Clarets Contract Issues Continue

Ali Koiki Rejects Clarets Contract Extension & Leaves Turf Moor Tonight

The Clarets contract issues continue as young Burnley defender Ali Koiki is set to quit the club after rejecting a new contract with the Premier League outfit. The clubs retained list published last week revealed that the left-back had been offered an extension by the club which Koiki has turned down and has made his mind up to leave when his current deal expires today. He will then be able to join a new club as a free agent.

It is understood that the rising star has interest from a number of clubs in the Sky Bet Championship, League One and abroad. Koiki is unhappy with his lack of first team opportunities after being named on the bench on a number of occasions but failing to make the line-up. Remarkably, he has scored 10 goals from left-back for Burnley U23’s this season.

The player and his camp believes this should have been enough to catch the eye of first team boss Sean Dyche and make his senior debut. But that has not been the case and Koiki has been left waiting for his debut two years after first penning professional terms. The club already has a first choice left-back in Charlie Taylor, who has strong competition for his place from Erik Pieters, which has mean’t Koiki has had to wait for his chance.

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Former Clarets Keeper Confident Over Future

Joe Hart Looking Forward to New Club & Future

After being released by Burnley Football Club this week former England International goalkeeper Joe Hart finds himself without a club for the first time in his seventeen year career. Hart is convinced he will find his perfect footballing match and that he still has a lot to offer a new club.

It is just over four years since Hart played for Manchester City in their Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid. It is less than three since he won the last of his 75 England caps. However, he has spent the last eighteen months as Burnley’s reserve goalkeeper and will be released today 30th June 2020 when his contract expires with the club, but he is not feeling sorry for himself.

Speaking about his time with the Clarets Joe Hart said, “The fact I have had to sit on the bench for eighteen months in the Premier League is not going to define or crush me. I remember who I am, I remember playing for my local Sunday league team and trying to get into the Shrewsbury Town first team. I learned early in my career you need to keep things in perspective. You can have great things said about you in football, but you must be strong on self-criticism, analyse what you are doing and be comfortable with it.

Maybe from the outside, people are thinking it is a time for panic but from the inside it is a time to look forward and see all the opportunities. I am young when it comes to being a goalkeeper. I am even younger when it comes to the mental age of a guy who just wants to go in goal and have people whack balls at him. I am under no illusions that Real Madrid are going to knock my door down, to get Thibaut Courtois out and bring me in. There is plenty more to come from me. I need someone to believe in me and I will repay that faith.

After winning the Premier League Golden Glove Award three years running, Joe Hart has gone from first choice with Manchester City and England as well as playing in the UEFA Champions League to sitting on the bench at Burnley as the reserve keeper. As he leaves Turf Moor this week he has received a tongue in cheek offer from Shrewsbury Town, but despite his career taking a massive downward turn he is still confident that he can make it as a number one in the top flight.

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Crystal Palace v Burnley

Crystal Palace 0 v 1 Burnley (FA Premier Legue)

Burnley Football Club arrived in the capital by train from Stockport as the Clarets retuned to Premier League action against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Manager Sean Dyche had to make two changes to the side that beat Watford at Turf Moor last week, with full-back Matthew Lowton and striker Jay Rodriguez replaced by Erik Pieters and Phil Bardsley due to injury. Sean Dyche continued to prove a point to the board with seven players named on the bench, six of which were from the Clarets youth team squad.

The Clarets started the stronger of the two sides and enjoying most of the possession in the first-half. On twelve minutes, the home side won a free-kick in a dangerous position but the effort from Luka Milivojevic went high over Nick Pope’s crossbar. Just five minutes later, a great move by the Clarets as Dwight McNeil feed Josh Brownhill on the right and his first-time cross into the area went just over Erik Pieters.

The visitors should have taken the lead on nineteen minutes, when an Ashley Westwood corner was sent towards goal by Ben Mee only to see Van Aanholt block the effort on the line, before Dwight McNeil fired over Guaita’s crossbar from the angle of the six yard box.

