Burnley snapped their relationship with
manager Sean Dyche on Friday. The Premier League club is currently 18th on the
point ladder and facing the risk of relegation. But the decision was
unexpected, given Dyche’s track record of maintaining Burnley’s status in the
top flight on a relatively modest budget.

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His tenure with the club started in
October 2012. The club was promoted twice from the second-tier Championship,
achieved two top-half finishes in the Premier League and qualified for Europe
for the first time in 51 years.

When other small-scale clubs spent a
small amount of money for their survival in the first division, Burnley have
spent more than £200 million in the past three seasons. But Dyche has never had
such a luxury during his 10-year-old tenure.

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However, with Burnley four points from
safety with eight games left, chairman Alan Pace said he had to act now with
the team’s top-flight status at such risk. Results this season have been
disappointing said Pace, who only arrived at Burnley in the middle of last
season, and, while this was an incredibly difficult decision, with eight
crucial games of the campaign remaining, we feel a change is needed to give the
squad the best possible chance of retaining its Premier League status.”

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With Dyche’s side struggling for goals
this term, Burnley allowed striker Chris Wood, a key figure in preserving the
club’s Premier League status over the past few seasons, to join relegation
rivals Newcastle United in January.

With his gravelly voice and quirky
humour, Dyche was one of the most distinctive and charismatic managers in the
Premier League. A no-nonsense centre back as a player, Dyche built a team that
played in his image direct, hard-working and physical.

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Burnley posed a unique challenge for
opponents, especially when they visited Turf Moor, but one that has become
easier to negotiate this season as Dyche’s team struggled to escape the
relegation scrap. A 2-0 loss at last-place Norwich City last weekend was a big blow
to Burnley’s chances of staying up, coming just a few days after a
morale-boosting 3-2 win over Everton another team in relegation danger.

Waiting nearly a week to fire Dyche, as
well as his entire first-team coaching staff, seems odd, too. Burnley plays
West Ham on Sunday when under-23s coach Mike Jackson will be in charge and
assisted by, among others, one of the team’s players in captain Ben Mee.

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Pace described Dyche as a credit both on
and off the pitch and someone respected by players, staff, supporters, and the
wider football community. That wasn’t enough to keep him in his job and Dyche
will be a hard act to follow, whether Burnley stays in the Premier League or