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Biased Balls: Burnley robbed by an easy Arsenal penalty

Biased Balls: a look at bias in football reporting. Today we look at Burnley’s 0-1 defeat at home to Arsenal in the Premier League. Burnley lost to Arsenal in injury-time for the third game in a row. This time it was penalty converted in the 93rd minute.

Was it a foul?


The Sun: “For the third successive Premier League game, Arsenal have beaten Burnley thanks to a last minute goal. This time it was Sanchez with the winning goal from the penalty spot after Tarkowski had pushed Ramsey to the floor.”

BBC: “The spot-kick was awarded by referee Lee Mason after defender James Tarkowski pushed Aaron Ramsey.”

Arsenal FC: “The spot-kick was an easy one to give after James Tarkowski shoved Aaron Ramsey as Sead Kolasinac headed across goal. And Alexis was coolness personified with a low finish past goalkeeper Nick Pope.”

London Evening Standard: “A game with a history of late goals brought drama yet again as Tarkowski shoved Ramsey.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: “From outside it [the penalty] looked 100%. I don’t know why he pushed him in the back. I would like to see it again.”




arsenal burnley biased


Burnley Express:  “Arsenal penalty after Tarkowski is adjuded [sic] to have pushed Sanchez.”

The Guardian (from their ‘Manchester-based correspondent): “Burnley suffered heartbreak right at the end when James Tarkowski came together with Aaron Ramsey in the area and Lee Mason, the referee, gave a penalty.”

Burnley FC: “This was another tough call with the decision not looking black-and-white as Tarkowski was harshly punished.. Kolasinac’s headed ball into the penalty area was aimed for Ramsey and when he went down under pressure from Tarkowski, Mason pointed to the spot.”

Burnley manager Sean Dyche: “It was highly unlikely it [the penalty] wasn’t going to get given on a day like today, that’s all I’ll say.”

Such are the facts.

Such are the facts…


Posted: 26th, November 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment

Media bias: Manchester City Silva’s inconsequential ‘no dive’ cons the ref and pains Burnley

Bernardo Silva will not be retrospectively yellow carded for ‘diving’ when his Manchester City beat Burnley 3-0 in the Premier League. Silva “fell theatrically” in the box “under the slightest of touches from the Burnley goalkeeper”, says the Times.

“If I kicked my kid in the garden, I don’t think he would fall like that,” says Burnley boss Sean Dyche. “For him to get that high off the floor with his arms above his head is almost a skill in itself. I was quite impressed with how far he travelled.”

The Burnley Express says of Silva:

You could question why Pope gave the referee a decision to make, with Silva’s touch taking him away from goal, and his knee did connect with the former Monaco man’s right ankle.

But Silva exaggerated the contact.


Roger East bought it, and after Burnley showed their disgust with Silva

The Manchester Evening News has an odd take on the incident:

Pope tried to withdraw from his challenge and the contact between his knee and Bernardo’s foot seemed inconsequential.

Eh? What does the mean? There was a consequence: City got a penalty that allowed them to score that always vital first goal.

But get a load of how the official Manchester City website reports on the controversial spot kick:

The Portuguese playmaker then won a penalty when Pope brought him down inside the box. David Silva’s sublime throughball for Kevin De Bruyne put the Belgian in on goal, but his effort was parried by Pope. Bernardo, attempting to control the follow up, was then caught by the sprawling Pope, and Roger East pointed to the spot.


burnley fc silva dive


Over at Burnley FC, the penalty is at the top of the match report, presented as the game’s key moment:

Controversial penalty sets up leaders’ win as Clarets unbeaten away run ends


Burnley’s first defeat since the second weekend of the season came with a note of frustration and something of a sour taste for the way City got the all-important opening goal from the penalty spot…

Sergio Aguero scored it to equal Eric Brook’s club-record tally, but the way Bernardo Silva seemingly convinced referee Roger East to award the penalty following a brush with Clarets’ goalkeeper Nick Pope did not go down well in the visitors’ camp.