On twenty-one minutes, another chance for the Clarets as Dwight McNeil looking lively just behind Matej Vydra, this time driving forward passed three Crystal Palace defenders to the edge of the area before firing a shot at Guaita, in the home side goal.

Jordan Ayew, had Crystal Palace’s first real effort at goal on thirty-one minutes, as he collected the ball in the pocket between the Clarets midfield and back four before taking a shot from the edge of the visistors area that went staright into the arms of Nick Pope.

The visitors had the final effort of the first-half, when they were awarded a free-kick after Josh Brownhill is brought down on the right wing just outside the area. However the resulting free-kick was wasted by the Clarets as Ashley Westwood sent the ball over and out for a goalkick, leaving the half-time score 0-0.

Roy Hodgson, who is now the oldest manager to have managed a club in the top flight of english football, made one change at half-time bring on James McCarthy for Kouyate as they looked to add more strenght into their midfield for the second-half. It looked to have worked just two minutes into the half when Zaha played a ball into Jordan Ayew inside the box, but as he turned and lined up a shot at goal James Tarkowski managed to get in a last ditch tackle and turn the ball away for a corner.

On fifty minutes, the games big talking point arrived as a decision for a possible red card was sent to Stockley Park for a VAR decision, as Jordan Ayew and Josh Brownhill battled for the ball on the halfway line, Ayew took a look at Brownhill before hitting him in the face with a forearm. VAR looked at the incident around seven or eight times before coming to the decision of no card, however head of referee’s Dermot Gallagher who was himself sat in Stockley Park said live on air that it was a red card and the officials got it wrong.

On sixty minutes, Dwight McNeil won a free-kick midway into the Crystal Palace half which was taken by Ashley Westwood, the ball found Clarets Captain Ben Mee who was making his 300th appearance for the club just inside the Palace area, his diving header hit the Palace keeper’s hand before hitting the post and going into the net to make it 1-0.

The Clarets lost another player on seventy minutes, when a challenge on Jack Cork lead to the midfielder being taken off and replaced by the on senior member of the Clarets squad on the bench Kevin Long, as the Clarets went to a back five for the final twenty minutes.

Wilfred Zaha, had a chance on the eighty-third minute but his shot was block by Charlie Taylor and went for a corner, from the resulting corner Mee made a last minute header off the line at the back post over the crossbar. But the Clarets defence were strong and held firm to win the match 1-0, as Nick Pope collected his 13th clean sheet of the season.

Speaking after the match manager Sean Dyche said, “In the first half we played very well and I think we shaded it, we’ve had to change things with the stretched squad we have and we did very well. In the second half Palace came out strongly and we lost our way a little bit but we stayed resolute and we had to change our shape, because we had kids on the bench and we didn’t want to throw them in.

The media have been linking us with qualifying for the UEFA Europa League it’s possible but there is a long way to go because of how thin our squad is. There are no excuses though the mentality in the squad is good and the players have to keep the physicality strong if we are to make a push for Europe.”

Match Details

Crystal Palace – Guaita, Ward, Dann, Cahill, Van-Aanholt, Milivojevic, Townsend, Kouyate, McArthur, Zaha, Ayew (Subs) Meyer, Sakho, Hennessey, McCarthy, Woods, Tavares, Mitchell, Pierrick, Riedewald

Burnley – Pope, Bardsley, Taylor, Tarkowski, Mee, Cork, Westwood, Brownhill, Pieters, McNeil, Vydra, (Subs) Peacock-Farrell, Jensen, Thompson, Dunne, Thomas, Goodridge, Long

Goals(Burnley) Mee (61)

Attendance – 0 (Behind Close doors)

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Former City Striker Returns to the Giant Axe

Lancaster City Sign Striker Tom Kilifin

Lancaster City have confirmed the signing of striker Tom Kilifin who returns to the Giant Axe after a short period away from the club. The striker is already in the City Hall of Fame after making 242 appearances, scoring 68 goals. At the start of last season he moved to Northwich Victoria but he’s back and joined his team-mates today in the first socially distanced training session.

