Thursday, 9th Dec 2010 21:26 by Tim Whelan
In previous seasons our trip to Burnley has been brought forward to Saturday lunchtime, but this year they’re going to trust us with a 3pm kick off.
If you're coming by car you need to leave the M65 at Junction 10 and follow signs for Towneley Hall. This road eventually goes past the ground, where there is a car park designated for away fans at the cricket ground behind the visitors' turnstiles. There is also a big pay and display car park on Centenary Way, next to the Bus Station, although spaces go pretty fast. Otherwise there is plenty of street parking, but it's recommend that you remove any Leeds colours from your car, as there have been problems in the past with damaged motors.
There are two train stations that are in walking distance of Turf Moor, Burnley Central (20 minutes walk from the ground) and Burnley Manchester Road (15 minutes walk). Anyone coming from Leeds will arrive at Manchester Road, as Central station is on the branch line to Colne and is only served by local trains coming from the Blackburn direction. Leaving Manchester Road station you need to cross the main road towards the cinema, and the ground should be clearly visible in the distance straight ahead. Turn left down the 'Centenary Way' dual carriageway (A682) going downhill towards the ground, and in a few minutes you'll come to a roundabout where you should turn right under the canal bridge into Yorkshire Street (A671). Continue down this road and you will reach Turf Moor on your left, with the away stand being the first one you come to.
A couple of pubs recommended for away fans are the 110 Club on Yorkshire Street near the ground (a private club allows away supporters in for a nominal admission fee), and the 'Sparrow Hawk Hotel', which is around five minutes walk away from Turf Moor. You could also try the clubhouse at the Cricket Club (by the away fans car park mentioned above), while the 'Woodman Inn' on Todmorden Road (about a half a mile up the road from the ground) is a small & friendly place for away supporters, providing they look well behaved. Sadly, there are also pubs that are best avoided, including the Turf Hotel' on Yorkshire Street, 'The Swan' and 'The Yates' in the town centre, and any pub on Brunshaw Road. As far as takeaways are concerned, I'm told that the 'Carolina Fried Chicken' is a bit dodgy, but you could try the 'Park View Chippy', or the food in the 'Sparrow Hawk Hotel'.
The capacity of Turf Moor has been 22,619 since half the ground was rebuilt in the mid 1990's at a total cost of £5.3 million. The two new stands, The Jimmy McIlroy & James Hargreaves stands were built on two large former terraces at one end and one side of the ground, and were completed by September 1996. Away fans are housed in one of the older and smaller stands, being allocated 4125 seats in the covered David Fishwick Stand (formerly the Cricket Field Stand). The view and legroom are pretty good, although the seats are made from wood. When this stand opened it was the first in the country to have central heating installed with hot pipes under the seats, but they have never been used, even when this area was for home fans!
There are two small stanchions to spoil the view for some, though they are away from the centre of the pitch. There are several snack bars, but they don't usually serve beer to away fans, although the pies are pretty good. The concourse can get really crowded if the away team brings a big following, and the toilets are fairly basic. Tickets for away fans have gone up quite steeply since we last visited four years ago, and are now £26 for Adults and £15 for Concessions, with Juniors at £12. Presumably this increase is because Burnley think they’re a big club now they’ve spent a season in the Premier League. We’ve sold our allocation, but Burnley have still got theirs on general sale, though none will be available on the day.
In the future Burnley are looking to purchase the adjacent Cricket Club to allow a £10m re-development of the Cricket Field Stand, which would become a two tiered stand with a capacity of 7,000. However this depends on them finding a suitable site for the Cricket Club to relocate to, otherwise they might add a second tier to the Bob Lord Stand instead.
The club have announced a £20m re-development of Turf Moor. The first phase will involve replacing the David Fishwick Stand with a new 2,500 capacity single tiered stand, that will incorporate some corporate hospitality boxes and a new Cricket Pavilion for the neighbouring Cricket Club. The second phase of the works will include the re-furbishment of the Bob Lord Stand, while away fans will be moved to the lower tier of the Jimmy McIlroy Stand. So as far as I can see we would get a smaller allocation than we do at present, while the final capacity of 22,000 will be slightly less than it is today. In that case, we can be thnkful that the scheme has had to be put on hold due to the current economic climate.
Photo: Action Images
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