Sean Dyche: Burnley's board have 'SCREWED our club' with sacking – fan view

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As mad decisions go, Burnley sacking Sean Dyche is right up there and it is a huge error of judgement by the club chairman Alan Pace.

It is a disastrous move, whichever way you look at it, and the deeply emotional response of Burnley fans tells Pace all he needs to know.

Bizarre, shocked, disbelief, gutted, devastated… were just some of the sentiments spilling out across Twitter in the minutes that followed the shattering news. And I agree with them all.

Sean Dyche guided Burnley to two promotions during his 10 years in charge of the club

Sean Dyche guided Burnley to two promotions during his 10 years in charge of the club

Pace has had a shocker. It is an abysmal decision that will not only in all likelihood cost Burnley their Premier League status, which already hangs by a thread, but may well condemn us to years outside the top flight, if we ever make it back at all.

And on top of that there are the debts that Pace and ALK Capital lumped onto the club in their leveraged buyout of Burnley. That casts an even longer shadow over our future.

For now, for most, there is only sadness at an inexplicable move.

Under Dyche, for the best part of his nine-and-half years, we have lived a dream as Burnley fans, well beyond our means and our expectations.

Owners ALK Capital took over Burnley in 2021 and Alan Pace became chairman

Owners ALK Capital took over Burnley in 2021 and Alan Pace became chairman

Sportsmail columnist and pundit Chris Sutton has been quick to call out Alan Pace

Sportsmail columnist and pundit Chris Sutton has been quick to call out Alan Pace

Burnley fans took to Twitter to express their incredulity at the decision by Pace to sack Dyche

Burnley fans took to Twitter to express their incredulity at the decision by Pace to sack Dyche

Many fans could not believe the Burnley chairman had removed Dyche with eight games to go

Many fans could not believe the Burnley chairman had removed Dyche with eight games to go

While others thought it was a just a 'ridiculous' decision at any point

While others thought it was a just a ‘ridiculous’ decision at any point 

Either way, Pace's sacking of Dyche will define the chairman's tenure in the Burnley hot seat

Either way, Pace’s sacking of Dyche will define the chairman’s tenure in the Burnley hot seat

There have been ups and downs (literally). Two promotions to the Premier League, including one as champions. 

And we have mixed it in the Premier League with the best teams in the world. How ridiculous is that?

Burnley’s entire population almost fits inside Old Trafford, but incredibly during this golden age, we have been to Manchester United and won for the first time in almost 60 years.

What a night that was.

I shared the moment with my 80-year-old dad, who was there the last time we triumphed. Or at least I would have shared it with him, if he hadn’t legged it outside in injury time, because he couldn’t stand the tension in the closing stages.

Other unbelievable results have seen us win at Liverpool and at Chelsea. We have competed in the toughest league in the world for six consecutive seasons against squads worth ten times more than ours.

Burnley have recorded memorable victories during their time in the Premier League, including a 2-0 win at Old Trafford in January 2020, the first triumph against United in almost 60 years

Burnley have recorded memorable victories during their time in the Premier League, including a 2-0 win at Old Trafford in January 2020, the first triumph against United in almost 60 years

We laugh when Jack Grealish, or Jordan Henderson, or Marcus Rashford, or Hakim Ziyech, or some other superstar leaves the bench to warm up in front of us at Turf Moor. It’s a mismatch most weeks.

But our players never flinch. They may lose, but they never hide; they will always give it a go. And that’s why we say, we love ‘playing football the Sean Dyche way’.

However tough our opponents, however poor our own form, Dyche and his staff have always motivated and organised our lads to find a way for them to perform with confidence and compete. We have always felt we’ve had a chance.

Under Dyche we have had so many special moments that have become our collective memories, built on incredible home wins and away days, brilliance and resilience (usually the latter).

Dyche has been a persistent and reassuring presence for Burnley fans for a decade

Dyche has been a persistent and reassuring presence for Burnley fans for a decade

They now span generations and bind families together. Dyche – his staff and his players – have delivered that, for us, against the most incredible odds.

Along with the memories, Dyche has brought hope and pride to our supporters.

And that accounts for the emotional turmoil of fans now.

‘They. Just. Don’t. Get. It.’ tweeted Tony Livesey, the BBC Radio 5 Live Drive presenter, and a huge Burnley fan, 

Pace said all the right things when he and his ALK Capital organisation took over Burnley in 2021.

He has been engaged and hands on, brought in exciting players in Maxwel Cornet and Wout Weghorst and even pitched in to clear snow after a heavy fall before we played Spurs in November.

Burnley chairman Alan Pace said it was an 'incredibly difficult decision' to sack Dyche

Burnley chairman Alan Pace said it was an ‘incredibly difficult decision’ to sack Dyche

But this is his biggest decision, the most far-reaching and it will be the one that defines him.

‘Does @AlanPaceBFC think that clearing snow off the pitch impresses the fans when he goes and sacks the very man who has given a generation of @BurnleyOfficial fans memories of Premier League football?’ Burnley fan John Burns asked on Twitter.

The vast majority of fans would agree. After all, some of them named their local after him – The Royal Dyche on Yorkshire Street.

