For the love of the club: Kilby to bow out

Posted on February 7, 2012

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After thirteen years at the helm of what has in that time been one of the country’s most stable football clubs, Barry Kilby has announced that he is to stand down as chairman of Burnley FC at the end of the season.

This is sad news indeed, particularly as Kilby has cited health reasons for his decision to quit. No doubt he will remain heavily involved with the club he loves, and I think Burnley fans will still see his face in the director’s box for years to come. Now is the time for the club to honour the man who became chairman in 1998 and oversaw a period of unparalleled stability at Burnley, overseeing two promotions, a first ever stint in the Premier League and employing only five managers in that time, something that would be unheard of at most Football League clubs. A stand needs to be renamed, or a statue commissioned.

Though these would fly in the face of the financial thrift that Kilby has preached and that won him so many plaudits when the club finally reached the Premier League. I have been critical of him on occasion, over the failed appointment of Brian Laws (the only one of his three appointments that he got wrong) and on the tightfistedness that characterised last summer (though the improving performances under Eddie Howe are proving me wrong), but there is no doubt that he leaves the club in a much better financial and league position than he inherited it. For that he deserves the endless gratitude of Burnley fans, as Tony Scholes notes here.

He will step down as chairman with the best wishes of everyone who has watched or loved Burnley Football Club in time of his chairmanship.

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Posted in: Sport