Speaking about the signing Lancaster City manager Mark Fell said, “I was massively impressed with the work he’s put in physically in the off season, he’s come back as athletic as I have ever seen him. He has got the bit between his teeth and wants to be part of a really successful campaign here.

He adds great balance to our attacking options and allows us to use several different formations, added to that he is a popular character in the dressing room and it’s always great to have the best local players at the club. Tom won’t be the only forward brought in this summer, I would expect us to be able to confirm at least one more exciting addition in the next week, we have also added depth defensively which will be announced shortly.”

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Dolly Blues Striker Joins Charnock Richard

Brad Carsley Leaves the Giant Axe For Charnock Richard

Charnock Richard Football Club have this afternoon announced the signing of striker Brad Carsley from Lancaster City. Carsley arrives at Mossie Park with an excellent goal scoring record for his previous clubs Lancaster City, Longridge Town and Bamber Bridge.

Carsley, leaves the Giant Axe with heavy heart following greater demands in his work commitments and there have been a number of clubs interested in signing the striker when news broke on social media that his increased workload meant he could not fit in with the commitment needed in the Northern Premier League. He arrives at Charnock Richard having made forty-two appearances, scoring sixteen goals for Lancaster City with a further eighty-seven goals for Longridge Town, prior to that he scored thirty-six goals for Bamber Bridge.

Speaking about the move Brad Carsley said, “I’m very familiar with the set up here at Charnock Richard, I have played against them numerous times as a player for Lostock St Gerards and Longridge Town when I was in the West Lancashire League. The set up here speaks for itself, the facilities and pitch are fantastic. My brother Troy was here last season before making the move to Longridge Town so I came down as a fan when he was playing. I’d like to thank everyone involved at Lancaster City for my time at the Giant Axe, the staff, the fans, my team mates and everyone else linked with the club. I had a great 18 months with there and wish them all the best with the coming season.

I would love to win the league at Charnock Richard along with other silverware, I have spoke with the manager and his brother Adam for a few days now, discussing things to bring me to the club and they rang all the right bells. I already know some of the lads in the dressing room and their qualities and I’m looking forward to getting to know the other players as well. I am hungry for the challenge and can’t wait to get going in the new season.”

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Sean Dyche – Clarets Must Stretch Finances

Clarets Boss Says Club Must Stretch Finances to Remain In Premier League

Burnley Football Club must stretch their finances if they are to maintain their current status in the Premier League according to boss Sean Dyche. His position has been under scrutiny this week after chairman Mike Garlick ignored his advice to secure senior players on extended contracts until the end of the season.

Dyche, who has two years left on his contract but has refused to confirm he will still be at Turf Moor next season saying, “It’s a vicious circle, getting in front of the curve costs a lot of money. That is why, for two-and-a-half years I have been talking about stretching it. It’s not about breaking it, I would never do that. No way would I rip it up. But can we stretch it, Yes I think we can. Does it need stretching Yes it does. You cannot forever work on a net spend of £9m-a-year. It is not impossible but it is improbable that is going to work over a long period.

Having been in charge for seven-and-a-half years with Burnley set to play in the Premier League for a fifth successive season next term. The club had a net spend of £20m on new players last summer, when they signed Bristol City skipper Josh Brownhill, Erik Pieters & striker Jay Rodriguez. However, for the previous three years the overall figure was less than £11m after Andre Gray and Michael Keane were sold to Watford and Everton.

Dyche’s future has been questioned previously, particularly around vacancies at Leicester City and West Ham United. However, as he points out, “I am still here, people have got bored with linking me with other clubs, now they are linking me with no club, but I am the only one who knows what is going on, No-one else does.”

The departure of highly regarded chief executive David Baldwin to the English Football League earlier this month has already created some uncertainty at the club and Dyche’s relationship with Mike Garlick has been strained by the failure to secure the future of Clarets midfielder Jeff Hendrick who Dyche jokingly said, might be an answer to his current midfield issues.

Sean Dyche added, “It’s not an easy ride all of this, we have to scour for players, we’re constantly trying to find the right ones and we’re trying to get the finance to be able to do that. We know over time we lose players because the chairman and the board want to make money on players so that’s another adaptation we have to work around. Year on year it is difficult. But the challenge gets tougher because some clubs throw more caution to the wind. This club does not want to do that or hasn’t in my time here. Nothing is set in stone an we will have to wait and see what comes next.”