But like Livesey says, Pace and Co… Just. Don’t. Get. It.

Firstly, the timing. Even those supporters who have lost faith, and there are a few disillusioned by this season’s struggles, are horrified the axe has fallen now.

Burnley’s management has been decapitated. Not only Dyche, but Ian Woan, Steve Stone and goalkeeping coach, Billy Mercer, have gone, too.

Ian Woan (L) has also been an ever-present during Dyche's tenure at Turf Moor

Ian Woan (L) has also been an ever-present during Dyche’s tenure at Turf Moor

If Pace wanted to make a change, then the international break was the last opportunity to do so.

This smells like pure panic after a disappointing result and performance, which saw us go down 2-0 at Norwich, leaving us four points adrift with eight games to go.

But even there, the majority of supporters, in a large away following, stayed to applaud the team. As Dyche said from day one, the minimum expectation is there will be sweat on the shirts, and Burnley never stop trying. Fans appreciate that.

When someone new comes in, what does Pace and his team expect will happen then? Does he hope to get ‘a reaction’ from the players to see us to safety?

I don’t think so. These players give their all. Any disquiet among supporters is not about a lack of effort. Burnley don’t do ‘journeymen’ players, who ebb and flow with the managerial tide. You are all in, or you’re out.

Relegation would trigger an early repayment of a loan, Sportsmail has recently revealed

Relegation would trigger an early repayment of a loan, Sportsmail has recently revealed

Burnley are four points adrift of safety with eight Premier League games remaining

Burnley are four points adrift of safety with eight Premier League games remaining

No, the arguments raging in the gents beneath Carrow Road’s South Stand last Sunday were not about commitment, but whether Jack Cork should have come in for Ashley Westwood, or should we play more to Wout Weghorst’s feet, rather than down the channel.

These are pertinent questions, but let’s be honest, they are marginal.

Given our small squad, any new manager will not have the opportunity to make sweeping changes in the games that are left.

The minority of fans who wanted a change hoped for a parting of the ways in the summer, not now.

To sack Dyche with this season yet to be decided makes no sense from a football perspective, but it is also disrespectful and repugnant.

It is not how Burnley has been run over the last three decades. Fundamentally, it is not the behaviour that has brought us success, and it is not right.

Sean Dyche's Burnley face a £60m blow if they are relegated from Premier League this season

Sean Dyche’s Burnley face a £60m blow if they are relegated from Premier League this season 

Dyche deserved to finish the job. It is not only what he has done, but what he has continued to do. Burnley are still competitive. We have only won four in the Premier League this season, but we have lost fewer matches than most in the bottom half.

And the fact is, Dyche has been trying to do the job with one arm behind his back.

Burnley operate on a fine margin. We cannot go big in the transfer market and when we push the boat out, it has to work out because we don’t buy many.

By and large, Dyche and the club have done well on recruitment. However, while former chairman Mike Garlick was trying to sell the club, even the trickle from our money taps dried up.

It turns out Garlick was saving up Burnley’s capital so Pace and ALK could take over through a leveraged buyout. They used the club’s cash to pay Garlick.

Dyche's last game in charge at Turf Moor was the 2-0 defeat away to Norwich on Sunday

Dyche’s last game in charge at Turf Moor was the 2-0 defeat away to Norwich on Sunday

The result was Burnley did not recruit well for two years. The average age of the squad crept up so that at 28.9 years, it is now the oldest in the top flight.

Not great for a high energy team that has to chase the ball for 95 minutes and only plays two in the middle of the park.

WHO WILL SUCCEED SEAN DYCHE AS BURNLEY MANAGER? 

Sam Allardyce – 5/1

Alan Pardew -12/1

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – 16/1

Claudio Ranieri – 16/1

Marcelo Bielsa – 40/1

Rafa Benitez -25/1

Odds courtesy of Betfair

That has taken its toll this term. Pace needed to keep the faith and hope for another Dyche miracle to bail him out.

Instead, he has made an appalling, rash decision that will have a lasting legacy and may yet usher in the financial nightmare he must fear.

If we went down under Dyche, and he stayed, he was our best chance of coming straight back. He has won us promotion twice already, including an immediate return in 2016. Now, the future is uncertain. And the fear is freefall.

The Pace/ALK buyout has left the club financially vulnerable. They have taken on a £60m debt, which Sportsmail has reported must be repaid if we go down.

If that happens… hello Bolton, my old friend. 

Our near-neighbours capitulated following their relegation from the Premier League in 2012 and only stayed in business by the skin of their teeth.

In Dyche, Burnley found the perfect man. A pragmatist with a huge will to win. He skillfully managed the players and fans, binding us together on the journey.

The team has been easy to support for the simple reason you always believe everyone is doing absolutely everything they can to get a result.

Sure, I might like Cork over Westwood, I’d like to see more of Matej Vydra and I put my head in my hands when every cross hits the first defender or the ball spins into the channel and out for a goal kick (again). But I never doubt the desire and application of any of them, or the acumen of the former boss. And I cannot think of a single player who does not play at, or above, his potential, most weeks.

It takes some manager to deliver that over nine and a half years. Unfortunately, we just sacked him. And they’ll be crying in the Royal Dyche tonight.



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