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Aston Villa 5 - Burnley 2

Villa Park

Sunday 21st February 2010 @2pm Kick-Off

Attendance: 38,709

Burnley Fell to Spell from Hell

Villa 5 Burnley 2! Oh woe is me! Where do you start with this embarrassing score line?

The joke seems to be that for the first 55 minutes of this match we were coping with Villa and playing them at their own game. We even managed to score our first goal on the road in over 540 minutes of football not to mention take the lead for the first time since the game against Manchester City at Eastlands back in November! Yes we were one nil up after just ten minutes thanks to some nice play between Cork and Nugent to set up Fletcher. The weary travelling Clarets fans yet to see a victory on the road this season in the league could once more begin to dream. The dream though was about to become a nightmare.

A cross from Ashley Young on 32 minutes started the rot; somehow it went through a mire of players and finished up in the back of the net. On close inspection, it looks like Fox should have done better but the ball glanced off him to deceive Jensen and ensure that Villa went in at half-time on equal terms. There was no panic though, Burnley were still in this game and a point on the road would be both vital and a great achievement against a side pushing for a Top 4 finish. We still looked comfortable for the first ten minutes of the second half and then the spell from hell arrived.

Wham on 56 minutes, Downing puts Villa 2-1 up. Bam, he gets another to make it 3-1 just 2 minutes later. Thank You say Villa as the Clarets wilt and Heskey makes it 4-1 on 61 minutes and Man it`s suddenly 5-1 with Agbonlahor getting in on the act seven minutes later.

In just 12 minutes we had folded, capitulated and been destroyed! Thankfully for the Clarets, Villa did not push much after that to make the score even more embarrassing probably now sitting back and dreaming of Wembley and the Carling Cup final next week against Manchester United.

Deep into added time we actually pulled one back to make the final score 5-2. That might even turn out to be a vital goal if goal difference comes into play at the end of the season. Paterson scored and that was good for him after a long lay-off with injury for most of the season. This was his first goal in the top flight and will be a great boost to his confidence.

Although we can`t use this as an excuse, I also thought this young referee that has been fast-tracked through the system, Stuart Attwell was woeful in charge of the match yesterday. Naive and an easy 'homer` accusation target he booked three of our players to none of theirs and for the first time that I can recall the Clarets fans actually cynically applauded the referee a few times at one point with hand-clapping when he actually decided to give us a couple of decisions.

In the end though it was same old, same old for Clarets fans once again making a pointless journey and coming away pointless!

The result thankfully did not turn out to be a great disaster in terms of the Clarets staying in touch with our rivals to avoid the drop. Clarets fans just before our kick off yesterday had been strangely buoyed by the fact that Blackburn (normally the ones we hate the most) had just thumped Bolton, (the now most hated) 3-0 at Ewood Park! Wigan also lost 3-0 at home to Spurs yesterday and with Portsmouth, Wolves, Hull and Sunderland also all losing on Saturday it is very much as you were with only West Ham taking advantage after their 3-0 victory against Hull City at Upton Park.

The Clarets remain second from bottom in 19th place on 23 points but just three points off 14th spot so there is still all to play for but once more we are now going to have to rely on Fortress Turf Moor to survive with no allowance for any slip ups.

I am now going to have a rant but sorry. I think I am entitled to have one after going or attempting to go to every league game this season, home and away. I have only missed two matches so far all season; away to Rovers and Manchester United and it wasn`t for the want of trying going to those two either, I just got caught out with the club`s ticketing fiasco and so-called Loyalty Points system. But I am not going to rant against the ticketing system that`s for another day.

Today`s rant is based on the fact I must have spent well over £1200 travelling to away games so far this season and have still not seen the Clarets win an away game and sorry it is just not good enough!

It doesn`t matter what tactics you play, if your squad comprises basically of Championship level players you will not have a cat-in-hells chance of defeating clubs like Villa on the road, nor for that matter Portsmouth! It`s time for Clarets fans to smell the coffee! It has taken 33 years to get back into the top flight but if the Board make statements that they would rather be in the Championship than go into debt then I am afraid their wishes will more than likely come true. Of course those that support the Board wholeheartedly suggest if we go down we will be better placed to come straight back up. I am sorry but I don`t see it. Half the squad will be leaving in the summer, eleven are out of contract and we won`t be keeping most of them. The likes of Eagles and Mears will also no doubt be snapped up by Premier League clubs and both would probably not want to stay anyway. In effect we will have to rebuild and although parachute payments will help, we will be back to gates of under 12,000 and no doubt the club will be tight-fisted and plead poverty again! We will have a team full of Championship quality players again with no guarantee of promotion and even if we did go straight back-up the cycle will start all over again. Apparently Coyle said we had bought for the future so we are going to be relying on Penny, Easton, Eckersley, Edgar, Guerrero and van der Schaaf. Tis a joke!

We simply do not have the players with enough quality and experience of playing in the Premier League and all our new January signings were woeful yesterday (except Cork). If you are not prepared to bring in players with better quality and accept higher salary expectations than the ridiculous £15k/week cap then you will reap what you so. Some Clarets fans might be proud of this stance, I am not.

Whilst being debt-free is admirable the problem is all the other clubs in the top flight lap up the concept of taking calculated risks and going into debt be that right or wrong.

