Book Review: Burnley FC Miscellany by David Clayton
As a football fan, the story, history and quirky facts surrounding my club are all part of what ties me to my team. And as such I do enjoy books which offer an anthology or miscellany of facts and figures. However, for them to be successful they must have integrity in terms of consistency and accuracy.
Unfortunately for the Burnley FC Miscellany by David Clayton, examples of inconsistency and inaccuracy are all very apparent.
Why for instance is there on page 46 a top ten list of transfer fees paid, which on page 56 is repeated yet titled record signings? Why detail the respective teams for the 2009 Playoff Final and then not for the game in 1994? Why provide background on the reign of Burnley managers from Arthur Sutcliffe (1893-96) to John Bond (1983-84), yet for the Turf Moor bosses from 1984 to the present day merely detail their name and date of tenure?
At the heart of any miscellany is the need for the facts need to be right and therefore any errors start to erode that trust. I’m not a Burnley fan so can’t comment on the accuracy of the facts and stories relating to the East Lancashire club. However, as a football fan a couple of errors leapt out.
On page 87 under the heading Clarets Books, Alan Briggs is mistakenly detailed – it should read Alan Biggs – as working with Brian Laws on the book Laws of the Jungle. Then just a page later in the section, Anyone for tennis? Clayton incorrectly states that Wimbledon succumbed to Leeds United in a FA Cup Fourth Round replay at Plough Lane. The reality is that the game was played at Selhurst Park, the home of Crystal Palace.
Undoubtedly, readers will find some gems that they never knew about The Clarets within the books pages. However, for me the good is outweighed by the errors and irregularity in the presentation of some of the material.