The return of Premier League football this weekend feels more like an unwelcome intrusion into the warm afterglow of Olympic success and coming hot on the heels of Euros disappointment. Nevertheless, return it must and Burnley will begin their campaign with a home fixture against Brighton and Hove Albion.
It may well transpire as the season develops that ownership of the three points on offer on Saturday will assume huge significance since both Burnley and Brighton are likely to find themselves hovering around the lower reaches of the league table.
At least Burnley will go into the game with their squad more or less intact and free from the rash of injuries which plagued them this time last year. Which is just as well as once again Burnley’s activity, if such it can be termed, in the transfer window is turning out to be its usual exercise in frustration.
The new owners promised the availability of funds and they must be taken at their word, but so far the only additions to the first team squad have been a central defender and a goalkeeper, neither of whom are likely to feature prominently barring injuries or a cup run lasting longer than the traditional two games.
It isn’t that Burnley are not featuring prominently in the gossip columns when it comes to courting players who may enhance their squad. But at each turn those players display a reticence bordering on indifference; showing a reluctance to sign which could in some eyes, be seen as contempt.
Should any of the players who are linked with a move to Burnley stumble upon this post, let me assure them that should they sign they will find a warm welcome in Burnley and if they display an appetite for the contest whilst wearing the claret shirt, they will find the fans four square behind them.
So many former Clarets still have ties to the town and a large number of players who leave for other clubs find themselves returning. Once a Claret always a Claret.
There is still a chance that Burnley’s spending muscle will be flexed before the transfer window closes, but in the meantime, we are left with the same familiar faces, like a much loved rock band heading out on the road for yet another tour for their adoring fans.
Dave Thornley kicks off the new season on a rather pessimistic note.