Burnley’s Sean Dyche is the longest-serving Premier League manager - but for how much longer?

Sean DycheSean Dyche
Sean Dyche
There were some who wondered, at the end of last season, whether Sean Dyche had managed his final game as Burnley boss.

At the end of July, despite a 10th place finish on the pitch, things looked bleak off it, with lingering tensions between chairman Mike Garlick and Dyche, as regards stretching the club’s finances in terms of transfers, and with the departure of midfielder Jeff Hendrick at the end of his contract.

Dyche was linked with the likes of Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Bournemouth, and there was genuine concern we could be seeing the end of an era.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

That fear remains, with Dyche currently forced to make do with a threadbare squad, on the eve of Burnley’s first Premier League game of the season, while it remains to be seen how long Garlick himself is at the helm, with two American groups interested in investing.

However, Dyche will take charge at the King Power Stadium on Sunday as the longest-serving manager in the Premier League, after his Turf Moor predecessor Eddie Howe stepped down at Bournemouth over the summer.

Dyche appreciates that the supporters have granted him breathing space at tricky times, given his success, and knowing the financial restrictions he has worked under.

And, asked about that longevity, and whether it is a thing of the past, he said: “I think the demand for change in the world, not just the demand for change in football, it’s a part of life now.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Everyone’s on the internet wanting it delivered quicker, wanting it cheaper, and everyone wants that instant thinking. I think if that’s a cultural thing in life then it’s fair to say it goes into football.

“I think it’s improbable that managers have long periods at clubs, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible obviously.

“The other thing that people forget is, to stay at a club for long enough, or for now what seems a long time, you have to be deemed successful to a level for people to want you to be there.

“I think we’ve been deemed successful.

“The reason I say deemed successful is that being in the Premier League is success at Burnley, and then staying in it; being in Europe and things like that, they are achievements of sorts.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I think the other thing is we’ve got a fanbase who have accepted the realities and are good in the realities of Burnley, they’re good in the realities of myself and the team. They know every year is a challenge in the Premier League.

“Sometimes with fanbases, if you finish 16th they want to know why it’s not 14th, and if it’s 14th why it’s not 10th, and then if you can’t deliver that they want you out.

“I think there is a reality in these parts in what the club is and what it is slowly, to be fair, trying to achieve.

“I think there’s a mixture.

“I think there’s a bit of reality. I think we’ve delivered enough what’s deemed appropriate for success at the club, certainly financial successes, so I think everything being considered people allow me the chance to sort of get on with my job here.

“It was close last year I think.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We had a tough start and before Christmas the noise was changing – not so much from our fans but generally about my situation. It’s been changing during the close season for different reasons. But I’ve heard it all before, and I’m still here, so who knows.”

Pep Guardiola had a sabbatical after leaving Barcelona, before taking the Bayern Munich post, and Jurgen Klopp has also spoken of considering whether he will need a break in the near future.

Dyche mused: “I think it’s a mixed bag.

“I understand his thoughts and Pep when he did. But with all due respect to myself here, they’re at the super power clubs at the top level.

“I think the demands are different.

“The demands at every club are hard but they’re different there of that ultimate success, winning leagues, winning Champions Leagues. That’s a different kind of pressure.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The pressure of working hard to stay in the Premier League is difficult as well.

“The idea of a break… when you’re a name like those guys I think it’s fair to say they could pick and choose most jobs if they wanted them.

“I don’t think I’m quite there yet.

“I’m still on the hamster wheel, still running round a bit, and still trying to earn my spurs as a manager.

“I certainly don’t think I’m the real deal as a manager.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.