Vincent Kompany's Burnley secure promotion to the Premier League


Burnley manager Vincent Kompany (left) and Burnley's Jack Cork celebrate promotion to the Premier League following the Sky Bet Championship match at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough. Picture date: Friday April 7, 2023.

Burnley boss Vincent Kompany said even he is surprised at the speed at which his side secured promotion to the Premier League after they won 2-1 at Middlesbrough on Friday. 

A 19-game unbeaten league run has taken the Clarets 19 points clear of third-placed Luton, who have just six games remaining, at the top of the Championship. 

Burnley still have seven games to play, making their promotion the quickest of the Championship era. “It’s Easter and there’s seven games to go and we’re already celebrating. We didn’t expect it,” Kompany told Sky Sports.

“We wanted to experience this at some point but quicker is better sometimes as well.”

The decision to act swiftly to land the former Manchester City captain after his first managerial spell at Anderlecht came to an end has proved a masterstroke.

Many feared the worst when Burnley’s six-year stay in the English top flight came to an end last season.

Due to the terms of a controversial leveraged takeover by an American consortium in late 2020, a “significant proportion” of a 65 million pounds ($78 million) loan had to be repaid when they were relegated.

Nearly 70 million pounds worth of players departed, but Kompany has put together almost an entirely new squad at a fraction of the cost, with his knowledge of the Belgian market and connections at City helping to land bargains.

“This was a complete surprise, this was not our plan,” said Burnley chairman Alan Pace. “Vincent and I talked about it in the summer, we gave ourselves two, three years was our plan. I think what you’ve seen is a lot of magic coming together.

“This team is very, very good. You hear Vincent say it every week. They’re surprising each and every one of us every day, they’re phenomenal.”

Full-back Connor Roberts scored the decisive goal 24 minutes from time at the Riverside when the Welsh international turned home Nathan Tella’s cross.

Ashley Barnes had given Kompany’s men the perfect start before Chuba Akpom levelled from the penalty spot with his 27th goal of the season.

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