Richard Sutcliffe: Clarets clouded in double standards over Howe's arrival

So, Eddie Howe is making a natural step up the managerial ladder but Owen Coyle was fully deserving of the moniker 'Judas'. Don't you just love the double-standards of many modern day football fans?

Last weekend's appointment of the 33-year-old former defender as Brian Laws's successor at Turf Moor has been warmly welcomed by Burnley supporters.

Such a reaction is understandable as Howe arrived with an excellent pedigree, having kept Bournemouth in the Football League despite being hit with a 17-point deduction and then led the Cherries to promotion from League Two the following season despite operating under a transfer embargo.

And as if that wasn't enough, the Cherries are now well placed to launch a concerted push for promotion from a division that includes a host of clubs with much larger resources. Clearly, Howe has done a marvellous job at Dean Court.

What has made me laugh, however, in the days since Howe opted to move north is the way not one Burnley fan of my acquaintance – and, living in Keighley, there are plenty of them around – has batted an eyelid at the manner of their new manager's messy departure from his former club.

Nor is anyone, it seems, able to recognise the irony of Howe doing exactly what Coyle did this time last year when swapping Burnley for Bolton Wanderers. Namely, attempting to better himself as a manager after performing footballing miracles on a tight budget.

In opting to take charge of Bolton 12 months ago, Coyle suddenly became 'Public Enemy No 1' in the East Lancashire town with his first game against the Clarets just a few weeks later seeing many of the 5,000 away fans at the Reebok Stadium donning facemasks of the Scot with 'Judas' written across them.

The Bolton manager, to his credit, did at least attempt to see the funny side when talking to the press afterwards: "It sounds like they want to get biblical – I was Judas tonight but last year I was God. I should be Moses because I led them from the wilderness to the promised land."

Unfortunately, time has not dulled the antipathy felt towards Coyle by fans of his former club with the 44-year-old having to endure similar taunts when his Bolton side were beaten 1-0 in the Carling Cup by Burnley last September.

Bournemouth fans do not seem to have displayed such venom towards Howe, even though his U-turn after initially saying he was staying at Dean Court was so dramatic that even the Coalition Government would think twice about trying to pull off a similar manoeuvre.

That is probably in recognition of the tremendous job Howe has done in trying circumstances and is to the credit of the Cherries fans.

Now, the intention of this column is not to simply have a 'go' at Burnley supporters. Far from it, in fact. My late father supported the Clarets all his life, while my Uncle and Aunt have been season ticket holders at Turf Moor for more years than they both care to remember.

But I have found the selective thought process employed in the wake of Howe's appointment rather strange and feeling even more sympathy for a manager whose only 'crime' was to lead a club back into the top flight after a 33-year absence and then opt to join another team with more potential, as Bolton's current seventh place standing in the Premier League vividly illustrates.