It wasn’t a dive. The FA will only says it was a dive “where there is clear and overwhelming evidence to suggest a match official has been deceived by an act of simulation”. What’s clear to one is not clear to another…


Posted: 23rd, October 2017 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, Sports | Comments (2)

Media Bias: Chelsea stretch the truth as Burnley win

Media Bias: a look at biased football reporting. Today’s match at Stamford Bridge saw reigning champions Chelsea defeated 2-3 by the mighty Burnley.

Gary Cahill’s sending off

Chelsea FC Website:

Then, on 14 minutes, proceedings swung in Burnley’s favour. Cahill, stretching after a heavy touch, missed the ball and caught Steven Defour high.

The sympathetic back story – “stretching after a heavy touch” causing him to “miss the ball” – becomes on the Burnley FC website:

Cahill over-ran the ball and lunged towards Defour in an effort to win it back

The Lancashire Telegraph calls Cahill’s foul a “studs-up tackle”.

The BBC’s Martin Keown says of the foul:

“I think it was a red card, without a doubt. He has gone over the top of the ball. He has almost broke his leg…  I can see why the referee has sent him off. It is dangerous… he is out of control.”

The BBC’s Pat Nevin (formerly Chelsea):

There was no doubt in my mind that as soon as I saw it that challenge deserved some colour of card. My gut? A strong yellow. 

And Cesc Fabregas’s red card?

Chelsea FC:

…the Blues were reduced to nine men, Fabregas the man shown a second yellow for a challenge on Cork. The midfielder was incandescent at the decision.

A challenge? Not exactly, says Burnley FC:

Fabregas collecting a second yellow card for a foul on Cork eight minutes from the end

The Mail reveals how Fabregas earned his first yellow, something not mentioned on the Chelsea FC website:

Fabregas is booked for sarcastically applauding the match official after awarding Burnley a free-kick.

Should a Burnley player have been sent off?

Chelsea FC:

Mee went crunching through the back of Morata and was only booked, much to the disgust of the home faithful and the Chelsea players.

Burnley FC have not a word on that. Mee’s yellow card is not mentioned at all. How does the BBC see it?

More screams from Chelsea fans and players as Ben Mee slides in late on Morata. It was clumsy but not as dangerous as Cahill’s earlier, hence the yellow card.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 12th, August 2017 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment

Lancashire Rejoice: Manchester United And Burnley Share The Glory If Not The Cash



BURNLEY and Manchester United drew 0-0 in the Premier League. The Manchester United team featured £57.9m signing Angle Di Maria.

In their 132-year-history Burnley have spent £45m on player transfers.

What if Burney had Manchester United’s riches to spend? What if…

Football’s not all that fair, is it? But Bunley and United can both celebrate the fact that they are from football’s leading region.

Burnley’s return to the top flight of English football is highly symbolic.

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Posted: 30th, August 2014 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment

Burnley FC Mascot Bertie Bee ‘Jailed’ For Offering Referee Glasses At QPR Match

bertie bee 1FREE Bertie Bee! Free the Burnley

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Posted: 28th, October 2013 | In: Sports | Comment

The 10 best lowlights from 50 Shades of Burnley

Vile Burnley

TO FACEBOOK, where the page “50 Shades of Burnley” is advertised as an “absolute disgrace” by the locale’s LibDem MP, Gordon Birtwistle.

It’s enough to us clicking to page featuring “Everything f*cked up in Burnley”. 

Go those of you still not convinced to take a peek, Mr Birtwistle adds:

“I think this group is an absolute disgrace and I will try to get it closed down. If the people who have set this up are residents of Burnley they should be ashamed of themselves. Why would anyone want to humiliate their own town and residents? There are so many good things happening in Burnley with lots of investment and an exciting future ahead. We should have groups celebrating Burnley, not running it down.”

