Welcome back to the big time, Burnley

May 25, 2009

It’s been a while since Burnley last enjoyed top flight success but fans of the Lancashire club can dream once more after winning promotion to the Premier League on Monday, beating Sheffield United 1-0 at Wembley.

Founding members of the Football League in 1888, Burnley, join Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham City as next season’s new boys, replacing relegated West Bromwich Albion, Middlesbrough and Newcastle United.

Burnley’s success will please more than a few neutrals.

Manager Owen Coyle’s team have received praise all season for their good football and have regularly caught the headlines in the domestic cups, beating no fewer than four Premier League sides including Chelsea and Arsenal and reaching the League Cup semi-finals.

A long time has passed since Burnley’s glory days, the second league championship in 1960 and a place in the European Cup quarter-finals the following year, and it’s probably no surprise that bookmakers hardly gave the players time to enjoy a post-match glass of champagne before slapping them odds-on for relegation next season.

But Coyle need only look at Hull City, who received similar treatment a year ago from the bookies. Not many would have imagined that Middlesbrough and Newcastle’s long stay in the top flight would end thanks to Hull’s outstanding early-season form.

No-one is safe. Good luck Burnley.

PHOTO: Burnley’s Steven Caldwell (L) lifts the trophy as teammates celebrate after their English Championship play-off final soccer match victory against Sheffield United at Wembley Stadium in London May 25, 2009. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis


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I hope Coyle stays. I think Burnley have got more than enough to stay up with a little bit more investment.

Check out my blog – http://thensaturdaycomes.com

Posted by Then Saturday Comes | Report as abusive

Hope Coyle stays. Burnley have enough to stay up with just a little more investment from the board.

Anyway, love the blog – check out mine! http://thensaturdaycomes.wordpress.com

Posted by Then Saturday Comes | Report as abusive

Henry Winter in the Telegraph sums it up best:

For all ages of Burnley fans, yesterday was so special. For the young ones dancing in their “Dare to Dream’’ T-shirts, victory meant a chance to see modern-day footballing icons like Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney on a weekly basis. For every Burnley kid who had left Turf Moor on Jan 21, hearts broken when Roman Pavlyuchenko and Jermain Defoe denied them a place in the Carling Cup final, yesterday made amends. Smiles replaced tears.

For middle-aged men, holding up their mobile phones at the final whistle to record the celebratory sights and sounds for all time, this was reward for all those years of following Burnley through lean decades, hoping against hope for nirvana like this.

For the older supporters, it was all about the restoration of the natural order, a return to a time when Burnley were an established force in the land and, adding to the sense of a historic occasion, club legends like Jimmy McIlroy were present to witness it.

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Hearty welcome back. The Lancashire Bees grow in numbers in the premier league.

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