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Rob Burnett: To bounce back, Burnley must emulate Birmingham’s Midlands rivals

13 Aug | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Rob Burnett: To bounce back, Burnley must emulate Birmingham’s Midlands rivals

An immediate top flight return is far from guaranteed, but the Sports Editor believes the Clarets can be inspired by West Brom

Danny Ings scored to hand Burnley a 1-0 victory over Hull, but as the final whistle was blown that afternoon in May last season, the players and fans already knew the awful truth: Burnley were down.

With Newcastle getting a point against West Brom, and Leicester beating Southampton, the Clarets’ one-season stay in the top flight was over.

Gravel-voiced manager Sean Dyche was obviously hurting, but immediately predicted the Clarets would bounce straight back up from the Championship.

“There is a real mental resilience about the players and they will have grown from this experience, as will I, as will the staff, the fans, the club – everything about the club is in a whole better place than it was,” he said.

It is the stock line delivered by every manager of a relegated side, and you can’t blame them for that.

But how often does it actually happen? How often do relegated sides yo-yo straight back into the top flight?

Logically it should happen all the time right? What with Premier League know-how among the staff, a playing squad which is going to be better than almost all the clubs in the division below, plus the parachute payments which mean their budget will dwarf the non-relegated sides in the Championship.

And is there anyone on the planet more qualified to lead Burnley to promotion than Dyche? After all, he’s done it before, and with the parachute money he should have more to spend in the transfer market.

14/1 – Burnley to win the Championship

So on that basis, Clarets fans should get the champagne on ice, ready for a promotion party in May, right?

Well, not exactly. In the 29 seasons since the play-offs were introduced only about a quarter of the relegated teams secured immediate promotion back to the top flight.

That means three-quarters didn’t. On that basis, Burnley have, statistically, a one in four chance to get out of the Championship at the first time of asking. Hardly a sure thing.

Saturday’s opponents Birmingham City have managed the feat twice in recent history: first under Steve Bruce in 2007, then with Alex McLeish at the helm two years later.

But since coming back down again in 2011, the Blues have looked more likely to go down to League One, than go up to the Premier League.

Their trajectory has been the opposite of midlands rivals West Brom. The Baggies too were a yo-yo club, with owner Jeremy Peace always steadfastly refusing to gamble the club’s long-term financial status on big money signings whenever they did achieve promotion.

Yes, they bounced up and down between the top two divisions, but the money was banked, the club’s infrastructure and playing staff gradually improved and they have now enjoyed five years of top flight football.

So Clarets fans, relegation may not be a disaster, just pray you can go the way of West Brom, and not Birmingham…

11/2 – Sam Vokes to score first and Burnley to win

Burnley v Birmingham match betting