It's that time of year again. The preseason is almost over, and we can start looking forward to opening kickoff in a little over a week. Last season saw Premier League fixtures Newcastle, Aston Villa, and periodic top flight club Norwich City make way for Burnley, Middlesbrough, and Hull City. Two of those three will be fairly familiar to football fans, as both Burnley and Hull City bounced straight back up to the Premier League after being relegated following the 2014/15 season. Middlesbrough, on the other hand, return to the top flight after 7 seasons in the Championship.
Perhaps it is all well and good that Burnley replace Aston Villa, as their claret and blue kits came about as a tribute to the team that was, at the time, England's dominant side. Prior to the 1910 color change, Burnley never could really settle on a color or pattern. They wore blue and white stripes. They wore claret and yellow stripes with black shorts. They wore black and yellow kits. They wore kits with pink and white stripes (oh why couldn't you have settled on this one?). Then they switched to a plain red shirt, before abandoning it for a plain green shirt and white shorts. Finally, mercifully, they picked their claret and blue (and by "their" I mean Aston Villa's).
Know Your Premier League Enemies
With another season on the horizon, we take you through all the teams Liverpool will be facing off against in the Premier League in 2015-16 as the Reds target a return to the top four after a disappointing year.
The Clarets were founded in 1882, and started playing at their home stadium Turf Moor in 1883, making it one of the oldest continuously used professional football pitch in the world (only Preston North End's Deepdale can compete). Turf Moor also holds the acclaim as the first ground to host a member of the royal family in October 1886. In 1888, Burnley became one of the founding members of the Football League.
Despite this long history, Burnley haven't enjoyed a great deal of success. They have two top-flight crowns to their name (1920-21 and 1959-60) and a solitary FA Cup win in 1914. Following their dramatic league win in 1960, they followed it up with a respectable run to the quarterfinals of the 1960-61 European Cup. This would be their first and last European involvement. Burnley also have the dubious distinction of having won each of the top four flights in English football, a feat only matched by Wolverhampton and Preston North End.
Burnley used to be fixtures in England's top flight, including an unbroken run from 1947 to 1971. Their fortunes changed in the mid 70's, dropping to the second tier in 1976, and to the third for the first time in their history in 1980. Things would get worse still, as Burnley dropped to its lowest point—the fourth tier in English football—from 1985 to 1992, nearly getting relegated out of the Football League altogether following the 1986-87 season. After that relegation in 1976, Burnley wouldn't reclaim its spot in England's top flight until 2009, where they were promptly re-relegated after just one season. The same fate befell the next Burnley side which dared to reach the Premier League in 2014-15, and now they're back for a third attempt in 8 years to stay afloat among the best sides in England.
Liverpool play away to Burnley on August 20th (after a schedule swap), and host the Clarets on March 11th.