Bizarre Behaviour of Owen Coyle


My admiration for Owen Coyle has required some questioning over the last week, his comments today about Celtic after being appointed Bolton manager were bizarre.

Coyle has almost always been savvy and streetwise but the saga of his move across Lancashire from Burnley to Bolton didn’t have to re-cycle their way through last summer’s Celtic vacancy.

There’s no doubt that Coyle was in the frame for the Celtic job but whether he was actually offered- and turned down- the job is open to interpretation.

The hunt for Gordon Strachan’s replacement would have involved various informal contacts sounding out the thoughts of candidates which would likely have included Davie Moyes, Roberto Martinez, Coyle and Tony Mowbray.

Only once there is genuine interest from a candidate are serious talks likely to begin and offers made.

After Burnley’s play-off promotion Coyle was off on a family holiday to Florida. He would have been well aware of Celtic’s interest but would also know of the other candidates in the running for the job.

Having pledged himself so publically to Burnley he’s had a lot of explaining to do to justify in public his reasons for the move which hardly seems much of a move up the managerial ladder.

Bringing up the fact that he ‘turned down’ the Celtic job to stay at Burnley is unlikely to satisfy the Burnley fans whose dreams for the season have been left in the lurch with the clock ticking away through the transfer window and a dressing room full of players at Turf Moor who bought into Coyle’s plans for the season.

Clearly aware that Burnley fans believed the move was all down to cash Coyle responded saying: “Celtic were the team I supported as a boy and I spoke with Celtic in the summer. They offered me the job and I turned it down to stay at Burnley. I think that puts to bed anything about finances.

“When I came into the job at Burnley I was probably in the bottom three in terms of salaries in the Championship.

“It did not faze me because money has never been my motivation. If I had wanted money I would have taken the Celtic job and trebled, maybe even quadrupled my salary.”

Going into such detail about finances is unusual in football.
A fall-out between manager and chairman- ask Jim Jefferies- is much more likely and believable with Burnley looking to avoid the financial disaster of a one season visit to the Premiership which allows the money from Sky to escape out the door into the pockets of players sitting on fat contracts.

Nodding towards that theory Coyle added: “On balance I had to look at if we’d (Burnley) achieved survival, come the summer is there going to be that investment?

“I wasn’t sure there was. In a transitional period I was trying to move things along quicker than finances would dictate.”

Highlighting his new club’s set-up Coyle explained: “If you look at the infrastructure of the club, the academy, the training centre, everything is geared for top flight football and my job as manager is to make sure that happens.

“I must say, Burnley have still got a Premier League team as well. We really galvanised the club and took them to a level that is always going to be difficult.”

Moving to Bolton looks very risky for Coyle. He wouldn’t have been blamed if Burnley had been relegated, if Bolton go down he’ll be held responsible.

Relegation with Burnley would surely have brought him offers from elsewhere with his achievement in gaining promotion outweighing relegation from the Premiership.

Coyle suggested that managers move on through choice or are moved on by clubs when he was introduced as Bolton boss. Wise words.

In 1995 Mark McGhee, another young highly rated Scottish manager, quit Leicester City after a year in charge for the brighter lights of Wolves to be followed, not through choice, by moves to Millwall, Brighton, Motherwell and Aberdeen.

I don’t expect Coyle’s career to match McGhee’s but keeping Bolton in the Premiership and and above Burnley is essential if his decision making is not to be called into question.

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  • Tam D says:

    Yes, got to agree Joe, really strange comments coming from Coyle a man who I thought was above all that. Is this the first signs of a man cracking under a bit of negative press? If so, he wouldn't last two minutes at Celtic.

  • Anonymous says:

    Think you are spot on with the "if Burnley went down, he was up against it, if Bolton go down, its his fault. Coyle said last week there was only 2 clubs he would leave Burnley for, Bolton and Celtic, well if he was offered the Celtic job at 4 x's his salary, why did he turn it down? Seems like he has been babbling for the past week, is under a wee bit of pressure and does not like it! If he does not get off to a good start, will he get the shocking treatment gary Megson got from the bolton fans, if so, how long will he last? Nothing against Coyle, but he has went down in my, and a lot of other peoples estimation!