Burnley simply cannot compete and now it really is beginning to show. Now we are on a wing and a prayer hoping we can at least win our home games at Fortress Turf Moor with just 12 games remaining to escape the drop. 33 years to get back and now we are on the praying mat with no real confidence we have enough quality.

No I am sorry, we should have done everything we could have to stay in the top flight even if that meant taking some calculated risks and going into some debt and I am not talking about the scale of Pompey`s either. We have not done that and I hope it doesn`t come back to bite us in the bum. We could have missed our opportunity it seems to stay in the top flight and reap the even greater financial rewards that would have brought. Let`s hope our prayers are answered and we can somehow survive the drop.

Rant over!

The Clarets Team Sheet

Brian Laws decided to change a few things round for this game. Chelsea loan midfielder, Jack Cork was given his first start in the team and at long last Elliott was dropped to the bench after a spate of woeful performances. Laws opted for a 4-5-1 formation with Nugent playing a wider role supporting Fletcher alone up front.

The line-up in summary was therefore as follows:

Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Cort, Fox, Bikey, Cork. McDonald, Eagles, Nugent, Fletcher.

Subs: Weaver, Duff, Elliott, Blake, Nimani, Thompson, Paterson

The Full Match Report

Thankfully the weather was good enough for the match to go-ahead after an early scare of snowfall and indeed in the end it was a pretty nice sunny day for a game of footy!

In this battle of the Claret & Blue obviously the Clarets came out in their away strip. They marched out in front of a pretty large crowd considering the game was not only on a Sunday but an early kick-off and featured live on Sky Sports. Stuart Atwell got the game underway and it was the Clarets who did the early pressing against both a subdued Villa side and set of pretty quiet Villa fans. They were even quieter when the Clarets took the lead after just ten minutes of play.

It was Cork who set-up the move linking well with Nugent. The on-loan Pompey striker then squared the ball to the far post for Fletcher on a well-timed run to simply tap home and put the Clarets 1-0 up.

The Clarets seemed to be buoyed up by their early lead with Villa now looking even more subdued. This would most definitely prove to be our best period of the whole match and we began to put together some attractive attacking football. A shot by Nugent after some neat passing moves glanced off James Collins to go just wide of target. Chris Eagles was also having his best spell of the game after returning to the starting eleven and was becoming a handful for the Villa defence.

Villa though suddenly woke up after 24 minutes when Heskey put a header wide from an Ashley Young cross. Although Villa were not looking too impressive in open play, they always looked a danger from set-pieces and with 32 minutes gone they got their equaliser which started from an Ashley Young free-kick. Jensen saved the danger but only at the expense of a corner. Villa took a short corner which ended up at the feet of Ashley Young again. The Villa winger thumped a low ball into the box through a crowd of players and it took a deflection off Danny Fox`s heel to wrong foot Jensen and sail into the back of the net to make it 1-1. Fox arguably should have done better but both teams had to be happy with honours even at half-time. The Clarets though could have been proud of their first half performance and no changes were made by Laws for the start of the second-half.

The Clarets again looked comfortable for the first ten minutes of the second before disaster struck and we suddenly found ourselves 5-1 down with about 25 minutes still to play! Up until then Eagles had seen a cross cleared whilst a shot by McDonald had been blocked by the Villa defence.

A throw-in though confused the Clarets who were too slow to react. Agbonlahor was quick off the mark and charged forward picking out Young. He saw Downing in space and the former Middlesbrough winger worked hard to finally get in an angled drive that beat Jensen with Cort on the line trying his best to get to the ball and clear the danger! He couldn`t and Villa had the lead.

Two minutes later it was 3-1 with the Clarets having lost all their composure and concentration. This time Jensen managed to save from Agbonlahor who had been put clear but it fell to Downing who shot for goal. Danny Fox having a torrid afternoon once more took a deflection with the ball sailing into the bottom corner of the net.

Villa were now on fire and we were playing like a bunch of damp squibs. They then punished us even more as our defence lost the plot and capitulated. Agbonlahor at the centre of things again went on yet another penetrating run before getting in a low cross for Heskey to make it 4-1! Clarets fans by now had been destroyed and had lost the will to live. On 68 minutes, it was 5-1 and this time Agbonlahor got on the score-sheet himself after some nice play between Milner and Heskey. A side-footed finish was enough to add even more salt to the Clarets wounds with all Clarets fans wondering when the torment would end and whether we might do a Wigan against Spurs and be able to demand our money back!

It may have been a rugby score but for the fact that Martin O`Neill decided to take off three of his impressive strikers with one eye on the Carling Cup final at Wembley ! He left Downing on in case he might get his hat-trick. He didn`t and in all honesty things calmed down a bit after that with Villa noticeably taking their foot off the accelerator.

Laws made some further substitutions. Elliott had already come on to replace McDonald after Villa`s fourth goal but had been largely ineffective. On came Nimani N'galou after 70 minutes to replace Nugent and then Paterson came on to replace Fletcher with eight minutes of play remaining.

Two minutes into added time we got a consolation goal after Martin Paterson latched on to a nice cross from the impressive Cork after the on-loan Chelsea midfielder had linked well with Eagles.

