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Why is no one talking about Burnley?

Friday 13th October 2017
Burnley currently sits sixth in the Premier League table, above Liverpool, and just one point behind Arsenal. Yet, nobody ever mentions them. 

Why is the gritty, industrious, resilient northern club never talked about? Well, I may have just answered my own question.
Modern football is as much about presentation with panache, as it is production whilst enjoying success. The financialised world that has become more about the balance in the bank than the trophies in the cabinet demands that clubs be fashionable, interesting, quirky, attractive; all traits that do not necessarily breed tangible success. The off-the-pitch look must, sometimes, come at the expense of the on-the-pitch product.

The most noticeable way to see this truth in the modern game is to consider the coverage that certain clubs garner. The big sides, for example, invariably have their games shown on TV. They are often first on Match of the Day, it is them that are debated and discussed on the radio, they are the ones around which the rumours fly. The reason being is simple: They have the biggest fan base, they garner the most interest and attention, so covering them will result in greater viewing figures which will drive the revenue made by that particular program and company.

It is not necessarily anyone's fault that this is the case. It was always going to be the case when the expectation that content is funded through advertising, which is charged via the number of people that take in whatever program or article is in question. But because of this obsession with the glitz and the glamour of certain teams, others go unnoticed, others that are established, accomplished, successful, embodying the solid and secure foundations that all would like football clubs to be. I am, to name the object of my desires, talking about Burnley FC.

They are not pretty; they are not sexy. They are called 'Burnley' for Pete's sake! But they currently sit sixth in the Premier League, above Liverpool on goal difference,  just one point behind Arsenal. They have lost just once all season, conceding just five goals; as few as Spurs, whilst conceding one less than Chelsea. They haven't had an easy slate of fixtures, either.
Burnley has played seven games this season, including four away trips. For context, The Clarets would have finished 19th last term if only away games counted, with seven points, one win, 13 goals scored, and a whopping 35 conceded. The aforementioned away fixtures have been to Stamford Bridge, Wembley, Anfield, and Goodison Park. From those four games, they have two wins and two draws. That is remarkable.

And yet, for all of their successes, no one ever talks about little old Burnley, no one ever gives Sean Dyche his due, unless it's Ian Wright waxing lyrical about how he should be future Arsenal manager. No one ever pays Burnley any attention, myself included. And the reason is simple. They are a not popular, marketable club. They are not big, brash spenders. They do not have steeped and enriched history. They do not have fashionable, attractive players. Their last three record signings have been Jeff Hendrick, Robbie Brady, and Chris Wood.

It's time for Burnley to be given the praise and respect that they deserve. They are challenging with the elite of the Premier League and holding their own. They are doing so with dignity and class. They are a well-run, professional, and thoughtful organisation. No one may be talking about them. But that's their loss, not Burnley's.
Andrew Dowdeswell

A sport obsessed 20 something who just really wants Arsenal to finally win the league. Please Wenger, what the hell happened to you?!


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