato
Was never a massive fan of Grezza the player to be honest but I do recognise that he was a proper pro and, compared to some of today's so-called stars, an absolute credit to his profession. Really hope he finds a suitable role and I suspect we have not seen the last of him at Turf Moor.
RickersTwickers
NUGGET JUST SIGNED A 31/2 YEAR DEAL WITH LEICESTER !!!! WOW
hollinsclaret
As if to drive home the current absence of a club captain, I see that jobs are being advertised in one of the stories on the official site home page.
Couch Potato
After Steve Davis was poached from us I had high hopes that Grezza would be the next ex-player to grace the coaching staff, and it seems that would have been a universally popular decision. Real shame that he sees his future elsewhere but hope RT's comments prove correct. Meanwhile it is heartening to see the votes cast for Marney and McCann as Cap'n, both of whom have good leadership qualities.
Essex Claret
Good to see the upbeat interview with Grezza on C Player, and like RT I suspect he could return once he gets the urge to play nailed down.
WelshClaret
Are we all sitting comfortably??? ...... Mmm some are sitting to comfitable form my liking .. 48 hours off a the first pre season and not a new player in sight? ..... with West Ham, Leicester, N. Forest, Blackpool, Southampton and the rest all primed for the season are we really doing enough? .... or are are we sat on those proverbial laurels again !!! Como'n Burnley what's happening ???
hollinsclaret
My comment regarding Marney being made club captain is that I do not see him as an automatic choice in central midfield. IF we do sign a new player for this area ( ie Jack) will Deano start?
Claretdale
Let's see now... WHU probably about to lose Cole and Parker... Blackpool losing Adams, and probably for not as much as they'd have got at Xmas, and there's talk of Varney going too... Southampton: how 'all primed' are they? Oxlade-Chamberlain's constantly linked with Arsenal. If we're worried about whether or not we're going to sign Cork, presumably they are too. Have Forest replaced Earnshaw? I fear am out of touch. But I fear I am not the only one! :-) How many of our summer signings of the last 2 years had arrived by this stage? Dale - you're usually good with the stats. Let's be 'avin yer.
Couch Potato
Graham was a natural leader and was the kind of player who could lift a dressing room with a bit of inspiration. I dont think it was the wisest of decisions from Eddie to let him go. There is no doubt that Grezza could continue playing at this level for one more year. His ability on the ball is exceptional, and his supply game and ability from the dead ball is excellent aswell. Yes there have been questions asked about his fitness, stamina and lack of pace, but we have other lively midfielders who can make up for that. McCann and Bartley immediately spring to mind, and hopefully Cork. He was a solid defensive midfielder and still had a season left to give his all for a club that he feels passionately about, and for Eddie to not guarantee him atleist some first team football along with substitute appearances was in my opinion a little narrow minded. I am definetely not trying to accuse the manager of making a mistake, as perhaps things were very different behind the scenes, but I feel Grezza still had another season in him with a lot to give and another option in midfield if we wanted to switch things around. Unfortunately this has not happened and I can only wish Graham all the best for his future. Thanks for the memories.
AdamBurnleyFan
Couch ...... they are very primed bud ..... Jack Corks just signed for the saints according to local reports and SSP
hollinsclaret
Official: Chelsea midfielder Jack Cork joins Southampton The midfield man has been with the Blues for 13 years but the club have decided to let him go and the England Under-21 star admits he is "excited" to get started with his new team
hollinsclaret
How many of you sitting comfit-able now !!
hollinsclaret
I ASK OUT LOUD AGAIN ...... WHERE IS THE MONEY ...... WHY COULD WE NOT HAVE MADE THIS HAPPEN !!!!!
hollinsclaret
Re Cork--If you were a young babe magnet and had been in london for last 13 years why would you want to be in burnley next to 10k terraced houses when southampton is sufficiently close to the Amy Childs set. Just being realistic.
boltonclaret
Mmm.... Bolton take your point! ... although being 250 away from Amy Child's is no bad thing for some, but your point about the social demographic is a fair one ............ however he's on record saying he loved it here ! this is more about the ambition of the board and the persuasiveness of our manager.... let's face it all of us know have formidable a McCann Cork partnership would have been, Jack had proved he was worth the cash ..... we didn't we make it happen ? moreover we now have trailests at gawthorpe cos we arent just quite sure if they are good enough and we are constantly being linked with lower league targets or free transfers ..... what is it all about? were is our investment money just what is this deluded board thinking about ??? for me as we stand we are no better than we were when we finished the season its all to relaxed and "well were working hard at it" in my opinion you should always be aware of people who tell you "they are working hard at something" This is serious stuff I have been banging the drum all summer, why do we think we have done well "keeping the squad together" .... balls to that the squad wasnt good enough then and it wont be good enough now we have an average squad with one good player in and one good one good ........ so how the hell are we going to compete ??????? I can tell from the texts I got last night we are being laughed at !
hollinsclaret
Woe is Burnley! We are so used to the excuses now, we quote them infinitum whilst we remain in Championship mediocrity.HC is completely right. tweaking the squad and we haven't got Cork now either/ What are we doing tweaking so we might reach the play-offs? We need more than a bloody tweak to get automatic promotion and that should be our ambition
turfmanphil
and another thing ...... just listened to the gaffer on clarets player and read the peace about Cork ..... we didn't even reach the 750k asking price for Jack ... ok personal terms may have been an issue, but the fact that we couldn't raise 750K to prove to JC that we wanted him .... well what did the board expect Cork felt like?? who knows if he would have rejected us if we would have shown some ambition and commitment for the lad, we might have had a point of negotiation after all he did say he was settled here ..... but we didn't even do that!!! ......... beyond pathetic ... I ASK AGAIN WHERE'S THE MONEY GONE !!!
hollinsclaret
hollins--So why does official website say we met the 7 figure asking price for cork
boltonclaret
The LT says Burnley were unable to agree a fee so who do you believe? A club trying to spare its blushes or a paper trying to make money? The LT also state Cork's choice was understood to have been between Southampton and Nottingham Forest, the only two clubs to have had offers accepted.Pathetic Burnley, truly disgraceful. Gone down stronger my arse!!
turfmanphil
On that note can we now please return to the Grezza stuff since we have got badly off topic! Have now done a Cork article on front page so you can continue the debate there. Ta muchly!!
turfmanphil
Just looking at Adam's comments! Not sure I agree Grezza had a year left in him playing at this level unless we had a penalty or two! Think he slowed up a lot this last season. Laws was realising it but stuck with him, Howe was more clinical and said no! What is disappointing is that we could not find a coaching role for him. He is/was an inspiration to the young 'uns around him and his motivational skills in the dressing room somewhat legendary by all accounts
turfmanphil
 

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