Burnley Profile

Major Honours First Division (2), Second Division/ Championship (3), Third Division (1), Fourth Division (1), FA Cup (1)
Year Founded 1882

Despite its size Burnley FC have a long history of performing at the highest level in English football.

After a six-season stay in the Premier League, Burnley will be playing in the Championship for the 2022/23 season.

Founded in 1882, and nicknamed the Clarets, Burnley play their home matches at Turf Moor, a stadium which has a capacity of 21,944.

Burnley have won all four professional divisions of English football, their last major title came in the 1959/60 season when they claimed the First Division for the second time in their history.

Burnley FC early history

On May 18, 1882, Burnley FC were founded by members of the rugby team Burnley Rovers. They opted to switch to soccer and took "Rovers" out of their club name.

In 1883, Burnley moved into Turf Moor and won the Dr Dean Trophy for amateur local soccer clubs.

By the end of that year, Burnley had gone professional and they looked to bring in the finest Scottish talent. They refused to join the FA, as the organisation did not allow professional clubs to join. Burnley were one of the clubs which made up part of the breakaway BFA in 1884, which the FA nullified by accepting professional soccer in July 1885.

Burnley made their first FA Cup appearance in 1885/86, although they fielded their reserve side as a result of FA rules not allowing them to pick professionals at the time. They were beaten 11-0 by Darwen Old Wanderers. Ahead of the 1888/89 season, Burnley were one of the 12 founding members of the Football League.

In 1889/90, Burnley beat local rivals Blackburn Rovers in order to lift the Lancashire Cup title.

The 1896/97 season saw Burnley relegated to the Second Division, but they bounced straight back up to the top flight by winning the title and doing what was needed in the playoff test series.

In 1899/1900, Burnley were relegated once again and were at the centre of one of the first recorded match fixing scandals in English soccer as goalkeeper Jack Hillman attempted to bribe Nottingham Forest in their last fixture of the season.

Burnley team photo with the FA Cup, April, 1914

In 1902/03, Burnley finished bottom of the Second Division, but they were re-elected. Nevertheless, the club was in a perilous financial state.

Harry Windle took over as Burnley chairman in 1909 and saved the club, leading them to promotion and the FA Cup semi-final in 1912/13. In 1914, Bert Freeman scored the winning goal in a 1-0 FA Cup final victory over Liverpool as captain Tommy Boyle led Burnley to their first major trophy.

In 1919/20, Burnley finished second in the league, behind West Bromwich Albion. The following season, the Clarets won the First Division title.

Legendary manager John Haworth passed away in 1924 and Burnley's position worsened. They were relegated back to the Second Division in 1929/30 and then narrowly avoided a further demotion in the 1931/32 campaign.

Leading up to the Second World War, Burnley were a standard mid-table club in the second tier. The Clarets subsequently gained promotion in the first season of post-war soccer and made the 1947 FA Cup final, where they were beaten by Charlton Athletic.

In their first season back in the top flight, Burnley finished in third place, establishing themselves as a team capable of competing for major silverware.

Burnley's second title and foray into Europe

Burnley team photo with the Division One championship

In 1959/60, Burnley won the First Division title once again with a squad which only cost £13,000. This was largely as a result of their impressive youth development programme.

The following season, Burnley played in the European Cup for the first time, beating Stade de Reims in their first game but losing to Hamburg in the quarter-finals.

In 1961/62, Burnley finished as runners-up to Ipswich Town in the league and lost the FA Cup final to Tottenham Hotspur.

The maximum wage was abolished in 1961 and this made it difficult for Burnley to compete with clubs from more prominent cities. However, they still managed a third-place finish in 1965/66, qualifying for the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.

In 1970/71, Burnley eventually suffered relegation. They were promoted again in 1973, but then went down again in 1976.

Burnley's barren years and recovery

Burnley players and fans celebrate Jay Rodriguez scoring at Turf Moor, February 22, 2020

In 1980, Burnley were relegated to the Third Division for the first time in their history but bounced back up in 1982. However, their return to the second tier was short-lived as they were immediately relegated once again.

At the end of the 1984/85 season, Burnley were relegated to the Fourth Division for the first time in their history.

In 1986/87, a victory over Leyton Orient on the last day of the season prevented Burnley from dropping out of the Football League and into the Football Conference. They managed to stay in this division until 1991/92, when Jimmy Mullen led Burnley to the Fourth Division title.

In 1994, Burnley regained promotion to the second tier of English soccer via the playoffs.

However, relegation followed immediately once again and Burnley would have dropped back down to the fourth tier but for a final day victory over Plymouth Argyle in 1998. In 1999/2000, a second-place finish saw Burnley promoted back up to the second tier.

The collapse of ITV Digital caused financial problems for Burnley and they narrowly avoided administration in 2002.

Six years later, in the 2008/09 season, Owen Coyle led the Clarets to the Premier League via a play-off win over Sheffield United. Burnley also made the semi-finals of the League Cup, losing on aggregate to the defending champions Tottenham Hotspur.

Coyle left Burnley to manage Bolton Wanderers in January 2010 and the Clarets were relegated under Brian Laws.

In 2013/14, Burnley were promoted back to the Premier League under Sean "Ginger Mourinho" Dyche, but were relegated the following season. Dyche remained in charge for the 2015/16 campaign and led the Clarets to the Championship title and an immediate return to the top flight.

Working with a small budget Dyche continued to keep Burnley clear of relegation in the following years, even finishing in seventh place in the 2017/18 season. This saw them qualify for the UEFA Europa League, but they were eliminated in the play-off round by Greek club Olympiacos.

After a 10-year spell with the Clarets, Burnley sacked Dyche with the club battling relegation in the 2021/22 season. Mike Jackson took temporary charge of the side, but was unable to stop the club being relegated back to the Championship on the final day of the season.

Burnley's fanbase

Burnley fans on their way to Turf Moor for the first game of the 2021/22 Premier League season, August 14, 2021

Burnley boasts a remarkable history and loyal fanbase for a small town club. Most Burnley supporters are from East Lancashire and West Yorkshire but they have supporters' clubs in numerous countries including Australia, Finland, Mauritius, Poland, Thailand and the United States.

Clarets fans have a long-running friendship with supporters of Dutch club Helmond Sport, with the two sets of fans regularly making journeys to watch each other play.

Former New Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell is a passionate Burnley fan, as is the cricketer James Anderson, who used to work part-time in Burnley's ticket office.

Burnley's rivalries

Burnley's major rivals are Blackburn Rovers, while others include Blackpool, Bolton Wanderers and Preston North End.

Burnley compete with Blackburn in the East Lancashire Derby, which is also known as the "Cotton Mills Derby". The two sides are only separated by a distance of 14 miles, with the first competitive game taking place in 1888. The head-to-head record is pretty even.

Burnley's finances

Alan Pace is the chairman of the club and they reported a break-even net profit for the financial year ending July 31, 2020.

Since being incorporated as a limited company in 1897, Burnley FC have been owned by local businessmen and supporters all the way through to December 2020. Then, Velocity Sports Partners (VSP) acquired an 84% stake in the club for £200million. This saw Pace replace Mike Garlick as club chairman.

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