In the end another disappointing result on the road for the Clarets but at least none of our rivals trying to avoid the drop gained much ground over the weekend.

Match Detail

Aston Villa: Friedel, Dunne, Cuellar, Warnock, Collins, Downing, A Young (Sidwell 82), Milner, Petrov, Agbonlahor (Carew 71), Heskey (Delfouneso 76)

Subs Not Used: Guzan, L Young, Beye,Delph

Goals: A Young (32 mins), Downing (56 mins, 58 mins), Heskey (61 mins), Agbonlahor (68 mins)

Booked: 0

Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Cort, Fox, Bikey, Cork. McDonald (Elliott 64), Eagles, Nugent (Nimani N'galou 70), Fletcher (Paterson 82)

Subs Not Used: Weaver, Duff, Blake, Thompson

Goals: Fletcher (10 mins), Paterson (90 +2 mins)

Booked: Yellow Cards for Carlisle, Fletcher and Nimani

Possession: Aston Villa 51% Burnley 49% (Source: BBC Sport)

Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)

Star Player

Stars? I could name a few black holes.

Bikey spent most of the time running around like a headless chicken and passing the ball anywhere except to one of our players. McDonald was not much better.

The back four were awful but the one who disappointed the most was Danny Fox. Left back has long been recognised as a weak area for the Clarets and the one the opposition have exploited the most. Fox was brought in to plug that gap but yesterday all he could do was play like a plug with a low amp fuse in it! Dreadful!

The only player who showed any quality necessary for this level, consistently enough was Jack Cork so he gets our nod!

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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday February 22 2010

