Don't sell Chappy

Last updated : 20 January 2005 By Tony Scholes

When the season started with such a small squad that looked totally inadequate (sorry, you were right on that Steve Cotterill) the one saving grace was the fact that we didn’t have to sell any players, that the finances were such that we would not have to reduce our squad further.

There’s been no suggestion of another black hole (the last was described by former manager Stan Ternent as a pit shaft) yet selling is exactly what we have done.

There should be no fingers pointed at the club for the sale of Robbie Blake, they were left with no option but to sell him following a situation that we won’t bother to go into again.

Many fingers were pointed when news broke that we were selling both the Turf and Gawthorpe but the club pointed out that it was in our best interests because it would pay off all the creditors.

They even issued the threat that the wage bill would have to be reduced otherwise, this just a few months after they had claimed they didn’t need to sell.

Surely everything is in order now, surely there is no longer a need to sell a player for financial reasons. If that’s the case then can someone please tell us what is going on with Richard Chaplow?

Firstly, why in heaven’s name would a player want to leave Burnley for West Brom? By August at worst we will be playing our football at the same level, that’s if we don’t reach and win the play offs. They have a manager who has hardly covered himself in glory, is under pressure already at the Hawthorns and could well be on his way by the time they kick off again in the Championship next August.

Steve Cotterill has made it more than clear that he does not want to sell Chappy. “I’m not in any hurry. If Richard stays here we’re delighted with that,” he said.

“If the deal is right and Richard wants to go, there really isn’t a lot you can do. But if the deal isn’t right, there’s a lot you can do about it. You don’t do anything.”

That’s as clear a message as we have had that the manager does not want to lose Chappy. He said as much in the summer when Leeds came sniffing round and tied him to a new four year deal.

Does the player want to go? No, he doesn’t and he told the world as much on Tuesday night after the win over Liverpool. Didn’t he say he loves it at Burnley?

So why is this speculation continuing? Why are we allowing the same situation as we did only last month with Blake?

f we need to sell him for financial reasons the club should tell us. If not, then they should tell us that. We might just believe them.

For what it is worth I think selling Richard Chaplow would be a dreadful mistake – he wants to play for us, he wants to help get this club into the Premiership.

Are we really considering selling that potential, attitude, ability and desire to a two bob club with a two bob manager who are going to be relegated in May?