One Eck of a Goodbye!
22 year old right back, Richard Eckersley is no longer a Burnley player! The club, by mutual consent have terminated his contract with eighteen months still to go and he is now a free agent. Eckersley signed a four-year deal with Burnley in July 2009 after leaving Manchester United. Due to his age United were entitled to compensation and a FA tribunal eventually decided that a fee of £500,000 was in order. Burnley FC claimed victory with United originally wanting £1 million compared to our £300,000 estimate.
It may have seemed like a victory at the time but in the end we did not have much return on our investment. Eckersley made his Burnley debut in a Carling Cup second round match against Hartlepool United but was then sent off in the tenth minute of extra time. His only appearances for the Clarets were in the cup competitions and he now leaves the club without ever making his league debut for them. For most of his time on Burnley`s books he was sent out on loan having spells at Plymouth, Bradford City and Bury before crossing the pond to play for MLS side, Toronto FC.
He impressed in Canada and now looks set to join them on a permanent basis ahead of their new season. Paul Mariner, Toronto`s director of player development, had been manager at Plymouth Argyle when Eckersley was there and brought him to the club in April 2011. Eckersley instantly made an impression and went on to make the right back spot his own there last season. His loan with the Reds expired earlier this month, and negotiations had been ongoing since.
It is reported that Toronto FC are now close to finalising a permanent deal for Eckersley.
Sometimes things just don`t wont work out for a player at a club and that is certainly the case regarding Eckersley at Burnley. At least we now have another underachieving expensive player off the payroll. Every manager makes mistakes, sometimes costly ones and that was certainly the case with Brian Laws after signing Leon Cort, another player that Burnley recently released from contract by mutual consent. Eckersley was signed by Owen Coyle though and he now seems to be just one of many players signed by Mr. Judas that failed to make the grade at the club. We can now add Eckersley to the likes of van der Schaaf, Penny, Guerrero and the rest.
It`s a shame it didn`t work out for the lad at Turf Moor but we all wish him well in his future career.