Dan Black's verdict as Burnley enjoy a Good Friday to remember with a promotion party at the Riverside
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On Good Friday 2022 Burnley chairman Alan Pace decided to sow the seeds of change at Turf Moor as the club severed ties with Sean Dyche.
On Good Friday 2023 the American businessman was in position at the Riverside alongside wife, Kristen, as his dare-devil decision was vindicated following the Clarets' resurrection and return to the Premier League.
The head of ALK Capital smiled at the breath-taking celebrations that recognised the magnitude of goals from 'icon' Ashley Barnes and Connor Roberts, he basked in the splendour of scenes that met Darren Bond's final whistle and became transfixed - though distracted during an interview - by the Icelandic "Thunderclap" composed by Johann Berg Gudmundsson.
A fourth promotion to the top flight in 14 years, this one just as special as its predecessors, and now the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United will be back in town next term.
"It means the world to us right now," he said. "Vincent [Kompany] has come in and done a phenomenal job, this team has come together in a way we could've only hoped for, and you're seeing the benefits of it. This is the beginning of a lot more to come!
"He [Kompany] is one of the most incredible people I've ever met, he's someone very, very special. This is a complete surprise, this was not our plan, Vincent and I sat down in the summer and talked about it at great length, we gave ourselves a 2-3 year plan, so what you see is a lot of magic coming together. This team is very, very good. They're phenomenal."
Though securing the championship still requires a little bit more work, it seemed quite fitting that Burnley's return to the 'big time' was secured at this particular setting.
It won't have escaped supporters' attention that Middlesbrough, with the EFL as their accomplices, masterminded and executed an audacious bid to take our trophy seven years ago.
The Football League's decision to send the Championship's treasure to the Riverside in 2016 remains one of life's unsolved mysteries.
Burnley held a two-point advantage at the top of the table heading into the final day of term as they faced feuding Charlton Athletic at The Valley.
Boro and Brighton were the two teams attempting to pip the Clarets to the title as they bumped into each other in Teesside.
The expected scenario played out as Dyche's side beat the Addicks 3-0 amid protestations over the club's governance.
But the silverware was nowhere to be seen and, instead, the champions were left celebrating with an inflatable prize.
The league leaders ensured there'll be no such interference from their rivals on this occasion, however, when sealing promotion with a win over Michael Carrick's men on their own patch.
A 2-1 win against the current fourth best team in the division means that the gap to Luton Town in third, which stands at 19 points, is now insurmountable and a top two finish is guaranteed.
And they did it with seven games remaining, which was quicker than each of record-breaking Reading (2005-06), Newcastle United (2009-10), Leicester City (2013-14), Wolves (2017-18) and Norwich City (2020-21).
Those who are green in the gills, and unequivocally envious of the club's instant success under their cerebral tactician, will continue to scream "parachute payments", but let them. Let them do it until they're blue in the face because nobody's listening.
Burnley had no right to be in this position. No right, what-so-ever. Where are Watford and Norwich City, who were also in receipt of financial support following their fall to more modest surroundings last season.
Kompany was tasked with integrating 16 new faces in the summer, he lost assets such as Ben Mee, James Tarkowski, Nathan Collins, Nick Pope, Dwight McNeil and Maxwel Cornet, and he had to fuse this chaos while implementing a brand new and unrecognisable style of play, new philosophies, new ideas and a new culture.
There'll be cries that Burnley have bought the league, even though their nett spend is one of the lowest in the division, and nobody had heard of the likes of Jordan Beyer, Manuel Benson, Nathan Tella and Anass Zaroury before the season had started.
Burnley's recruitment policies and protocols should be applauded, a benchmark for others to follow, rather than used as a disparaging accusation of financial foul-play and overspending.
"It's outstanding," said Kompany. "It's hard to even rank these moments. I've known them in the past, but everything about this was special. I've loved every moment. I hope the fans will remember it, I hope the players remember being here today.
"It's a pleasure to work with this team. I hope they [the fans] have made memories tonight, I know we have, I hope there'll be plenty of opportunities between now and the end of the season to make more memories."
The way they completed their objective typified the kind of personality and performance we've become accustomed to with the 'Class of 23' in the second tier.
They found a way to restrict the space in their own third to suffocate and starve Boro's creative sparks, they reduced their fuel gauge when inviting the press, while also engineering their own success when countering it.
Cameron Archer was diluted into anonymity, Chuba Akpom had a sight of goal at the very beginning and the very end, while scoring from the spot in-between, and Aaron Ramsey was almost like a hologram at times.
They made one of the division's strongest outfits, who hadn't been beaten at home under Michael Carrick, and had scored three or more times in four of their previous five games on their own turf, look almost ordinary at times.
Boro's energy was effective at the start; Ramsey nicked the ball of a day-dreaming Ian Maatsen only for the division's leading scorer, Akpom, to try and pick a pass when the shot was on.
Roberts also did well to cut out Riley McGree's pass, intended for Archer, before Akpom once again fluffed his lines as a chance presented itself on the edge of the penalty area.
However, as soon as the Clarets settled into a rhythm they were able to assert themselves. Barnes's 50th league goal for Burnley might not have stood next season, with the intervention of VAR back on the agenda, but the linesman was unable to spot his straying armpit and the visitors had the lead.
Coincidentally, his first ever goal at Turf Moor, having become Dyche's first cash signing, was the one that gave the Clarets the advantage over Wigan Athletic when promotion was secured in 2013-14.
This could well be the end of an era, with Barnes confirming that his nine-and-a-half year spell is coming to an end, as his contract expires in the summer.
And if it is, what a way to go out! More than 250 appearances, a half-century of league goals, most of those ion the Premier League, and his three promotions to the highest level can only be matched by Michael Duff.
"To jump straight back up is phenomenal," he said in the aftermath. "I'm a bit emotional because it's an end of an era here as a Burnley player. I'm quite emotional, but I'm delighted for the lads. It's time to move on!"
Zaroury and Tella both had opportunities to stretch the lead, with the latter spinning away from Darragh Lenihan, when played onside by Ryan Giles from Barnes's header, but the opportunity to net goal number 20 for the season went begging as he pulled his effort wide of the post.
Boro equalised three minutes into the second half when pandemonium ensued as Arijanet Muric's clearance was recycled back into the box, where Josh Cullen was adjudged to have tripped Archer. Replays, though, provided evidence to the contrary. Akpom stroked the spot kick home and it was 1-1.
But Burnley's mentality monsters responded again. Tella eased past Jonny Howson to deliver the ball into the box and Roberts, who had anticipated the Southampton star to win his individual duel, stole a yard from McNair to tap home for his fifth of the campaign.
Akpom almost spoiled the party late on, when somehow missing the target from McGree's delivery, but the night belonged to Burnley.
Kompany said: "We had to dig deep today, we had to find a way, we had to grind it out. We had moments of quality, but we were playing against one of the top teams in the division so it was never going to be easy. I don't know when it's perfect, or not perfect, but it feels perfect to me now. We celebrated with 2,000 of our hardcore fans."
The Manchester City legend parted ways with the Premier League as a champion. Now the aim is to return to his former home as a champion, too.
The 36-year-old signed off with a domestic treble as a player, and now he's determined to march back in with his first piece of silverware as a coach.
“That’s why they have to do it, they have to have silverware, they have to have something in their hands at the end of the season to reward what they’ve done this year," he concluded.
Roll on Easter Monday!