Champions Again!
The Astonishing 2022/23 Season with Vincent Kompany
By Dave Thomas

When Vincent Kompany arrived at Burnley in the early summer of 2022, Burnley was a club with an uncertain future. Owned by ALK an American company, just relegated, no manager, saddled with debts, facing a firesale of the best players, the football experts were all quick to forecast doom and gloom with further relegations. The prognosis was bleak.

But enter Vincent Kompany, a legend at Manchester City and a modest success as Anderlecht manager in Belgium. 16 new players later that summer, and then a slightly stuttering start to the season on the pitch, the wins began to mount up with a brand of football quite the opposite of what fans had seen during the previous seasons.

This new football was possession based, fast wingers and inverted full-backs. The handful of players retained from the Dyche years became the core and loved the new style of play. Plus, there was a goalkeeper that was an extra midfield player. New and old players gelled perfectly.

As the season progressed, records were broken, the goals and wins mounted up, the clean sheets accumulated, the fans purred with appreciation. Promotion was won with seven games to spare. The title was won at Blackburn Rovers of all places. The celebrations were unbridled, the joy unrestrained, fans and players delirious with the achievement. 

Kompany was acclaimed Championship Manager of the Season. There were 101 points by the season’s end and 29 wins with only three defeats. Just about every home game was a sell-out. This book is the story of how it all happened. Nobody expected it.

It was also the season when we said goodbye to Ashley Barnes. Legend and cult hero; few players are both. It was emotional.

Barry Fry, one of football’s great characters summed it all up perfectly. “What Kompany has done at little Burnley is miraculous.”