Changes at NNN

No Nay Never is five years old this summer and throughout that time it’s been run by a core team that make decisions about the site. There are five of us in that team now, with three of us having been involved since the very beginning.

Running NNN is usually incredibly rewarding and we’ve done some great things over the years. So far we’ve interviewed then-CEO Lee Hoos twice, spoken to a number of former players including Clarke Carlisle, made a film, and, most importantly, published hundreds and hundreds of opinion articles on a range of issues. We’d like to think we’ve raised the bar for Burnley-related discussion and debate online (though some will disagree!).

But it turns out running such a site has taken a lot out of us in a number of ways. The most obvious of these is time constraints – while five people officially run the site, we are understandably limited in how much time they can spend working on the site. There’s also money: unfortunately no one gets paid for doing this site, and at some point it simply doesn’t make sense any more for people to give up a load of their time to run the site, even though our sponsors cover our running costs. Essentially, we all have other commitments now and we just can’t give NNN the time and attention required to keep standards as high as we’d like.

We’ve also regularly faced sometimes unwarranted criticism on places like Twitter. Although this is a part of being on the internet in 2015 and we all have a thickish skin, it doesn’t do any good for our motivation to keep going. Constructive feedback is one thing, but being abused for putting forward or even publishing an opinion is another. NNN was always about opinions, after all.

So with all this in mind, we’re shaking things up.

Here’s what’s happening:

  • The blog side of NNN is stopping indefinitely. We’ve traditionally focused on the blog as the main aspect of the site, but editing articles is a big time sink.
  • The archive of the blog will continue to be online as it is at the moment, but it has relocated to a new URL: blog.nonaynever.net.
  • You’ll probably still see us answering questionsfor other fan blogs and appearing in the actual media from time to time.
  • The award-nominated podcast will continue as usual. Guests always welcome.
  • The podcast site is now hosted at www.nonaynever.net, where the blog used to be.
  • Our Twitter will continue doing what it’s doing: newz, viewz, bantz etc. Sorry, haters. We’ll do live match coverage there too whenever we can to replace NNN Live.

And that’s it. We’re hoping that by shuttering the blog side we can use the time we save have to consolidate our efforts in making the (award-nominated) podcast even better.

Please do give listening to the podcast a shot if you haven’t already. It’s great to listen to when you’re travelling, or doing chores around the house, or in bed, or wherever really. The podcast will be back soon.

Lastly, thanks to everyone who has read the site, commented on articles, listened to the podcast and contributed to the community we hope NNN has been for the last five years. We couldn’t have done it without you. Cheers.

Jamie Smith, Adam Haworth, Kevin Robinson, James Bird and Michael Bailey.

Michael Duff testimonial Q&A

Michael Duff and Guests Q&A

Burnley defender Michael Duff has been granted a testimonial year following his 11 years at the club. The veteran was brought to Burnley by Steve Cotterill from Cheltenham Town for just £30,000 arguably one of the best pound for pound signings the club has ever made. Michael has gone on to make over 350 appearances for the Clarets and is the only player to have gained promotion to the Premier League with Burnley on two occasions.

Michael kicks off his testimonial year on the 30th April with a ‘Michael Duff and guests Q&A’ evening taking place at Turf Moor, in the James Hargreaves Suite at 7pm. Michael will be joined by former and current players from his time at the club such as Danny Ings, Sam Vokes, Kieran Trippier, Robbie Blake, Clarke Carlisle, Graham Alexander and Stephen Jordan with Darren Bentley hosting the evening. Clarets fans will be able to relive their fond memories with new and old players as well as being given to opportunity to ask any burning questions they may have for the players.

Tickets are available for £15 and this includes a pie and peas supper and an automatic entry ticket to win a signed Michael Duff shirt. Tickets are available from the Bob Lord Stand reception, Monday to Friday from 9am until 5pm or by phoning 0161 817 5271. Tickets will also be available from the fan zone prior to Saturday’s fixture against Leicester, look out for the testimonial pop up banners!

www.md4testimonial.co.uk

@md4testimonial

Get involved with NNN for the new year

If you’re looking for a new year’s resolution this year? Maybe you’re still a little merry from yesterday’s all-day drinking and you’ll say yes to anything? Well why not get involved with your favourite Clarets blog?