  • Joe McHugh says:

    Any comments about the Celtic managers job are of interest to me, any insight as to what goes on in the background as we try to put two and two together is of appreciated and digested.

    Highlighting details of the 'Celtic offer' isn't going to be any consolation to the Burnley supporters and seems out of place in the Burnley/Bolton debate.

    I wish Owen Coyle every success possible in his career but the move to Bolton seems slightly strange with his Celtic comments adding to the confusion.

    Like many Celtic supporters I like to follow the careers of former players, Coyle never played for Celtic but was clearly a Celtic fan.

    In March 1994 Lou Macari was very keen on signing him from Bolton but Fergus McCann had clearly decided that Macari wasn't his type of manager.

    Tommy Burns signed Andy Walker from Bolton and went back for Alan Stubbs.

    It's a small small world.

    Anon 8.37 I guess it's all pretty quiet at your club during the transfer window, it must be a bit of a novelty looking in at a club that can buy and sell with their management team all contracted to the club.

  • Anonymous says:

    Let's think about it.

    SPL = the delights of Falkirk, St Mirren, Hamilton, Kilmarnock etc and pitting your wits against inferior opposition the likes of teams from Finland etc you've never heard of wipe the floor with in the "prestigious" InterToto Cup.

    EPL = world-renowned, world-class international players and managers from every corner of the globe: in other words, the very best the entire planet has to offer.

    Where would you choose? Hardly "bizarre behaviour", is it?

    Let's not be "disgusted", or call Coyle's behaviour "bizarre" etc when he has been totally honest and professional about his choice to go to Bolton.

    Sure, we would like to be involved in the best league in the world but the fact is that we can't, won't, and will never be allowed to compete in England.

    Coyle's decision is no reason to slag him off, call him "bizarre", or make ridiculous claims that "he wouldn't last two minutes at Celtic" etc.

    Right on with the Anon 8:37 comment, Joe, TFOD can't even afford a free transfer and nobody will take them off Minty's hands for financial reasons and the baggage that goes with their "traditions".

  • Kcim67 says:

    It often amuses me the snobbery that many of my fellow Tims are capable of showing towards middle tier teams in the english premiership and others who find themselves in the championship. Have a look through some of the personel to have graced the pitch wearing the white shirts of Bolton Wanderers under Sam Allardyce, Jay Jay Okocha, Youri Djorkaeff, Ivan Campo currently Johan Elmander, players that we would readily have paid to see wearing a Green and White hooped shirt. I do not know Phil Gartside personally but from what i have read and seen he has the interests of his football club a lot higher up the list of his own priorities than i fear any of te Desmond, Lawell, Reid Trilogy have for our beloved club at present. Portsmouth are Toast, Wolverhampton Wanderers the WBA (with the equivalent manager for this season too 😉 probably down too, which leaves Owenie Bhoy only having to better his old club (substantially weakened) and a few other perennial under achievers to allow BW to make it 10 yrs uninterrupted in the top flight. Funnily enough being of the age that I am I have a nostalgic memory of many of the demised Northern Greats of english football we Scots seemed to have a lot more in common with them than their fancy southeren prima donna's! Money has ruined the game but many of the fans particularly those of the poorer northern clubs remain the same, i long to see another Clough, a Shankly a McLean or a Ferguson get hold of one of the provincial clubs and get it right up the money men and bring the game back to were it belongs back to the people and back to the fans. Good luck Owen Coyle one of our own!!!!!!!!!! Hail Hail

  • Tam D says:

    I also think his comments are disrespectful to Tony Mowbray. My "wouldn't last two minutes" comments were suggesting that pressure may have got him make these comments and if so then how would he handle the laptop loyal and the pressure being Celtic manager. If Coyle was being honest he would admit regret on making that statement. I will follow his mangerial career with interest.

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