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Former Clarets Defender Passes Away

Theo Foley (1937 – 2020)

Former Clarets defender Theo Foley has sadly passed away this afternoon at the age of eighty-three. The Irish defender started his career with Home Farm Football Club in his hometown for Dublin. He was spotted by Burnley scout Bill Hennessy who arranged for him to join the Clarets on trial whilst working as part of the clubs ground staff, so at the age of sixteen he left Ireland and travelled to Lancashire arriving at Turf Moor in 1953.

After two years at Burnley Football Club he moved south to join Exeter City in the summer of 1955 and went on to make his senior debut for the club in a 1-1 draw with Norwich City later that year. He became a first team regular in the 1957 season playing alongside such players as Graham Rees, Gordon Dale, Nelson Stiffle and Arnold Mitchell who was a great friend. He played in one of the most exciting City sides of all-time as the club just missed out on promotion in 1959.

After making more than 150 appearances for the Grecians, he moved to Northampton in 1961, where he enjoyed the most successful period of his playing career captaining the Cobblers as they made their way from the old Fourth Division to the top flight of English football. Having made 220 appearances for Northampton he turned down a coaching role with the club to pursue a player/coach role with Charlton Athletic in 1970, before taking up the managers job the following season.

Foley, spent four years as first team manager of the Addixks before he was sacked in April 1974. He then coached Dulwich Hamlet for a spell and began his broadcasting career with LBC radio. A brief spell with Dartford ended he became assistant manager at Millwall FC working alongside manager Gordon Jago. Following an instant promotion in 1976, a run of desperate results followed and Jago was sacked, having been ruled out of the managers post he resigned soon after Christmas 1977.

His next role came at QPR, where he first worked with George Graham and when the Scotsman was handed the manager’s job at The Den, he brought Foley back to the club as his assistant in December 1982. The dynamic duo turned a struggling Millwall into a forceful hard to beat side which obtained promotion in 1985. It came as no surprise when George Graham was appointed Arsenal manager in 1986 that he would take his faithful assistant manager with him to Highbury. The pair gain further success as the Gunners won the Littlewoods Cup and the League Championship in 1989. 

The following year he was back on his old stomping ground when Northampton Town appointed him as their new manager. When the Cobblers hit financial difficulties two years later he was relieved of his duties by the administrators. Foley then worked with the Fulham youth team, before teaming up with former Liverpool player Ronnie Whelan at Southend United. His last involvement was with Tottenham Hotspur in a coaching role, but after his retirement he was often seen at the Den offering advice and assisting the younger players at Millwall Football Club.

Former Clarets full-back and BBC sports pundit Lee Dixon once said, “The legend that is Theo Foley, we all loved him, he was a big part of that Arsenal team success and lets not forget, he know the game.”

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Burnley v Watford

Burnley 1 v 0 Watford (FA Premier League)

Burnley Football Club returned to action this evening with the eyes of the nation watching following the incident at the Etihad Stadium on Monday evening, when a plane carrying a banner that read “White Lives Matters” flew over the stadium. This is not the only issue at Turf Moor with rumours in the national media that manager Sean Dyche is set to leave the club in the summer due to issues with the club Chairman Mike Garlick.

Dyche selected the same starting eleven that conceeded five goals at the Etihad Stadium however the manager was able to increase the numbers on the bench for this game with both Mace Goodridge and Phil Bardsley who was able to take his place on the bench after signing a new one year contract for the club on Wednesday evening.

The home side started the stronger of the two teams and had the first real effort of the half on five minutes, as Ashley Westwood played a delightful ball over the top of the Watford defence for Jay Rodriguez, who latched onto the ball on the angle of the area before hitting a volley that forced Foster into a save. The ball bounced free and was headed behind for a corner by Craig Dawson.

