Burnley’s 6-season EPL stint ends with loss to Newcastle
BURNLEY, England (AP) — Burnley was relegated from the Premier League after six seasons Sunday with a 2-1 loss at home to Newcastle that allowed rival Leeds to survive.
Burnley needed only to match Leeds’ result against Brentford and for much of the second half, a draw would have been enough, something Burnley nearly achieved when Maxwel Cornet headed straight at Martin Dubravka three minutes before the end.
Groans sounded around Burnley’s Turf Moor home when news came through in stoppage time that Leeds had scored its second goal in what finished a 2-1 win over Brentford.
Soon after, the final whistle blew at Burnley, with scattered applause for the relegated squad
It brought an end to Burnley’s hopes of surviving under interim manager Mike Jackson after he stepped in when longtime manager Sean Dyche was fired last month.
“Suffer,” Jackson said when asked what he would do next. “That won’t go away for a long, long time. In fact it won’t. It will always be there.”
Callum Wilson scored both of Newcastle’s goals in a winning end to a season best known for the controversial takeover by the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund in October. When the new owners appointed Eddie Howe as manager in November, the team was winless and in the relegation zone, but Howe turned the team around to finish 11th.
Wilson opened the scoring with a penalty in the 20th minute after a handball by Burnley’s Nathan Collins and scored again in the 60th before Cornet responded for Burnley on a rebound nine minutes later. Burnley fans greeted their former striker Chris Wood with boos as he returned with Newcastle to the club he left in January as one of the new Saudi owners’ higher-profile signings.
While Newcastle fans look ahead to what could be lavish spending by their new owners, Burnley face a host of potential problems in the second tier.
Club accounts show they must now repay a “substantial” portion of a 65-million-pound ($81 million) loan taken out as part of a leveraged takeover in late 2020, while Ben Mee, James Tarkowski, Ashley Barnes and Matej Vydra are on a list of nine first-team players out of contract this summer. The last time Burnley was relegated from the EPL in 2015, it returned at the first attempt.
Burnley’s best finish came with seventh place in 2017-18, the high point of Dyche’s physical, direct-passing style. Burnley remained hard to beat this season, conceding 53 goals, fewer than sixth-place Manchester United, but couldn’t score often enough, with 34 goals at an average of less than one per game.
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe managed Burnley for nearly two years in 2011 and 2012 and admitted it was painful to send his old club out of the Premier League.
“It was a very, very difficult game for me,” Howe said. “I’ve got emotional ties to Burnley and my thoughts are with the players, staff, the fans. It’s a very proud football club and it hurts to see the club being relegated.”
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