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COMMENT: Turf loyalty should always come first
FIRST it was Danny Ings, now it is Sean Dyche. Burnley’s two biggest assets have both been linked to Premier League clubs.
After moving up to second in the bookmakers’ favourites for the vacant manager’s post at Southampton, the Burnley boss has emerged as a candidate for the West Bromwich Albion hotseat.
These are potentially worrying times for Clarets fans, who remember all too vividly the speculation surrounding then manager Owen Coyle the last time they won promotion to the top flight, and what eventually came to pass the following January.
At least this time they have been able to indulge in the euphoria of promotion before the fear factor kicked in.
The ticker tape had barely dropped to the Wembley turf when Coyle was being linked with a move to Celtic.
Talk about killing the mood.
But sadly that’s what happens when the small-town clubs like Burnley do well. They get cherry-picked.
It has always been the case with the Clarets.
I spent four hours in the company of Martin Dobson last week, discussing his life in football for a four-part feature which completes today.
He recalled the time when his first spell with the club came to an end with a British transfer record £300,000 sale to Everton so that chairman Bob Lord could finance a new stand.
Before him there was the controversial sale of Jimmy McIlroy to Stoke. To this day it is said some of the fans who were disgruntled and disillusioned at that decision have never returned.
In more recent times the sales of Jay Rodriguez and Charlie Austin have kept the club coffers ticking over.
It has gone on for decades.
But now, as the Clarets prepare for Premier League life again, it is the time for the Clarets to stick together, and for the board to encourage that.
Tying Kieran Trippier to a new deal is certainly a good start. Although it may prove to be more tricky to get Ings to do the same it should not stop them from trying. Similarly with Dyche.
Because they could all make an even bigger name for themselves by bringing an even bigger success to Burnley with survival.
They should all be given, and take, that chance, and then see where it takes them.
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