Indeed. Add the local MP to the list.

A few lowlights will now follow:




Posted: 3rd, August 2013 | In: Reviews | Comment

Local News in Burnley: ‘I found a maggot in my butty’ (video)

LOCAL news travels to Burnley, where Hafiz Rehman, 27, says he found a maggot in his egg salad sandwich bought from the Greggs opposite Boots.

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Posted: 23rd, November 2012 | In: Reviews, The Consumer | Comment

In photos – The Queen’s trip to Burnley

TODAY Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, The Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales did journey on the Leeds and Liverpool canal on the barge ‘Pride Of Sefton’, during a trip to Burnley, Lancashire. It’s all part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, during which the Queen will wear lots of diamonds. Hurrah! (Get a lot of the Queen’s boat in photo 4. Scuppered, to be sure.)


Picture 1 of 16

Queen Elizabeth II, The Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales make their way along the Leeds and Liverpool canal on the barge 'Pride Of Sefton', during a trip to Burnley, Lancashire.




Posted: 16th, May 2012 | In: Royal Family | Comment

Who is the Burnley Bum Slapper?

TO Burnley, where local police are hunting the bottom slapper. A man has been slapping women on the backside.

The Burnley Bottom Slapper has, to date, slapped a 45-year-old woman jogging along Padiham Road; , a 19-year-old woman was walking along Ighten Road;  and a 24-year-old woman was walking alone in Watt Street.

The Burnley Bottom Slapper is white. Says Det. Insp. Derry Crorken:

“We do believe these incidents could be connected and would appeal to anybody who has any information about them to contact police. I am also keen to hear from any other women who this may have happened to in the area. These are very concerning incidents and we need to find the person responsible.”

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Posted: 31st, December 2011 | In: Reviews | Comment

Drunk Burnley Man Run Over By Own Van

ANDREW Haimes, 47, was almost four times the limit when he was struck by his Mercedes Vito.

At Burnley Magistrates’ Court, Haimes claims he was standing at the rear of the vehicle when the van’s handbrake failed causing the car to roll backwards into him.

The prosecution counters that Haimes told paramedics he had been drinking in a pub and had driven the van to where it was.

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Posted: 6th, October 2011 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Burnley Transsexual Fights For ‘Luxury Boobs’ On The NHS

TO Burnley, where Cathy Ann Daniels, 57, formerly Keith Stanstead Daniels, is refused a breast operation on the NHS. He says the ruling has left her “half man, half woman”.

It’s been 18 months since the ‘father’ of three had a £60,000 sex change in London. Now she wants the £5,000 breast operation on the NHS. But her GP won’t refer her. Why? Because under the local rules, breast augmentation is classed as a “cosmetic procedure”. This seems to imply that breasts are not necessary to being woman. However, East Lancs NHS does offer breast reconstruction following mastectomy for patients who have had breast cancer.

One commentator on the Lancashire Telegraph’s site notes, wonderfully:

He/she could afford the other private surgery. Save up like the rest of us do for luxury boobs…

Says Daniels:

“I have been left half man, half woman because my doctor will not refer me to the PCT [Primary Care Trust] for breast augmentation. I have undergone half the operation, but now I’m being kept in limbo because apparently there is no funds. Breasts are a really important part of being a woman and being like this is making me suicidal. It’s horrible. I’m neither one or the other. My lower half is a woman but my top half is a man.”

Michelle Bridgman, of the Gender Society, tells the Lancashire Evening Post:

“This has always been a geographic lottery. Some PCTs will fund and some simply will not.”

Before a quick investigation, know that:

“When I was 13, I had a female friend who was helping the army cadets run a jumble sale. She dared me to put on a swimming costume and I did. From that moment all doubts went out of the window.”

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Posted: 26th, September 2011 | In: Key Posts, Reviews | Comments (11)

Burnley Police Seek Green Man

TO Burnley, where police are looking for green man linked to car crime. The green man was spotted by a car that has recently been broken into. A “well meaning local resident” had sprayed the vehicle with green vegetable dye.