Time: 12:06PM

Your Comments

Go easy on the rant, I am angry and frustrated. I am sick to death of every club in this league bringing in top quality players in the windows despite being £££££ millions in debt whilst we play the virtuous club and struggle like hell despite taking 33 years to have a go at it!
Seriously hope you guys stay up and get a second 'bite at the cherry'. In the seventies I worked away at lot in Nelson where most of the locals were Burnley fans. I found everyone so friendly I have always had a soft spot for the club (the great Andy Lochhead helped as well-Burnley and Villa legend). Villa were there for the taking yesterday IMO. I've never heard VP so quiet. Everyone around me was just talking about Wembley, and I think that's were the players minds were too. I was impressed with the football you played, but when Villa do click into top gear, as they did for 15 minutes, they are very vey difficult to stop with so much pace and movement. Anyway, good luck and really hope you stay up.
I am one of those fans who is proud that the club are attempting to stay in the premiership without going into ££££ of debt. Just look at the clubs who have done it and have then seen it go belly up. Pompey are the prime example of a club living way beyond their means ( although they have clearly been ridiculous and I know Phil that you are not suggesting we do that). Bradford are one team who got into the Prem about 10 years ago and got their 'calculated' risks wrong - look at them now. I dont want that for Burnley. We all knew this season was going to be tough - we can do without making the next X amount of years tough as a result of overspending this season.
Naw sorry Dale it's not good enough. You can be proud in the Championship as the pleading poverty cycle starts all over again and we have to virtually rebulid with players that are only fit to play in the Championship. We have wasted our biggest chance of securing nirvana and ££££ millions for years to come
Cheers KV,one day I hope in my lifetime we will become an established Premier League side but we never will unless we show more resolve and ambition to do so
Barry Kilby has done a fantastic job for this club and I do not think anyone could have done it better. He wants success for Burnley as much ( if not more) than any other clarets fan. He will aim to lead us to success in the way he sees fit! If we go down, we go down. We will still have a club - and I will still support Burnley whatever division they may be in!
Of course he has and does Dale but then so might other Chairmen prepared to show more ambition and take a few more calculated risks to reap the far greater reward of staying in the top flight with all the financial benefit that will bring. 16 other clubs in fact all of them except Pompey and two other relegated clubs will also stay up this season despite being in debt to various degrees [Edited by turfmanphil]
Clubs like Wigan and Bolton and even Hull have have spent big and they are in the same boat as us only in debt. We hurt as much as you Phil and desperately want Burnley to stay in the premier league. But look at southampton Leeds Norwich Charlton all in League two They all spent much more than us when in the Premier league. We more than anything want to stay with the big boys but not to the ruin of the club we love.
Grimsby Claret
Bolton and Wigan have had how many seasons in the top flight massively in debt? Look at Blackburn too,a club not too dissimilar in gates to us.It is easy to quote the few that have slipped the net and fallen on hard times through REALLY bad management but they are all still in existence and are now steadily climbing back up. It's a question of maximising your chances of staying up and some are more risk averse than others in trying to achieve that goal. You do not get anything in this world without being prepared to take the odd calculated risk or two. It is much easier to err on the cautious side but in the end we could just as easily go bust or fall down the Leagues without spending any money at all. If we are relegated, we will see if we bounce back but I would not be that optimistic with gates back to 11,000 and a new team that will have to be built. For heavens sake break this bloody cycle. 33 years to get in the top flight, what the hell are we pussyfooting around for? [Edited by turfmanphil]
you've let your frustration get the better of you on this one tmp--are you just trying to play devils advocate and stir up some debate?!
And tmp you seem to have given up on survival already! Assuming Pompey already down theres only an extra 2 out of a possible 7 that CAN go down! I'm sure all of those 7 are saying how poor they are. You seem to be forgetting we have 7 out of 12 games at home (with the next 4 being very winnable against Pompey, Stoke, Wolves and Blackburn) and after Arsenal the remaining away games are at Wigan, Hull, Sunderland and Birmingham and therefore much more chance of picking up something than our recent away matches
I'm on a roll now! How can you say our Directors are risk averse when they gambled on our promotion last year to stave off administration
Nope I have not given up on survival but I am annoyed we have not given it our best shot to ensure we stay up ! As for being Devils advocate, whilst I accept its a great topic to debate, I also firmly believe we should have done everything we could have to have stayed up, even though that might have meant going into some debt to get the quality players we needed! 33 ferkin years and all we hear is bloody pleading poverty again. Sorry it's not only frustrating but potentially one of the biggest mistakes we have made. It's worth £60 million to get promoted to the top flight,its worth countless millions to stay up and yet all we do is pfaff about looking forward to being in the Championship again [Edited by turfmanphil]
They should make the bigger gamble of staying up then unless they want to return to the Championship with gates back down to 11,000 and no real certainty of getting back up!
Who says we are going to be a championship club next season ? We weren't expecting anything from Villa, and although we saw atrocious defending which yet again presented the game to the opposition in a 10 minute spell, there were positives here as well. The first is that we scored 2 goals away from home, and they were superb goals. As long as we carry on creating and converting we'll always have a good chance as opposed to some of our rivals who haven't scored for a long time :-) The second point is that we did play well outside of the disaster period and managed 53% possession . The point regarding spending to stay up is a tenuous one and dependant on the availability of which players? Which of the so called premiership quality players would elect to move to an as yet unproven premiership side, with a real possibility of relegation, assuming these players were available in the first place? And the same goes for the merchant bankers (pun intended) - will they lend large sums in the current economic climate to a potential relegation candidate? I think not. The ref yesterday was a joke, haven't seen that bad for a long time and it does seem as though the established clubs get all the decisions which certainly doesn't help the situation. All we've got to do is explain to Bikey that it's better to position himself in front of the opposition attack rather than behind them, and then practice how to defend corners a little better and we'll be alright. I still think we'll be alright , but Pompey could be dangerous on Saturday, as all wounded dogs with nothing to loose can be.
