I Did Ridiculous Things as Burnley Boss

John Bond About His Time As Burnley Manager

John Bond the man who ended Brian Laws playing career at Turf Moor knew he would never be popular in Burnley. This year marks thirty-five years since the club sacked the former manager and in an interview back in 2010, Bond admitted his time in charge of the Clarets remains one of the biggest regrets of his life.

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The first man without a Clarets connection to manage the club in 31 years, he was sacked after a solitary season in charge in 1983/84, a campaign that saw the Clarets finish 12th in Division Three, having been relegated the year before. Bond has forever been blamed for wasting precious money on unsuccessful signings, something some Clarets fans feel played a part in their ultimate slide to the depths of Division Four.

The fans dislike for John Bond was so strong that when his Shrewsbury side were drawn away to Burnley in the 1992 FA Cup some eight years after he had left the club, he was advised by Lancashire police to stay away from the game for his own safety.  But Bond still feels upset about some aspects of his reign but, in the 2010 interview aged 77 his memories of his Clarets reign are largely stained by sadness rather than anger.

Speaking about his time at the club John Bond said, “It is one of my biggest regrets, I did do some ridiculous things with some of the signings I made. In my playing days Burnley played great football like West Ham did, so I had a lot of time for them and was proud when I became Burnley manager.

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Chairman John Jackson asked me to take the job after I had walked out on Manchester City. But in the end Burnley just wasn’t for me, the people weren’t really my type of people and I could never have imagined living there. A lot of former players had a lot to say for themselves, too.  But I did go storming in and tried to change things too quickly.

I signed people like Kevin Reeves and Tommy Hutchison who did well but there were others like Joe Gallagher who was crocked. I also had Willie Donachie in the squad who I knew from Manchester City, who I had always rated as a player but it didn’t work out.

I was the first person without a Burnley connection to take charge for a long time and when I walked to the dug-out for my first home game I was booed. I pretty much knew then the fans were never really going to take to me.  I was doing my damnedest but I got a lot of criticism during my time at the club.”

Bond’s main gripe remains the way he left Burnley, sacked by Jackson five days before the start of the 1984/85 campaign as a boardroom power struggle led to a decline in relations between chairman and manager, which in turn lead to him being sacked.

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