Sergeant Carole Langhorne from Lancashire Police says:

A neighbour heard a noise and went out to the car. He spotted two men, both in dark clothing, and sprayed one of them with a green coloured vegetable dye.”

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Posted: 8th, April 2010 | In: Strange But True | Comment (1)

Burnley Football Hooligan Escapes Jail Because He Loves His Dog

deeIS that you in the “DEE 38” top biting off part of a fan’s ear at the Champions League final in Rome?

Football hooliganism was once the media’s favourite topic. One of your writer’s first jobs in sports journalism was to compile a “Year Of Shame” list. It turned out that the archives had one for each year and all that was needed was to look for any game in the past 12 months featuring two of Leeds, Chelsea or Millwall to keep it up to date.

The media loves talking of and talking up crowd trouble. You do get lunatics like “Dee 38” and one Michael Lewis, who breached his Football Banning Order for the third time when he went to a match at Blackpool.

Lewis’s case show that banning orders can work. But are they effective?

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Posted: 29th, October 2009 | In: Sports | Comments (2)

CCTV Camera Films Man Stealing CCTV Camera

cctv3TO the street, where a CCTV camera erected in a Burnley road by police to spot thieves and hooligans and vandals and just to gawp at people has been stolen.

At Burnley Magistrates’ Court, the Beak hears how the camera was filming when Brendan Ormonde, age 38, and of 134 previous convictions, stole it.

That’s Ormonde looking into the camera.

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Posted: 21st, June 2009 | In: Strange But True | Comment (1)

How Lancashire Football Took Over The National Game

burnleyplay-offBURNLEY’S return to the top flight of English football was highly symbolic.
First, it came perfectly in time for the half-century commemoration of the legendary Clarets side that won the first division championship in 1960. (That’s the proper national title, by the way, not the puffed-up division three that calls itself “League One”.)

Secondly, it brings the total number of Lancashire clubs in the Premier League to eight. That’s an extraordinary 40 per cent.

Thirdly, it came at the expense of Sheffield United, who, by finishing third in the second tier of English football, hold the distinction of being Yorkshire’s burnley1960second best team, above local rivals Sheffield Wednesday, and the county’s most recent national champions Leeds United, whose own play-off defeat leaves them languishing in the third tier for another year. Hull clung on to Premier status by the skin of their teeth, making them Yorkshire’s top dogs for another season.

In the past 50 seasons, starting with Burnley’s historic triumph, and finishing with Manchester United’s latest title, Lancashire clubs have won the national championship no fewer than 33 times. In that period, Yorkshire lancashireclubs – or rather one Yorkshire club – have won just three. (Leeds United in 1969, 1974 and 1992. They are also the only Yorkshire club to win it since the war.)

Of course, Yorkshire has fared no worse than many other counties. In fact it is one of the most successful historically, with Huddersfield Town and the two Sheffield sides winning eight titles between them in all.

But the gulf between the two sports-mad counties is quite remarkable nevertheless.

You might argue that a large amount of Yorkshire’s sporting energy is channeled into rugby league. And you would be right. Over the last 50 sealeedssons the national championship has been won an impressive 23 times by Yorkshire clubs.

… And 27 times by teams from Lancashire.

Close, as they say, but no cigar.

Ed Barrett

Posted: 28th, May 2009 | In: Flashback, Sports | Comments (3)

Credit Crunch: Heroin Dealers Make Rasher For It

CREDIT Crunch news of the day:

“SHOPLIFTERS ARE GETTING RASHER – Bacon is stolen to order”.

It’s the CREDIT BRUNCH, reports the Star, albeit missing the pun.

To a boarding house in Burnley, where the breakfast menu is being perused…

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Posted: 22nd, September 2008 | In: Money, Tabloids | Comments (3)