We’re entirely reliant on contributions from volunteers, so we’re always looking for more people to join our team.

There are a number of ways you can get involved in No Nay Never. We’re predominantly known for the blog side of the site, so any enthusiastic writers are definitely welcome.

As well as this, you can get involved by helping to run the NNN live blog, taking photos for us to use on the site, speaking on the weekly NNN podcast and helping out with the technical aspects of the site.

Do you want to get involved? Get in touch!

Get in touch now

We’re incredibly grateful to anyone who gives up their time to help make the site possible and it’s extremely rewarding to be part of the team.

Giveaway winners

This Christmas season we’ve been extra generous and given away not one, but two prizes!

Congratulations to Martin, who won our retro Savile Rogue scarf, and Mark who won a pair of tickets to this afternoon’s sold out game against Liverpool on the Turf.

Those Liverpool tickets were kindly donated by Carlsberg Fan Squad. The Carlsberg Fan Squad are all about making football better for fans, and that includes making the ultimate review of the year with Carlsberg Fan Squad member Jeff Stelling.

If Carlsberg did Christmas speeches…..

Thanks again to everyone who has read, watched, listened to or contributed to NNN this year.

Merry Christmas from NNN

No Nay Never will be taking a very short break for the festive period so we wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas.

It’s been another good year for NNN, with Burnley’s promotion giving us the chance to write about Premier League football for the very first time. Long may it continue!

We were also nominated for a Football Blogging Award thanks to your votes and hopefully we can go one better next year and win.

The site and the podcast simply wouldn’t exist if you all didn’t read and listen to our rabid ramblings, so we are eternally grateful for your support.

If you want to get involved with NNN, please drop us a line on the usual email address: blog@nonaynever.net.

We’ll be back on Boxing Day with NNN Live for the sold out game against Liverpool.

Merry Christmas!

Applause for Clarke on Boxing Day

Burnley fans are hoping and praying today that Clarke Carlisle pulls through after he was hit by a lorry early yesterday morning.

Clarke’s wife Gemma has tweeted today that he is “very poorly, but alive and stable” as he recovers in a Leeds hospital.

https://twitter.com/gemmacarlisle/status/547361969855270913

The club has backed a plan to show support for Clarke with a period of applause during the Boxing Day game at Turf Moor.

NNN supports that move too and the applause will take place from 5:00 minutes into the game to mark the number Clarke wore for Burnley.

The #SupportForClarke hashtag is also being used on Twitter.

Clarke played over 150 matches for Burnley, including a man of the match display in our promotion-winning win at Wembley in 2009.

Everyone at NNN is thinking of Clarke and his family at this time.

Clarke Carlisle – A Burnley legend

Burnley legend Clarke Carlisle is in hospital with serious injuries after he was hit by a lorry yesterday morning.

There have been conflicting reports in the media about Clarke’s condition with some sources suggesting his injuries are life-threatening and others saying this is not the case, although they are thought to be serious. The Guardian has suggested he has sustained serious spinal injuries.

At this stage we don’t believe it is fair to speculate on the details of the incident and we ask that you avoid doing that in the comments too.

Clarke is a true gentleman of the game and it was shocking for all of us at NNN when the news broke last night. So close to Christmas, this is the sort of incident that puts things into perspective. It may be a cliche, but it’s true.

On the pitch, Clarke was a colossus for Burnley and his man of the match display at Wembley in May 2009 will go down in the club’s history, along with his emotional interview on the pitch after the game.

The outpouring of messages last night showed how loved and respected Clarke is throughout the sport. Not only did he play for nine different clubs across all four divisions in a long and distinguished career, Clarke also acted as the PFA’s chairman. His burgeoning media career earned him an even larger public profile and appearances on Countdown and Question Time showed the size of his intellect and personality.

Clarke’s demons have been well publicised and a moving documentary he made for the BBC laid his mental health issues out in detail. Clarke was also good enough to give his time to appear on a special edition of our podcast to talk about his life and career. We hope Clarke pulls through and that if he does, he can get the help and support he needs.

