Oh We Do Like To Be Beside The B-Sides!
The excitement this season has been more about the fortunes of our local rivals rather than the Clarets and their disappointing mediocre 2011-12 overall performance. What a season though it will be next season in the Championship with Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers both relegated from the top flight and Blackpool failing in their attempt to beat West Ham at Wembley on Saturday in the Play Offs final!
When was the last time all these local B-Sides were in the same division? By all accounts it was in 1977-78, the season that Bolton were crowned Champions in the old Division Two league! Rovers finished 5th, Burnley 11th and Blackpool relegated third from bottom! It would be the death knell though for Blackburn Rovers. They would finish bottom the following season but what will happen this time? We have an interesting poll on the Vital Burnley home page asking our posters to vote which club they think will finish the highest next season so why not join in?
All these local clubs competing with the Clarets in the Championship can only be a good thing financially and it all adds to the excitement!
It is remarkable we all have the same 'B` initial too! Indeed if you include Barnsley, Birmingham, Brighton and Bristol City with the four local clubs that is a remarkable eight B-clubs playing in the Championship next season! That is actually a majority playing in the second tier with no B-sides represented now in the Premier League and another seven B-clubs split between League 1 (3 clubs)and League 2 (4 clubs). I don`t have the geeky mentality to check if that is a record in the Championship but surely it must be?
If you look at the total local games we face next season, you can see just what an exciting prospect we have in store with so much local rivalry and bragging rights at stake. We have already discussed the four North West clubs but we also have a number of 'Wars of the Roses` games. Leeds United and Barnsley of course remain Championship clubs and Sheffield Wednesday have already achieved automatic promotion after achieving the League 1 runners up spot. They will be joined by at least one other Yorkshire club and the Owls fans will be hoping it is not their deadliest local rivals, Sheffield United who play Huddersfield at Wembley in the League 1 Play-Offs final next Saturday.
Despite a lacklustre performance from the Clarets last season, the fact we can now look forward to playing so many local rivals in 2012-13 especially Rovers and Bolton all makes for a very interesting season ahead. Oh boy does the Championship have a local feel about it next season! Bring it on!!