IT is four years since Bolton Wanderers stayed in the Premier League thanks to a rather significant arrival from Turf Moor.
In those days, the traffic between Burnley and the Reebok Stadium was one-way. First and most controversially Owen Coyle, then Sandy Stewart, Steve Davis, even the physio. Later Robbie Blake, Chris Eagles, Tyrone Mears.
Many of Burnley’s most crucial assets lost to the club a few miles down the road.
The Clarets suffered because of it. Without Coyle they were relegated from the top flight, while Bolton survived.
Jack Wilshere and Stuart Holden shone for the Trotters, having previously been lined up to sign for Coyle at Burnley.
Slowly but surely, though, the tables started to turn. By the end of this season, that process could be complete.
After Coyle’s initial success at Bolton, also including an FA Cup semi final, things did not go well.
They were relegated, with Mears breaking his leg within days of his arrival at the club and Eagles struggling to find top form.
Back in the Championship, Eagles missed a pivotal penalty in a defeat at Millwall and Coyle was sacked days later.
Neither Eagles nor Mears enjoyed happy times under Dougie Freedman, and both were released in the summer. Both are still without clubs as things stand.
After Burnley’s promotion to the Premier League, now the traffic is moving in the other direction.
With Bolton keen to cut their wage bill, Marvin Sordell was allowed to join the Clarets after struggling to fire at the Reebok. Coyle had signed him for £3m midway through the 2011/12 season, but the former Watford man surprisingly played only 39 minutes in the Premier League as the club were relegated.
After that there were stories of the Londoner being homesick, then an incident in Coyle’s final match at Millwall when Sordell received racist abuse from a Lions fan.
His brave decision to report it appallingly led to further criticism from some supporters of the London club. Much of that was played out on Twitter, a social media tool that new boss Freedman eventually tried to persuade Sordell to curb – believing it was acting as a distraction.
Sordell is a sensitive character – an avid book reader who has set up the Marvin Sordell Foundation – and if Burnley can restore his confidence there is clearly a talented striker waiting to emerge.
The 23-year-old’s best form came under Sean Dyche at Watford.
Sordell is not the only one to have arrived at Burnley this summer after time at the Reebok.
Freedman’s top summer target, Lukas Jutkiewicz, moved to Burnley from Middlesbrough despite a successful loan period with Bolton last season.
Matt Taylor was another to join the Clarets. Never relegated from the Premier League during his career, it was only when he was sold to West Ham that Bolton dropped out of the top flight.
Craig Dawson could also potentially make the move, having been a highly successful loan signing at the Reebok Stadium two seasons ago. Bolton tried to recruit him again, but failed.
There will be a significant Bolton presence in the Burnley squad this season, and it could yet make the difference.
If they do help to keep the Clarets in the top flight, 2010 will seem a very long time ago.