There is talk of a gesture for Clarke at the game on Boxing Day and as soon as this is confirmed we will give out details on the site and our social media channels.

Our thoughts are with Clarke’s wife Gemma and their children today.

Please leave your messages of support for Clarke and his family below.

Report: Vintage Clarets 2-1 Ted’s Old Boys

It was definitely a game of three halves for the Vintage Clarets as they ran out 2-1 winners against St. Theodores Old Boys at Burnley Belvedere FC in support of Mick Ennis with goals from Roger Eli and Brad Maylett.

Around 1,500 people turned out on a sunny Lancashire afternoon to show their appreciation the teacher affectionately known as ‘Mennis’ who is currently receiving treatment for cancer.

Blessed Trinity (formerly St ‘Teds’ Theodore’s) sports-mad teacher Mick has spent countless out of school hours supporting pupils to reach their sporting ambitions. He has managed school football teams to 8 Lancashire Cup Finals and 1 National Final. He also managed teams to 3 Lancashire Cricket Finals.

The game was played as three periods of 30 minutes with a different team from St Theodore’s playing in each.

The first chance fell to Teds with Nick Palich sliding in at the near post and Chris Pearce showed that he still had a sense of humour by shouting ”Yes!” as he failed to connect with the delivery.

It didn’t take the former pros long to take the lead. NNN columnist Paul Weller headed the ball in the box and Graham Lancashire saw it cleared off the line twice before it dropped to Roger Eli, whose header lobbed in to the far corner.

Andy Devanney, Twitter
Andy Devanney, Twitter

Weller was again in the thick of the action after a quarter of an hour when he saw his free-kick hit the wall and five minutes later he leapt like a salmon only to see his header saved. However, the resulting corner fell to Brad Maylett, who doubled the lead.

Pearce was again up to mischief when he charged up the field for a corner and hounded the Teds keeper just before the first break.

The second period was a quieter affair. Jamie Hoyland spurned a golden opportunity when his header went close and Graham Lancashire was on hand to console him.

Andy Devanney, Twitter
Andy Devanney, Twitter

When I say console, I mean laugh.

Manager John Deary gave Vintage Clarets debuts to Alex Kevan, Lee Roche, Jason Heffernan and Dennis Hill.

The final third saw the big guns rolled out for the Ormerod Road school boys. Manchester United’s Class of ’92 starlet Chris Casper was joined by former Claret John Mullin and his brother and Accrington Stanley legend Paul.

Andy Devanney, Twitter
Andy Devanney, Twitter

The pressure was immediately piled on from the Mullin brothers with wave after wave of attack culminating in Dean Stowe slotting the ball in the far corner despite a valiant Phil Eastwood challenge.

I suppose it was win, lose and draw for both teams but there can be only one winner and that was Mick Ennis who was able to attend part of the game.

The game was played with a superb spirit and there was little for professional football league referee Graham Salisbury to do.

Following the game there was an auction with some amazing pieces of memorabilia donated from far and wide. Jimmy Anderson had donated a signed England cricket shirt. There was a Manchester United shirt signed by Angel di Maria and signed Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs photos.

Man of the moment Danny Ings was actually in attendance and he donated his shirt from the Stoke City game as well as a pair of his orange boots. But my favourite lot of the evening was a signed picture of Bertie Bee rugby tackling that streaker against Preston North End.

Well over £2,000 was raised from those sales alone. Who said there was no money in Burnley?

It really was a terrific event and thanks must be given to all those who organised it.

Vintage Clarets: Pearce, Ishy, Atkinson, Eastwood, Harrison, Hoyland, Lancashire, Cartwright, Weller, Mumby, Eli
Subs: Kevan, Maylett, Roche, Heffernan, Hill, Deary

Teds team 1: Heys, Palich, Clarke, Perry, Taylor, Horne, Woodfield, Fogarty, Dugdale, Stowe, Finn
Subs: Russell

Teds team 2: Garnett, Byrne, Bentley, Byrne, Cole, Ennis, Geogheghan, Boyle, Cole, Berry
Subs: Palich, McMahon

Teds team 3: Anderson, Dugdale, Collins, Casper, Walsh, Bridge, Mullin, Bridge, Mullin, Stowe, Horrocks
Subs: McLaughlin

Pacific Finance MOTM: Jamie Hoyland

All of us at NNN send Mr Ennis our very best wishes. You can still support the cause by making a donation to Pendleside Hospice and include gift aid as a taxpayer.