A minute later, Dwight McNeil collected the ball on the left-wing before beating his man and sending a pin-point cross to Josh Brownhill at the back post, he brought the ball down before sending a right-footed shot just wide of Ben Foster’s left-hand post.

On thirteen minutes, following a quick throw-in Ashley Westwood crossed into the box from deep on the right-wing for Jay Rodriguez to head the ball home unmarked from six yards passed a helpless Ben Foster, only of the goal to be disallowed for off-side. Just five minutes later, another shot from Rodriguez was saved by Ben Foster when Josh Brownhill was in a better position to score.

The Clarets should have taken the lead on twenty minutes when a long ball over the top from Ben Mee found Matej Vydra on the left-hand side, he chipped the ball over Foster who had started to come for the ball, his shot hit the post and bounced back to Rodriguez at the edge of the area and his effort was cleared off the line by Dawson before falling to Josh Brownhill who dragged his shot wide of Ben Foster’s goal.

The final effort of the half fell to Dwight McNeil who collected the ball at the edge of the Watford box and then sent a curling shot just wide of Ben Foster’s goal to leave the half time score 0-0. Sean Dyche will have been pleased with his sides effort in the first half as the Clarets were on top and should have gone in at least two goals in front.

Nigel Pearson, must have delivered an excellent half-time team talk as the visitors came out much stronger in the second-half, Watford were well on top in the opening twenty mintes of the second half. Will Hughes, who hardly touched the ball in the first-half was now controlling the game with some strong tackling and excellent passing that lead to the visitors creating some chances.

On fifty minutes, the viistors had an excellent chance to take the lead when the ball fell to Will Hughes at the edge of the Clarets box, but his curling effort was well left by Nick Pope as it went just wide of his left-hand post and out for a goalkick. Just ten minutes later the visitors had another massive chance when Nick Pope dropped a corner in the six yard box but he recovered well to save the rebound from Danny Welbeck.

The Clarets took the lead on seventy-two minutes, when Jack Cork collected the ball in the middle of the Watford half before playing the ball to Erik Pieters. He in turn slipped the ball to Dwight McNeil who crossed the ball to the edge of the six yard box for Rodriguez to glance a header beyond Ben Foster and into the goal and give the Clarets a 1-0 lead.

Burnley worked hard in the final ten minutes to protect their lead and defended well as a team, the officials added a further five minutes injury time which gave the visitors one more chance to draw level, but Cathcart headed the ball over Nick Pope’s crossbar from six yards to make the final score 1-0 to the Clarets.

Speaking after the match manager Sean Dyche said, “It has been a tough week for the club and the players, a lot has gone on at this football club and in the town in the past week and we can’t solve everything with a result, but it’s nice to get one. It showed again the players have resilience and they deserve all the credit for working so hard to gain that result. The club have tried to play their part in a really tough period probably as tough a time as I’ve had here for different reasons. The players have been first class to the varying challenges they’ve faced and the way they have conducted themselves.

We were very good for the first half an hour, then Watford came right back into it. But we’ve hit the post had another cleared off the line and caused them lots of problems. It’s hard to dominate a whole game in this league and for the first twenty-five minutes of the second half they had us on the back foot, without causing us too many problems. We have found a moment and that’s important, we came out of a 5-0 loss to a top, top team and the delivery of performance was better, sharper and with the same group of players. Sean Dyche said about his future, I am still here, I have had this before, still working with the players. It has been an emotional week, someone wrote the first time in seven years I had questioned the board, I think that’s pretty good.”

Match Details

Burnley – Pope, Lowton, Taylor, Tarkowski, Mee, Cork, Westwood, Brownhill, Vydra, Rodriguez, McNeil (Subs) Peacock-Farrell, Jensen, Bardsley, Long, Pieters, Thompson, Dunne, Thomas, Goodridge

Watford – Foster, Femenia, Kabasele, Dawson, Masina, Capoue, Cleverley, Hughes, Sarr, Welbeck Deeney (Subs) Gomes, Mariappa, Chalobah, Cathcart, Doucoure, Pedro, Gray, Pussetto, Pereyra

Goals(Burnley) Rodriguez (72)

Attendance – 0 (Behind Close doors)

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Burnley Football Club Issue Retained List

Clarets Putting Faith In Youth Team Players

The Clarets have today issued their retain list in which they have made new contract offers to a number of their young players and triggered contract extensions for others as they continue to look to the future. Midfielder Josh Benson and defenders Ryan Cooney and Jimmy Dunne who have all gained first-team experience on loan in the English Football League this season, have had their stays at Turf Moor extended along with Republic of Ireland international Robbie Brady, as previously announced.

