Vincent Kompany in it for the long haul at Burnley
Vincent Kompany knows all about transitional periods in football, but insists he is in it for the long haul at Burnley.
He joined Manchester City from Hamburg in August 2008, and just over a week later the Abu Dhabi Group agreed the takeover which would transform the club, with Robinho agreeing sign from Real Madrid for a club record £32.5m the same day.
Kompany spent 11 years with City, as Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan took on a club without a trophy in 32 seasons – mocked by that famous banner at Old Trafford – and has delivered 14 major domestic trophies and counting.
He arrives at Burnley just over a year and a half since the ALK Capital takeover, with the club coming to terms with relegation from the Premier League in a new era after almost a decade of success under Sean Dyche.
But Kompany is going into the venture with his eyes wide open, although he accepts it is a precarious moment, as he looks to rebuild the squad in a new division, with theaccounts showing the club's cash reserves had reduced from £80m to £50m, while Burnley had collected £102m of debt: “It was a conscious choice, when you get into these transitions of ownership – that’s why I stay calm, I don’t want to make big statements.
"It’s really a very delicate and dangerous period of time when you’ve got these transitions. You can fall very far down or go very quickly back up.
"But the difference between left and right is massive, just small details.
"Obviously my previous job (at Anderlecht) I ended up the wrong side of it, we’d already gone too far down the wrong path.
"And I can see it cripples the club – there’s nothing you can do, you want to get players you can’t but you have to sell players.
"That’s why I rated the job I did at Anderlecht as I did – a fantastic job.
"The advantage we have right now is we are on the brink, that’s why I came here to turn a corner, then it becomes a very healthy club again.”
He was convinced to take up the post after a series of conversations with chairman Alan Pace and others at the club, who he felt laid their cards out on the table: “I met probably four or five people before even committing, and there was a consistency in what they were saying.
"There was extreme transparency and we spoke about solving the the problems the club have in the short term with football solutions.
"I am still a young manager, you come into the other side of the game and when you used to be a player you score a few goals and have good performances and you get to make choices, choices for money and choices for trophies.
"And if you are lucky you get both. When you are a manager it is different, you rely so much on people around you, you rely so much on the time to work and develop and show the work you do.
"You have to choice of different pathways, you could go from one club to the other and hope you reach the holy grail because you have landed with the right squad, or my take, which is the level of transparency (at Burnley) and the way we discussed short term, mid term, long term.
"It is not rocket science, it is like any other thing in life. If you apply yourself and you get the necessary time, and my contract reflects that – I have signed a four to five year contract – I am patient, I am not looking to hop from one club to the other and I am happy to be here at Burnley in the long term if needs be, and I am prepared for any scenario.”
Asked whether arriving at Burnley was like when he came to City from Germany, he countered: “This club is 10 times better. This was Man City when it got taken over (the press room).
"That’s not over the bridge – that’s a state of the art facilitiy, fantastic pitches, everything we need to be extremely demanding with the players.
"But it’s a different era. Every club has invested since, Burnley are the same. it’s an incredible work environment.
“City at the time was what it was. It was City, you just enjoyed It,enjoyed playing for them and never expected much.
"It wasn’t about luxuries, this is a Premier League facility, really impressive, and that’s also part of the appeal in bringing players here.
"They understand, it’s really about football.”