No game until Monday but a rollercoaster Friday for Burnley fans

No game until Monday but a rollercoaster Friday for Burnley fans

Whilst most Premier League teams were building up to their weekend fixture, Burnley fans were embracing and enduring contrasting news stories.

Chris Lincoln

Three contract extensions and a controversial four-game ban have ensured newly promoted Burnley have remained in the headlines for the right and wrong reasons this weekend.

Three contract extensions gave Burnley a boost going into the weekend 

The day began with some positive long-term news as it became clear that Kevin Long, Dean Marney and Stephen Ward had extended their contracts by a year to take them through to Summer 2018. The trip were due to leave at the end of the season with their contracts expiring, but officials at the Lancashire club had been working tirelessly to fill their extra time adequately with Burnley not playing until Monday. 

Marney and Ward have proved to be vital members of Sean Dyche's Premier League plans after starting all five matches, with Marney leading the way on number of passes for the club as he continues to pull the strings in the centre of midfield. Long is yet to feature but is clearly part of the foreseeable future at Turf Moor.

Gray picks up a four game ban for homophobic tweets

However an optimistic start to the day was tinged with disappointment as news filtered through about star striker Andre Gray. After scoring to help his side record a surprise victory against Liverpool, homophobic tweets posted by the player from 2012 surfaced and put forward to the Football Association. 

Gray, who played for non-league Hinckley United at the time, apologised as soon as the news became public, claiming to be "a different person". Yet he was charged with misconduct and a month down the line has been handed a four game ban and £25,000 fine.

On a busy day for the Burnley press office a club statement declared: "We believe this charge, regarding historical social media posts, should now also serve as a warning to all professional footballers, and participants in the wider sporting field."