Owen Coyle to quit Burnley to take charge at Bolton
Published 07:00 04/01/10 By Alan Nixon Exclusive
Owen Coyle is ready to walk out on Burnley and become Bolton boss - in time to take on Arsenal in a debut of fire n Wednesday night.
Coyle had talks with Wanderers supremo Phil Gartside yesterday after the chairman headed to Glasgow to see him after a family reunion.
Gartside was given the nod to speak to Coyle about the vacancy by Burnley operations director Brendan Flood and immediately set up the meeting where he persuaded the highly-rated Glaswegian to take the job.
Coyle wants to work with serious cash after finding Burnley's shoestring budget was giving him an uphill battle to compete in the top-flight - with even Bolton's payroll three times as big.
The move has stunned Burnley who thought Coyle was settled after turning down previous approaches. However, the former Bolton striker is hugely ambitious and sees the Reebok as an ideal step.
Coyle is breaking the bad news to Burnley and is also in a position to leave, with Bolton prepared to pick up the tab for his compensation, which is around £1 million.
The negotiations are unusual as Flood and Gartside are friends and the Bolton supremo recommended Coyle to Burnley in the first place - a call that was worth around £60million when they won promotion.
Gartside wants Coyle in charge quickly as his club is in the bottom three and running into a tough run of games that includes two meetings with the Gunners – the first at the Emirates on Wednesday – and an emotion-charged match with Burnley.
There will be talks over Coyle's backroom staff which could drag on over a few days, but Coyle is now going in one direction and his backroom team will follow.
Burnley are fuming that their 'God' is going, but they will instantly start to look at the market for a replacement. Coach Steve Davis may step in while Flood seeks a new man.
Darren Ferguson, who is also on the shortlist for the managerial vacancy at Preston, could be among the Burnley targets,