Burnley break record for earliest Championship promotion

Burnley's players celebrate promotion back to the Premier League
Burnley's players celebrate promotion back to the Premier League / Stu Forster/GettyImages

Vincent Kompany signed a five-year contract with Burnley last summer, signalling his commitment to a long-term project in which promotion could take two or even three years.

Yet, the Clarets have strolled back into the Premier League ten months into the Belgian's reign. A 2-1 victory away to Middlesbrough, resurgent under Michael Carrick - a former opponent for Kompany in 17 Manchester derbies - ensured Burnley secured promotion with seven games of the Championship season remaining.

Since England's second tier was rebranded in 2004, no club has ever earned passage to the Premier League with as much of the season remaining.

Quickest Championship promotion seasons



Games remaining

Premier League finish in following season

























Reading, Newcastle and Leicester had all previously cemented their imminent top-flight status with six games left to play. The Royals lost the first game of the 2005/06 campaign but only suffered one further defeat that season, racking up a record-breaking tally of 106 points. Newcastle and Leicester also clocked up triple digits, with 102 apiece.

Kompany's side have accrued 87 points from their first 39 league games of the campaign, an almost identical rate to Newcastle and Leicester's mightily impressive final-day hauls. If Burnley were to match Reading's unsurpassed tally, the Clarets would have to win six and draw one of their final seven matches. Only a perfect end to the season would allow Burnley to break Reading's record.

Any talk of history book bothering would have seemed far-fetched to Burnley's hierarchy last summer. "This was not our plan," club chairman Alan Pace admitted in the wake of the Middlesbrough victory. "Vincent and I talked about it in the summer. We gave ourselves two, three years. What you have seen is a lot of magic coming together."

How can Burnley win the Championship

Burnley may have secured one of the two automatic promotion berths but top spot, theoretically, remains up for grabs. "We still don't have the silverware," Kompany warned - although, he didn't seem overly bothered: "But we have made memories.

"There is already one milestone that has been achieved, and one achievement that cannot be taken away from us."

Burnley need a maximum of 11 points from the last seven games of the season to ensure that Sheffield United, their closest challengers in second, cannot finish above them. However, if the Blades drop any points in the intervening weeks - which is entirely possible as focus may be drawn to the club's imminent FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City - Burnley's margin for error will only widen.

Sean Dyche steered Burnley to first place in the club's most recent season in England's second tier seven years ago. However, the Clarets didn't confirm their top-flight status until the penultimate weekend of the season with Middlesbrough and Brighton in hot pursuit.

Kompany's current vintage have ensured a far more relaxed remainder of the campaign.

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