Hope you lads don't mind me butting in, when really it is FA to do with me, but your discussions sound identical to those of my mates who are West Brom fans. Albion are also very well run (like Burnley) and have become a real yo-yo club. Too good for the Championship but not good enough for the Premier. I can see both sides of the discussion, but IMO I believe you are adopting the correct approach. You have a decent chance of staying up this season with only two places 'up for grabs' and your excellent home form. Then a little more spending will be necessary, but I think football is going to be in for a massive reality shake up and the well run clubs like Albion and Burnley will surely benefit. We, at Villa, are very lucky to have such a fantastic Chairman as Randy Lerner. Doug Ellis, much to the fans frustration, ran our club on a tight budget for years but what he did do was invest heavily in a fantastic Youth Academy. Lerner then took over, and provided his OWN money to MON to move us from a comfortable mid table club to one that can hopefully challenge the Sky4 for years to come. What a difference to Glazer at United and Hicks at Liverpool. I accept Burnley may not be as fortunate as to get their own Randy Lerner, but building slowly and carefully with an emphasis on young home grown players HAS to be the way forward. The trouble is us fans, we are TOO impatient. Despite the great progress we are making, you wouldn't believe the amount of moaning at VP. Good luck.
Jack Cork- Rate his performance fellas~!
ok about the blackburn thing... no 1: we havent been in debt for a long time now. we have broke even and make a very small profit for the past 4 seasons. no 2: the thing that has been keeping us up for the past few seasons have been smart buys and good management. eg santa cruz for 3 mil sold him for 18, bentley, duff...all sold for big profits. and there have been a few like that. every premier league position is worth 750k in prize money, so its worth going half a million in debt to buy a player who will give you that extra place in the league. survival in the premier league is what keeps us going, if we went down I do not think we would bounce back straight away for the same reasons as TMP has said. Now look at Burnley's buys this season...Edgar, Guerrero? they have hardly set the world alight, what Burnley needs is players with premier league experience who know how to fight a relegation battle. Bikey and fletcher have been good, but they do not have much premier league experience and its them little mistakes which cost games.
Also you played okay on Saturday. There was little between the teams except we produced a 15 minute spell of fantastic football which IMO would been too much for most teams in the League. When we attack with that pace and movement we are excellent and difficult for any team to contain. Hope we have a spell like that in our locker for United on Sunday!
The crux of this debate is a simple one to me. If we get relegated,did we do everything to keep up and the answer to that has to be no. If we survive fair enough but what will we then be saying next season and will we bring in the players we need to make a go of it ? Yes I agree we fans can be frustrated but with all due respect to Villa it has taken us 33 years to get back to the top flight. If the Board quote statements like 'We would rather be in the Championship,than go into debt' they are clearly preparing for that eventuality and in fact as far as I am concerned I think they have ben preparing for that from Day 1 in the top flight by bringing in players for the future and not playing them. I dont know what salaries we have been forking out for Penny, van der Schaaf, Easton, Eckersley and the rest but maybe it would have better to spend the money on higher quality players we need NOW not next season
We will consolidate and then establish ourselves if we stay up this time. LHrover we do not have a Jack Walker like you did.
Grimsby Claret
Cork I would say 7-8, the rest I would say under 6 and some woefully in the 2-3 region
I am curious. Does anyone have any figures on how many PL clubs have increased their indebtedness since 1 August 2009; and by how much? I am guessing that almost all are steadily paying off their debts. Anyway, back to football. Cork looked excellent on SKY. I want to look harder next time at his ball-winning and tackling, but I think it was an all-round strong performance. Bikey won a fair bit of possession. But if BL had told him to play a holding role, he must have driven him bonkers. Often drifted a long way forward, and gave up too early when tracking back. Hoping McDonald will learn from his recent uncomfortable experiences, but has he got the bite? Get well soon Chris McCann. Can you reverse the aging process Grezza?
Couch Potato
Ok Phil I understand your rant and like me you have certainly paid enough to have a rant but you are wrong imo on many issues. a. At the start of this season Owen Coyle had brought in a number of players and we were optimistic God had secured some great signings. I don't think back in August you were saying we had not made the gamble? I maybe wrong but I don't remember you saying that. b. The January transfer window, how the hell do you see Brian Laws in 10 days signing someone for Burnley who is of the standard you describe? Tell me who we should have signed, name names Phil because I think we were lucky to get Cork on loan, Fox, Cort and keep Nugent. As for spending money on players we signed more than Bolton, perhaps Coyle didn't have the players lined up either? c. I am with Claretdale the club must never again be in danger of over exposing itself to debt no matter what. I want to support our club at the highest level they can be, but most importantly I want there to be Burnley Football Club, if Pompey cease to exist maybe that will be the wake up call we all need about debt. Hoping for a rich sugar daddy is like buying a lottery ticket.....what Brian Kilby and Brendan Flood have done is ensure our club have a real future. d. Lastly for my rant, Coyle got us 1 point on the road and then thought we were doomed. I do not think we are doomed at all and really think we have the players to survive because we are better than Hull, Wolves, Pompey, Bolton and possibly Wigan. I look forward to BL getting rid of all the players that as you say are not good enough for the least our wage bill will be tiny along with the amount of players left at training....2 a side will be intersting! Keep the faith and UTC
Have to agree with VR and CD: the club is the most important thing. I will always support them, and now we've had a season in the PL, I couldn't say that I would be really hurt by relegation this season. I don't want us to go down, but the future of the club is much more important. From what I have seen on this thread, Phil, most fans would agree with me.
We have a Championship mentality and have been preparing for a return to it since Day one in the top flight. We should have had a Premier League mentality and been determined to stay in it more so than we have. The fact Laws only had a few days to bring in a certain number of players is somewhat immaterial. if Coyle had stayed he wouldn't have been given the money to bring in the high quality players we need. In fact thats why he left wasn't it? Kilgallon was just one that escaped the net. Look at West Ham's signings? Yeah we beat them recently but we hardly dominated in the end. I did not say we are doomed but what I am saying is we haven't given it our best shot of stayiing up because of this fear of going into debt. We could have bought the players and had we not survived sold the assets at a great profit just like the lad from Rovers indicated above. Instead of that we have a bunch of Championship players that will bring in very little with the exception of Eagles and Mears.
