Date: 9th January 2010 at 8:12am
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Keep coming back to this article over the weekend. As news breaks on our managerial targets in the media, Vital Burnley will update you and bring you the latest gossip and rumours.

Gary Neville

William Hill yesterday suddenly slashed the odds of Gary Neville being our new manager from a 50-1 outsider to 8-1.

It has of course been speculated in the media recently that Gary Neville would be hanging up his boots at the end of the season. The Manchester United and England international full back will be 35 next month and his contract will expire at the end of the season.

Sir Alex Ferguson was quick to scotch such rumours and said:

‘There has not been a decision about Gary Neville.Why make a decision about his future when we don’t need to? You don’t make decisions like that in the middle of the season. It is a load of nonsense.’

It is unclear why Neville would be considered for the managerial role at Burnley when we are looking to fill this position within the next two weeks and he is still under contract as a player at Old Trafford. Also why would Burnley want to take the risk on someone with no managerial experience whatsoever when we are fighting for our Premier League survival?

You can imagine that the messageboards are rife with theories some even suggesting that what actually might be happening is that Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan has been targeted as our manager. If our former player and local lad should come to Turf Moor, the theory goes he might be tempted to bring Neville with him as his assistant and give him his first taste of managerial life.

Another connection could be Brendan Flood If you have read his book ‘Big Club, Small Town and Me’,it is clear that our Operations Director is buddy mates with Neville and they text each other on their mobiles. Flood also confirms in his book that he has a business relationship with both Neville and Giggs.

Very strange the odds should drop to that extent but it doesn’t seem that Clarets fans in general are impressed by the possibility of Neville becoming our manager although the dream ticket of Phelan and Neville might be a different matter. Who knows we might even let Neville put his boots on now and again and shore up our defence?

Simon Grayson

Our friend Alan Nixon in the Mirror has been stirring it again today suggesting he knows what Burnley’s intentions are to get a new manager in place.

He believes the Clarets can offer Simon Grayson five times his pay deal at Leeds and suggests he is our number one target

Nixon states cynically:

‘The up-and-coming Yorkshireman is in pole position to land Owen Coyle’s old post and the Premier League outfit could ironically flex their financial muscles to win the chase.’

Nixon also actually informs his public what we pay our managers, which I bet will go down like a house on fire at Burnley FC with them no doubt wondering where he has got the inside information from (I wonder!)

He reckons the job pays around £1 million-a-year with incentives something which he believes would be attractive to a manager from the lower leagues and especially Grayson who is on a low-paid contract at League One Leeds and also has to work on a limited budget.

I have to say I am fed up of Nixon coming across as the smug ‘Mister Know It All’ but even if there is an element of truth in his assertions would we really want a manager who has no experience of the Premier League and indeed would Grayson be willing to jump ship and do the dirty on a club (just like Coyle did to us) and be seduced by a bigger budget despite this still being the lowest in the Premier League?

Grayson has made strong hints he would like to see the job through at Elland Road and with Leeds currently top of League 1 get the side promoted to the Championship. He may well feel that Burnley could get relegated and be playing Leeds in the Championship next season anyway. If so he could think a move might not be worth the risk. Watch this space I guess!


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