Central defender Jimmy Dunne, has been part of the match-day squad for the Clarets since the Premier League restarted, while Benson and Cooney have both trained in the senior set-up, without being eligible to play due to their season-ending loan spells at Grimsby Town and Morecambe, respectively. 

New offers have been made to midfielder Adam Phillips, striker Rob Harker and defender Ali Koiki. All three were key players in the Clarets’ U23s side which was challenging for the play-offs in the Development Professional League before Academy football was curtailed due to Covid-19. Former England youth international Phillips and Harker also ended last season out on loan with Phillips enjoying a productive spell alongside Cooney at the Globe Arena, while Harker got a taste of first-team football in the Vanarama National League with Hartlepool United.

The Clarets have also offered a new deal to midfielder Aiden O’Neill, 21, who has spent the last two seasons on loan in his native Australia, playing in the A League for Central Coast Mariners and Brisbane Roar. The Clarets have lodged their retained list with the Premier League, which confirms the departures of senior men Joe Hart, Aaron Lennon and Adam Legzdins, along with the news that midfielder Jeff Hendrick has rejected a new contract offer. In addition, young professionals Tunde Bayode, Christian N’Guessan, Henri Ogunby and Joel Senior all members of last season’s U23 squad have also been released.

The futures of defenders Scott Wilson and Oliver Younger, who also combined U23 football with loan spells last season, are still to be resolved. Contract offers may follow as the club pursues Category One Academy status, although the pair, who have both progressed through the age groups at Turf Moor, are free to pursue options elsewhere. Lower down the age groups, second-year scholars Harry Allen, Chris Conn, Matty Rain, Ne’Jai Tucker, Lewis Thompson and Max Thompson – who made his Premier League debut as a substitute at Manchester City on Monday night – are all staying on after being given a third-year extension.

In addition, second-year scholars Joe Conley, Rhys Fenlon, Mitch George, Kane Patterson and Edon Pruti have all been offered 12-week extensions to give them the chance to start the 2020/21 season after the early finish to the current campaign. Udoka Chima and Jayden Major have been released, along with third-year scholars Kai Calderbank-Park & Will Harris.

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Dyche & Garlick Relationship Broken Beyond Repair

Summer Exit – Sean Dyche Done With Clarets

Sean Dyche is considering leaving Burnley at the end of the season due to the deterioration in his relationship with chairman Mike Garlick, which other senior figures at the club fear is fractured beyond repair. 

The Burnley manager has been frustrated by the club’s failure to agree contract extensions for several senior players this summer, as revealed by Sportsmail last month, and become further disillusioned in recent days after being told there will be little money for new signings when the transfer window opens next month.

Dyche has two years left on his contract which if completed would see him spend almost 10 years at the club, but he could walk away prematurely, which given his outstanding record at Turf Moor would alert a host ofother Premier League clubs. Crystal Palace and West Ham have both sounded the Clarets boss out in the past, while Bournemouth and Aston Villa would want to speak to him if they are in the market for a new manager this summer in the event of relegation.

Burnley’s players are aware of Dyche’s feelings, with his possible departure understood to be the talk of the dressing room, which would leave many of them devastated. The club are also beginning to make contingency plans in case Sean Dyche does leave, with Bristol City manager Lee Johnson and well-travelled boss Mark Hughes seen as possible candidates to replace him as both would be comfortable working with Burnley’s largely British squad.

Dyche took the unusual step of going public with his misgivings this week after he was unable to name the full complement of substitutes for Burnley’s 5-0 defeat to Manchester City, saying the club’s contract situation was an unnecessary error which the board needed to learn from. 

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