Yes of course most would agree with Kilby's view it's the easiest option to take but it still doesn't mean its the best option and nor does it mean going into debt would force this club into administration.
Again Phil I disgagree with you, I don't think Kilby see's this as the easiest option to take. I think Kilby would love to spend 20 Million on players, because to buy proven players that is going to be the amount for 2. Kilgallon is if I am right not a proven Prem League player, he is a Championship player who maybe good? Cahill would have been a better buy than Kilgallon and how much would he have cost? This is a great pub debate sadly having to be typed, respect your opinion Phil and hope its ditto which I am sure it is.
Yes of course VR we respect each others opinions and it is one of the great benefits of this site, we can all agree to differ without any childish personal attacks unlike some sites I can mention! The thing is we wanted Kilgallon but another PREM side got him (one in debt) and a rival to avoid the drop at that! There is the difference [Edited by turfmanphil]
Happy to accept that the team that got Kilgallon is 'in debt' (even though I cannot remember who it was). But have they 'increased their debt' this year? I am far from being convinced that clubs are being allowed by banks to increase debts this year, and have yet to see any hard data on this. Another point possibly worth debating is whether Bfc can actually already be considered to be 'in debt' in that we don't own our ground. Finally, I would suggest that if we are relegated (and it ain't over yet) we will definitely be a stronger club than we were in May 2009 and that the manager will have money (from sales and parachute payments, which are not available now) to build on a better financial base than a year ago, on players who will have learned a lot, and on what I suspect will be slightly bigger crowds than a year ago. So I don't think it will be back to pleading poverty in the same way as before. Great job at starting a debate TMP! Keep up the good work.
Couch Potato
The thing about Kilgallon (Sunderland he went to by the way) was the fact we were not willing to break the salary cap of £15k/week. It wouldn't have put us into immediate debt to bring him in and had we been demoted we could have sold him on at a profit
OK, my turn to post twice in succession. I see that the just-formed Pompey fans trust is probably going to turn down being given a 10% stake in the club, because of fears over what would be involved in that, given Pompey's debts. Presumably the Clarets Trust would have no such anxiety about obtaining 10% of Bfc shares at the moment? But would they want to shoulder the responsibility debts, law suits, etc?
Couch Potato
Pompey is rather an exception to the rule and their debts are what £60 million so I would not be talking about anything like that. The Trust might love to have 10% of Burnley shares but considering each of those cost £200 and we currently have a float of about £2000,it aint going to happen unless we get thousands joining the Trust. We have 100 shares at the moment and that puts us in the Top 10 of shareholding not counting Directors! The irony is that the Trust membership increases like the clappers when a club is in crisis and we cant seem to get the levels we need during relatively good periods
I was watching on Sky yesterday which, though not the same as being at the game, does at least allow a wider view and the chance to watch some of the analysis which yesterday was spot on. Gary McAllister said that teams at the bottom need to retain concentration, discipline and focus if they want to give themselves a chance. We didn't do that and the reason is that the players, in most cases, are playing at a level that is too high. Not their fault - that's just the way it is. Bikey was poor yesterday and is clearly not a defensive midfielder at this level. Eagles showed flashes of why he was once at Manchester United - and plenty of evidence why he isn't there now. Cort and Carlisle were totally outpaced and The Beast just looked a broken man. Mears had the look of a player who knows he will be moving on and, in my view, will be at Villa Park next year. Thought Cork looked good and even Nugent - who I have slated in the past - looked lively early on. Fact is though we weren't sharp enough all over the field and sadly it doesn't look too good from here on. However, it isn't over yet and we do have some slightly easier games coming up that are winnable. But it ain't no good saying we are unlucky, or blaming the ref, the manager or the tea lady. We just have to keep clean sheets and score goals now and it doesn't matter how. Regarding Phil's rant I can see why he is frustrated and I share some of those feelings but, frankly, I'd rather support us in the Dog & Duck League than not at all. Kilby and the board clearly gambled last year and, had we not have achieved promotion through the back door of the play offs, our financial situation may have been perilous. None of us know the true story of course but I suspect Kilby's fingers are only just cooling down now and clearly he wants things on an even keel financially before making any bold moves. I don't blame him and, after all, where would the money come from ?
Money does not and never will gaurantee survival. I'm glad Sunderland have been brought up because they are the perfect example at the momet. How many million have they spent in pre-season and January? Bent, Cattermole Campbell, Kilgallon, Cana? How much did they cost? A s**t load. How far ahead of us are they? 3 points. Gauranteed survival? No. As has already being said, Burnley Football Club is more important than Burnley Football Club in the premier league. I remember people volunteering to carry buckets outside the ground matchdays in a desperate bid to save the club a few years ago. We were fortunate to escape from that and we should make sure we are never anywhere near such a thing again. I get the impression tmp that you would exchange 5 years of premiership football for no BFC thereafter. I would not! There are many other similar arguments presented here I agree with but I will not resate them.
No but no money spent will make survival more of a struggle. I just don't get this assumption that some debt=no survival/administration. Its bizarre, having a mortgage doesn't mean not having a house. Debt's are calculated risks that can go either way but the financial rewards can be hundreds of times greater than living in a shoebox and licking road clean with tongue! Sunderland have been how long in the Premier League being in debt? If the money spent does not mean success a la Sunderland in this case that could be down to the manager and the players he brings it not the concept of spending
I also disagree Phil. The easy option is to throw money at it. BK and BF and the rest of the board would love us to be in Brum's position, but we couldn't and can't afford to match that level of "ambition". Who's to say big money signings would go for more money if we went down. Then, you end up paying stupid wages a la Bradford. For every success, there are two complete failures through the "buy success" route.