Make a donation

Confidence in the team has more than halved

Confidence levels have fallen through the roof in the first three months of the season, according to a poll of Burnley fans.

Premier League fans have been asked how much confidence they have in their team, manager and chairmen after every game this season – and we’ve seen the biggest drop in support of the lot.

On the eve of the new season, buoyed by an unexpected promotion, Burnley had the third most popular manager (89% confidence) in the Premier League and only Nigel Pearson and Louis van Gaal enjoyed more support. Our board (81% confidence), despite a summer in which the club was criticised for both ticket prices and lack of investment in the team, were the second most popular in the league and fans had incredibly high belief in the squad (78% confidence).

We were apparently very confident. Or as FourFourTwo put it: “optimistically insane.”

FourFourTwo
FourFourTwo

By the start of this month confidence had sunk like a lead balloon. Ten games without a win (and a 3-0 defeat at Arsenal) meant confidence in Sean Dyche had fallen to 49% – and even lower for the chairmen (29%) and the squad (26%).

Perhaps even more damningly even a first win of the season, an Ashley Barnes inspired 1-0 over Hull, had hardly any impact whatsoever. Confidence in Dyche and his team grew by just one per cent, while support for the board jumped slightly more up to 34%.

For context, that means that Sean Dyche has fallen from the third best supported manager to the third worst in three months. Only Paul Lambert and Alan Irvine are worse off. Our fans have less faith in the squad than any other team – and the board enjoys the same levels of confidence as Mike Ashley at Newcastle, only Randy Lerner at Aston Villa suffers less support.

FourFourTwo and Forza Football have polled 200,000 Premier League throughout the season, though it’s not clear how many of those are Burnley fans. An equal split would be 10,000 per team, however it’s likely to be more heavily weighted towards teams with bigger support. I’ve been playing around with average attendances and a calculator and I reckon it’s likely there’s still a significant number of Burnley fans represented in the poll.

Having begun the season as the league’s most optimistic lot, we’re now the very opposite.

And that’s a problem

If last season had a tagline, it’d be either belief or relentless depending on who you asked. Sean Dyche was a fan of the latter, but the club’s marketing efforts used the former on pretty much everything and anything they produced.

That belief ran from the manager to the players to the fans and was a significant factor behind our promotion. And although it’s not disappeared completely – Sean Dyche still enjoys decent support despite his team being rock bottom with one win in 11 games and some serious flaws becoming apparent in recent weeks – it’s clear that Burnley fans don’t think we’re anywhere near good enough to survive.

But the most concerning aspect here isn’t the huge drop in support (which although alarming is understandable) it’s the lack of change after the Hull game.

That first win has been a long time coming – and it really needed to be a shot of life and belief. If we’re to stay up now, we’re going to need an excellent second half of the season built around momentum and great support. Instead, it seems fans walked away from the Turf thinking ‘nice win, still doomed’.

While Crystal Palace’s success in the second half of last season will undoubtedly be the model we’re aspiring towards, it’s a rare one. Promoted clubs almost always enjoy a strong start and slow finish. That was certainly the pattern of our last Premier League campaign.

The problem with the Palace model, too, is that they had that big ‘shot in the arm’ when Tony Pulis joined mid-way through the season. It was that change that inspired a revival in fortunes.

It allowed a ‘fresh start’ both for the players and the fans. Palace have famously excellent support and their belief from the starts undoubtedly played a big part in their upturn.

It’s unlikely a change at the top would happen at Burnley. Sean Dyche still enjoys healthy support among the fans according to this data and I’ve not noticed any more than one or two individuals suggesting we give him the chop. Similarly, our board has shown itself to be pretty patient and given the overachievement of last season and lack of investment this summer it would be incredibly harsh to sack Dyche unless there was a catastrophe.

