Date: 7th January 2010 at 8:47am
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A press conference was held yesterday by Chairman, Barry Kilby and Operations Director, Brendan Flood. They discussed what the departure of manager Owen Coyle to Bolton meant for the club and what their intentions were to find a replacement.

They also confirmed that should the game against Stoke City at Turf Moor on Saturday go ahead that weather permitting Steve Davis would be in charge as caretaker manager with Phil Hughes assisting. This is bound to fuel speculation that Coyle`s Scottish backroom team in assistant manager, Sandy Stewart and the recently appointed John Henry could also be leaving the club and might be following Coyle to Bolton.

What though of our plans longer-term to get a new manager in place? Brendan Flood outlined our strategy on that one and the good news is we intend to have a new manager appointed within the next two weeks, probably just in time for him to have a ‘baptism of fire` away to Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday 16th January.

Flood talking about the type of manager they wanted and the timing for their appointment said:

‘I think we would like to have the same recipe again as much a possible and there are choices that we can consider. We have just got to meet them and make sure they have got the chemistry, the right feeling for Burnley, and hopefully make a decision within the next two weeks. The January window puts extra pressure on everybody. We will be looking for somebody who can make a difference quickly. We are very happy with our squad and if we only made one or two additions nobody would complain. But we want to give any new manager the opportunity to look slightly beyond that and see what he wants to do.”

All that sounds quite good news and pretty positive so we can all now begin to look forward.

Chairman Barry Kilby talking about the relations with Bolton at this moment in time said

‘I don’t think we are best of pals at the moment. It was an unwelcome approach.’

You could see from Kilby’s body language that he would have liked to have put that in stronger terms if it were not for protocol and politeness in front of the cameras! Bolton Chairman, Phil Gartside and both Barry Kilby and Brendan Flood were understood to have been close friends before Bolton’s aggressive tactics to secure the services of Coyle so god only knows what strain this is putting on relationships.

The lawyers of both clubs are now in a battle to sort out compensation due to Burnley FC for Coyle leaving whilst under contract. It is believed Burnley want £3-3.6 million in compensation for Coyle breaking his four-year contract with Bolton only prepared to cough up a million.

In the mean time Coyle is in limbo and has been put on ‘garden leave` by the club. It remains to be seen if the compensation issue can be sorted in time for Bolton to parade their new manager in their match away to Sunderland this Saturday. The bad weather in any case could put paid to that idea.

Personally I hope they delay settlement for as long as possible. The way Bolton have handled this has been despicable and how it can be fair that a club can poach a manager in such a vital period when both are rivals to avoid relegation is beyond me. We play Bolton soon at the Reebok this month, if Coyle is in charge of the Trotters by then he will have vital inside knowledge about our team, tactics, strengths and weaknesses. With both sides separated by just two points and trying to avoid the drop that is a distinctly unfair advantage to the home team and something ought to be done about it. There should be a Premier League ruling that says no manager can move clubs in the same season if both are in the same league.

Barry Kilby next had a few words to say about why Coyle chose Bolton over Burnley

‘Owen felt Bolton do have a larger player budget than we have and it was his best way of remaining a Premiership manager, working with a budget of that size. It’s been a trauma for the football club. None of us wanted Owen to go. It was a shock when all this broke. We are all grown men and know how football works but it was quite emotional when Owen left.’

It was also clear that Kilby felt Coyle had make the wrong decision when he said:

“I full expected when he did move it would be upwards, not sideways to a club with whom we are fighting a relegation scrap`

Kilby continued:

“But I have been in football long enough to know these things happen and I don`t think Owen took this decision lightly. It was with regret that he went and he did say to me there was only Celtic or Bolton he would leave Burnley for. But it has come at a bad time, that is for sure.”

So it would appear that Coyle said he would only ever have left Burnley for Celtic or Bolton but whether Clarets fans will believe anything ever again that Coyle says after his betrayal is doubtful .He has jumped ship at the first approach from a Premier League club and does he seriously expect us to believe he wouldn`t have left Turf Moor had a Top 10 Premier League side come in for him? I doubt anybody would have when you look at his record and I still believe Bolton have made a big mistake in poaching Coyle and think they have been clouded by sentimentality over a former player idolised by the fans.

Owen Coyle at the end of the day is unproven as a Premier League manager. Perhaps Clarets fans have been deluded too about how good he actually was based on his obvious successes in getting us up and the fact we have had one or two high profile victories in the top flight(noticeably against Manchester United at Turf Moor) But what else have we achieved? We are just two points off the drop zone with an horrendous goal difference. We have not won one game away all season, have put in some woeful performances leaking goals like no tomorrow and we have not won a game at all now in the last nine matches.

Do you think it just possible that Coyle panicked and thought he wasn`t going to achieve survival with Burnley and wanted to jump ship to avoid tarnishing his CV? Coyle has been seduced by Bolton`s bigger budget but there is no guarantee that will bring success and in my opinion he has taken a big gamble although I admit one probably where he has a better chance of keeping a team up and saving face. Probably a better chance than at Burnley where the budget is the lowest in the top flight but then again he was working to a plan at Turf Moor and knew the players. He will have to quickly familiarise himself with the Bolton set-up and try and get the current players to play a different type of football, not to mention develop his new players and get them to quickly blend in. He has to do this with games coming quick and fast and with the club currently in the bottom three. My heart bleeds for him!

I feel betrayed by the bloke. I have lost all the respect I had for him and I will never, ever forgive him for what he has done to us at this critical time. If we stay up and Bolton go down, I will be laughing my cotton socks off. Come on you Clarets let`s do it!