TMP - Portsmouth Supporters Trust are not being offered a changce to buy 10% of the club, but as I said, are "probably going to turn down being GIVEN a 10% stake in the club". Sulaiman al-Fahim owns 10% and he wants to give it to the Trust. Supporters Direct are saying the trust is right not to accept the offer.
Couch Potato
Fully agree with CC, Sunderland have spent and gambled, knowing that there fan base is big. Yet they have not won a game since last November if my memory is right, they are in freefall. It would take us more than a Kilgallon to guarantee Prem League football next year. We have to be patient, develop Eagles, Mears, Edgar, Eckersley, Fletcher, Patterson, Fox, McCann, McDonald and if in the summer we get a bid of £8 Million for Eagles, take it and re invest just as we did with Lafferty. Take the Chelsea lad on a year loan. Build the team up don't try and buy the club up when it's just not the guarantee it appears and we don't have enough cash to buy a guarantee.
There is no guarantee of Premier League football whether we spend or not but there is more chance we will stay up if we have higher quality players with more Prem League experience and that costs. No we cant do a Brum but we could have one or two higher quality players by now that would have improved our chances of staying up. History must surely prove that. Money is not the total answer, tactics,managerial style and getting new players to blend into the team are also factors. At the moment though we are stuck with Championship level players in the main and we are struggling to survive. On the flip side just as money doesn't guarantee success,neither does going into debt guarantee failure. There are more successful clubs in debt than failed ones. It is the EASY option not to spend,you have to be braver to take risks. But let's see what happens we will just have to agree to differ on this. If we are a Championship club next season, I do not believe for one minute though we are going to be in better shape to get promotion despite the parachute payments. There are just as many clubs with that money that have dropped further down than gone up. Build a team up? 11 of current squad are out of contract in summer and most will go. Mears, Eagles and probably McCann will all be off to more ambitious clubs. We will have a MAJOR rebuilding operation on our hands and if we are midtable by Xmas it will all be pleading poverty again
Interesting reading and quite a diversity of opinion here. I don't disagree with your viewpoint tmp, but as I said earlier I don't think the money is out there for borrowing at the moment. CP asked the question how many clubs are increasing their debt, well I haven't seen any figures but I think the action in the January window speaks volumes. Banks are happy to honour existing debt provided the interest is met, but I suspect there are a few clubs above us who are running to stand still. Man Utd will always survive because of who they are, but how much interest are they paying on 750 million? It's no secret that they had to sell Ronaldo and Tevez and I still say that without Rooney they would soon drop down the table, and then what - a Leeds United? Back to us, even if the money was available, I still can't think of anyone that was available and who fitted the bill of being guaranteed saviours. For these reasons I'm fully behind the no debt philosophy of Kilby and Flood, and am looking forward to the return to stability in the form of McCann and Alexander and also Caldwell who I sense is not rated by many on here. Cork is an exciting prospect as is Fox, and I sense they'll play a big part during the next few months. Add to the mix a return to form for Elliot and Blake , and the ever present threat created by Eagles, Nugent, Fletcher and Pato . . . . the future's bright , pass me my shades.
It it hard to ascertain to what lengths you think Burnley FC should gamble on staying up Phil. I was quite satisfied with what we did in the transfer window although I did question whether Leon Cort was any better than we already have (and still feel that way), but that was BL's call, the Board simply supported him. If I suggested that the club has already gambled our first year of parachute payments (£11m) in investing in the squad to hopefully earn survival, would that influence your feeling on the subject? Or, like I believe a certain former manager wished of our Board, would you like to have seen us spend our second year of parachute payments too? The one other major point for me is that after what they achieved last season I wanted to see the players who won us promotion have the chance to prove themselves in the Prem. This remains a genuine thrill of the season for me and I still believe it is these players who will decide our fate. The club has set its parameters and I really think they have gambled enough to give us a fighting chance. The biggest jolt has been losing our former manager and this might still be the defining incident, not how much money we've spent. For the record, Kilgallon didn't want to come to Burnley, period. I really doubt that such an individual would really have made a whole lot of difference to be honest.
I know where you are coming from tmp, it's horribly frustrating being a Burnley fan, but still don't agree. Spending big, for Burnley, would still mean we would be buying untried players as we can't afford the top Premier players and anyway they wouldn't come to Burnley. All the clubs in trouble around us have spent large amounts of money and are in large amounts of debt but are still on the same points as us nearly (Hull, Bolton, Sundertland, Wigan etc etc). Burnley will never be a big spending club, they will survive on finding gems from the lower leagues, slightly past-it Prem players and bringing on young players as they have always done. They will then give the fans the sh**ts by selling those good players for lots of money and going through the whole thing again. This is the way it has always been. The only thing that has changed are the TV riches available to Premier clubs but that comes with the huge wages to pay which makes it a catch 22 for smaller clubs. One of the players we 'missed' because he was demanding too much salary is Kilgallen who went to Sunderland instead. I watched him since he moved and he has been absolute rubbish and at fault for several goals. Sunderland have spent big and haven't won for 12 or so games. I know Cort and Fox were poor for a while on Sunday but it's only a game or two from us saying how good they were. The problem is we can't handle really fast players when we play too far upfield in search of a goal. I still think midfield is the problem - McDonald and Bikey were awful and constantly gave the ball away which put us under immediate pressure from fast counter attacks. Bikey (one of our big money signings!) needs dropping - he is slow, constantly out of position, doesn't mark and gives away silly free kicks. Either play him in his proper position or drop him. Gudjonsson would be better. Keep the faith! We have 7 home games out of the last 12 which is more than our rivals and having watched all the bottom clubs we are definitely better than them. Up the Clarets!