If we are to have a ‘shot in the arm’ moment it’s more likely to come on the playing staff, but given the reluctance to pay market prices in the summer I can’t imagine the board spending big in January.

Our only hope is to string a few good results together. When we had that run of clean sheets in September support did begin to rise even without a win – up to around 15 percentage points – so if we could follow the Hull result with two or three other strong results belief could be restored.

Only three teams have ever survived relegation from the Premier League after being bottom at the end of November, and only Palace have managed to finish higher than 17th. We can do it, but there’s little doubt that the fans will play a huge role if we do stay up.

And we are to play that huge role, we really need something to restore that belief – and quickly.

Do you still believe? Let us know in the comments below.

Football Blogging Awards: Thanks for your support

We Burnley fans have had good practise at our gracious loser faces of late – and they were required at this week’s Football Blogging Awards.

About a month ago we received the amazing news that No Nay Never had been shortlisted for ‘Best Football Podcast’ – and we’d have to dig out something presentable to wear at the awards ceremony in Manchester!

It really was a huge honour. The shortlist is determined by supporters votes, so as you might expect it’s dominated by the better supported teams. Our category had three Liverpool podcasts, one from Arsenal and another from Tottenham.

So thank you so much for getting us there. More than 30,000 votes were made altogether in the nomination stage and it was incredible to see so many coming in for us, as well as all your best wishes.

No Nay Never
No Nay Never

Come the big night on Thursday, four of us turned up at the National Football Museum in Manchester representing No Nay Never – pictured above from left to right: Michael, myself, Jamie and Adam.

After the host’s intro, the sponsor’s exclusive reveal of their new product – a shirt made into a bag, don’t ask – it was on to the awards.

The Wolves Fancast team
The Wolves Fancast team

First up in our category was the fan’s vote, which went to the excellent Arsenal fans at Bergkamp Wonderland. Our second opportunity was the judges award. Esteemed football writers such as Oliver Kay, Iain Macintosh, Richard Askam and more decided on the also very-well-deserving Wolves Fancast as their winner. As if defeat wasn’t enough, the guys from Wolves happened to be sat at our table, so we had to keep those ‘gracious loser’ faces up for the rest of the night!

So we didn’t win, but it was a real honour to make the shortlist – and it just means we have to make the podcast bigger and better so we come away victorious next year!

Check out all the winners in all the categories and the FBAs site.

A thriving community

The FBAs football blogging community bloggers

More than just a celebration of the best football blogs in each category, these awards were a celebration of the amazing football blogging community. In the room were hundreds of football fans who give up their spare time to talk and write about the game they love. I might be a little biased, but I think much of the what the blogging community does is much better than the ‘proper’ media.

And best of all, it really is a strong community. Collaboration is a big part of the football blogging world and bloggers are always working together to get the best insight into the game for their readers and listeners. That’s why we often have opposition fans writing about their game on the site, and as often as possible we have an opposition fan on the podcast talking about what they made of the last match from the other side. Everybody is more than happy to help out someone else, even though they get nothing from it themselves.

Thank you

Even though we didn’t win, I’m still going to make time for some thank yous.

We’ve been overwhelmed by the support you guys – our readers and listeners – have given us over the last couple of months. You’ve taken time to vote, you’ve encouraged other people to vote, wished us the best and told us how great you think we are. Thank you so, so much for all of that. It makes a massive difference, I can assure you.

Thanks also to everybody who has got involved with the site or the podcast. There are five of us in the NNN steering group, and with full time commitments of our own we couldn’t do it without you. There’s nothing we love more than getting an email from somebody who wants to write something for us, or a tweet asking if there’s space on the podcast panel. No Nay Never wouldn’t be possible without you – so thanks so much. If you want to get involved, drop us an email.

And thanks to our sponsor Neville Gee. None of us make any money at all from the site – we do it purely for the love of it. We will never be one of those sites that are 95% ads, but running a busy site like NNN can get expensive. Neville Gee is a local company who wanted to help cover the cost of running the site and the podcast. So thanks Neville Gee for your continued support.

Here’s to another successful year for NNN and the Clarets!