Burnley closing in on Premier League record

Burnley are closing in on a 27-year-old Premier League record.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 10:30 pm
Mike Dean sends Robbie Brady off at Huddersfield

Monday night’s game at Fulham was a 90th since Burnley’s last red card in the Premier League.

Since the Premier League’s inception in 1992, only Ipswich Town have had a longer run without a sending off, going 94 games between the league’s inaugural season and 1994.

The Clarets could match that on the opening day of next season, providing all goes to plan in the remaining three games of this term.

But they are already the best behaved club in Premier League history, with their seven red cards in 254 games coming at one every 36.28 matches, beating Ipswich’s average of one every 33.66, after picking up six in 202 matches.

Robbie Brady’s dismissal at Huddersfield in January 2019 was Burnley’s last such indiscretion, and that was a first red card in 70 Premier League games, since Ashley Barnes was sent off at Hull in February 2017.

And of Burnley’s seven reds at this level, none have come at Turf Moor, as they have equalled Liverpool’s run of 131 home games without a Premier League red card, between 1992 and 1999.

Bizarrely, the perception of Burnley under Sean Dyche is of a physical, rugged side, who opposition fans and players have labelled “dirty” and “anti-football” at various junctures.

Dyche won’t stand for ill discipline, dissent to officials or simulation, and his team’s record is all the more remarkable, in an era where red cards are dished out like confetti, for challenges which simply wouldn’t have warranted a free kick in days gone by.

I asked Dyche about the prospect of setting a record, and he said: "I'm hopeful you've not jinxed it...but we try and play firm but fair, and there's nothing wrong with that.

"With our players, I don't remember any real bad challenges, really over the top stuff - although there's not a lot of that in the game now anyway.

"All I ask our players is to play firm but fair, play hard, play like you want to win - there should be nothing wrong with that in the game, but it's going the wrong way.

"I've spoken about this openly, still a lot of fans out there want to see a tackle - a proper tackle, not horrible tackles, just tackles.

"Two players jumping to head the ball, one wins it and the other doesn't fall on the floor like they need a trainer on for six minutes because they got a tiny little touch on their eyebrow.

"There are some fans out there who want to see two teams try really hard and really compete.”

So how have Burnley picked up a reputation as a physical side?: "They are allowed to compete, and that is a sign of that - we're this 'rough' side with no sendings off in 90 games...

"How can you be rough if you have no sendings off in 90 games?

"I don't know where the reputation comes from, because the manager has got a skinhead probably, and the players try hard!

"I'm bereft of reasons, I just marvel at the madness, just call it how you want, no problem...”