I am keeping the faith and I haven't given up hope of survival but our chances would have been greatly enhanced had we spent a little more. For heavens sake if we could stay in the Prem League we could once and for all change this club's ethos round and no longer become the poor man and I hope we do that without having to spend but there is less chance.We look tired,clueless and weary. Yes,I would have spent the parachute payments equivalent (or at least some of it) on players now because the financial advantages of staying up far outweigh the alternatives. Players whose value would have increased so that if we were to still go down the money would still be there to rebuild by selling those players on. Let's say we had gone into debt to the tune of £11 with that spent on high quality players & salaries. Had we still gone down, we could have sold those players on at a profit,added that to the parachute payments and been in a far stronger position to rebuild If we go down now, apart from maybe Mears,Eagles & McCann there would be no players worth that much. Kilgallon might be rubbish but that is down to the manager Coyle as much as anybody not the concept of spending.He didn't want to come because we were going to pay him peanuts. It is a gamble sure spending a bit more, a calculated risk but one that is worth taking in my opinion
Have to say this is a really good thread, I will say it again but I wish it were taking place in a pub as there are lots we agree on. I have tried to think who we could have bought that would have an impact on the team and all I can come up with is O'Hara at Pompey, I think I am right he is the midfield lad on loan from from Spurs? Because if money were no object imo we need two central defenders two midfield players a proven goal scorer and a keeper according to my shopping list and that bill comes to around 50 million if you went for established players. That may guarantee safety but we would have to pay them the going rate. Lets build the house with bricks, not straw and certainly not massive debt.
Wow, amazing thread fellas. You lot are having a great discussion going on here.
The great thing is JT is as you rightly say its a discussion, no personal attacks on each other just because we differ, bottom line is Vital is not known for attacking each other, we are all Burnley Supporters and we all want them to finish as high as they possibly can. We are debating "possibly" and we all interpret what is possible. Having said that Phil owes me a pint, Kilgallon Burnley I ask
In Biblical terms Portsmouth & many other premiership teams are like the man who built his house on sand when the wind and the waves came the house was washed away, Burnley are building their house on solid ground and when the storms wind and rain come they will stand. Istill think we will stay up & think Bolton Hul & portsmouth will be relegated
Albmaleaf claret
Wrong analogy sand is cheaper than solid course! ;-) I always remember Bob Lord saying similar things and then the storms came we plummeted down the leagues and added the Orient game to our history!
Jack cork had a great game for Burnley but not as a defender but as a mildfielder, actually he was one of the best Burnely players. He reminded me of another current Chelsea player. Who you might ask, well Frank Lampard. He should move into midfield and is more likely to get some games that at the heart of the defence. He set up one goal and had a had in another as well as having a strike hisself. It will be interesting to see if he is used in the midfield while at Burnley. I think he could come back a new player and has found his place.
Did you know that Harry Redknapp, the bit-player in Pompey's demise who is now awaiting his trial to resume, lives in a place called Sandbanks? At the mouth of Poole Harbour it has some of Britain's costliest houses, and is also one of the places most likely to go under as and when seas rise. It is just a spit of sand that has moved this way and that over the centuries. As for football... Our defenders push too far upfield. As CoyBoy is finding at still longball Bolton, it's hard to change a team's habits in midseason. Mears, who is quick, gave away possession miles upfield for one of Villa's goals. The centrebacks aren't quick enough to cover attacking wingbacks. Grezza is clever enough to make up for his lack of pace when fit. Bikey is all over the shop defensively as a midfielder and very lazy about tracking back when a player gets goalside of him. We miss Chris McCann. Elliott, although out of form, does a decent impersonation of a ball-winning central midfielder considering he's a winger; but Coyle pushed him too hard to play killer attacking passes rather than retain possession, and the fans have got on his back, and his head has dropped.
Couch Potato
I often wonder how much the fans ‘getting on his back’ affects the players, not to mention the team. We’ve had this thread before, but I hope the players don’t read what’s written on here otherwise all their heads will drop! All of us, including the players and management want to see the same thing, and that is to see good entertaining attacking football with three points at the end. We need to get behind all the players and the team, regardless of who we think Laws should play, and back them to the hilt. This team is definitely good enough to survive and we've got more creative flair than most around us, all we need is a bit more of that essential ingredient in football , the rub of the green.
Cork was brought in to play in midfield Starginga and I'd expect him to keep his place above McDonald for the Portsmouth game. Bikey seems to have come in for a lot if cop but in our last two home games he has been excellent. Away from home he looks out of his depth but we could say that for our whole team. Tmp - I believe our first allotted parachute payment has been spent, if this is the case it seems we have already spent to your expectations and technically we have incurred a short term debt. This perhaps begs another question: ca we really point the finger at the Board, who took a huge calculated risk in providing the resources to get us to the Prem, based on assumptions.
I dont think we can point the finger at the board CC - I think they have done everything they can! In order to spend money you need to have it in the first place ( or be able to get it). It would be a 'calculated risk' for me to buy another house in the knowledge that house prices are likely to increase and I will therefore make a profit - but if i dont have ( or cant get) the funds to start with, I cant!
Responding to WC's 'rub of the green comment', I had been thinking earlier today that Villa scored from one deflection, while our deflection, when we were 1 up, looped up and went agonisingly wide. On telly, I really thought it was going in! Change that luck, and we would have lost 4-3... and we'd have been talking about 'what a great game', 'unlucky to lose', 'away win only a matter of time now' and so on... This thread would have been much shorter, and TMP would probably still be arguing about his plans for spending Barry Kilby's money. But our heads would have been held high. Up the Clarets!
Couch Potato
My head is still held high CP ( I hope others are too)- I am still very proud of what we have achieved and how the club has gone about trying to achieve it. I just think that the 15 minite spell on Sunday was incredibly poor and basic ( only the third was anything to do with bad luck IMO) and that is what I am annoyed about. It is probably the first time since our promotion that I have been angry with them! Still, onwards an upwards. We can still do it. And we may just get a slice of luck away from home which coul dbe so crucial!
I am with you Dale on the proud bit, wore my scarf all day today even at the golf club! Never took it off. I am proud of the Board, Staff and players. We are ickle Burnley in some peoples eyes but we are Proud Burnley no matter what in my eyes.

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