George Burley: Wikis


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George Burley
Personal information
Full name George Elder Burley
Date of birth 3 June 1956 (1956-06-03) (age 53)
Place of birth Cumnock, Scotland
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Right-back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1973–1985 Ipswich Town 394 0(6)
1985–1988 Sunderland 054 0(0)
1988–1989 Gillingham 046 0(2)
1989–1991 Motherwell 054 0(0)
1991–1993 Ayr United 067 0(0)
1993 Falkirk 001 0(0)
1993–1994 Motherwell 005 0(0)
1994 Colchester United 007 0(0)
Total 628 0(8)
National team
Scotland U21 005 0(0)
Scotland U23 002 0(0)
1979–1982 Scotland 011 0(0)
Teams managed
1991–1993 Ayr United
1994 Colchester United
1994–2002 Ipswich Town
2003–2005 Derby County
2005 Heart of Midlothian
2005–2008 Southampton
2008–2009 Scotland
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

George Elder Burley (born 3 June 1956 in Cumnock, East Ayrshire) is a Scottish football manager and former player. Burley had a professional career spanning 21 years as a player making 628 appearances and earning 11 Scotland caps. His most successful spell came while at Ipswich Town making 394 senior appearances, and being part of the squad that won the FA Cup and Uefa Cup in 1978 and 1981 respectively. Burley's managerial career began officially in 1991 with Ayr United and has since spent spells at seven different clubs. On 24 January 2008 he was appointed manager of the Scotland national team. He was sacked on 16 November 2009, following a 3-0 defeat to Wales.[1]

His nephew, Craig, is also a former footballer.


Playing career

In 1972 he joined Ipswich Town as an apprentice and made his senior debut against Manchester United at Old Trafford in 1973, being given the job of marking George Best. In 1978 he was a member of the Ipswich side which upset the odds to defeat Arsenal 1–0 in the FA Cup final. However, in 1981 injury forced him out of Ipswich's UEFA Cup final triumph over AZ Alkmaar. Town missed out on the First Division title on the last day of the season, finishing runners-up to Aston Villa.

In 1985 he joined Sunderland after making 500 appearances for Ipswich, and was part of the Sunderland team that slipped into the Third Division in 1987, only to win promotion a year later.

He played for Gillingham in the 1988–89 season, but was unable to prevent them from being relegated to the Fourth Division. He moved back to Scotland in 1989 to play for Motherwell.

Burley received eleven Scotland caps.

Management career


Ayr United

He joined Ayr United as a player-manager in 1991, succeeding Ally MacLeod. In his first season he took United to the B&Q Centenary Cup Final and again reached the final of the competition (by then renamed the B&Q Challenge Cup) the following season. However, he did not succeed in taking Ayr back to the Premier League and was dismissed in 1993 for adverse results with the side's place in the First Division in serious jeopardy.

Colchester United

He moved briefly to Falkirk in 1993 as a player before returning to Motherwell as player-coach.

In June 1994 he returned to East Anglia as player-manager of Colchester United. He played seven first team games and managed the club for 20 matches, 8 of which they won, before returning to Ipswich Town the following November.

Ipswich Town

He was appointed manager at his former club, with Dale Roberts as his assistant, having had illegal talks with Town without Colchester knowing and so compensation was duly paid. During an eight-year reign he took Ipswich to three play-offs and finally won promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs at Wembley beating Barnsley 4–2. The following season he guided the club to fifth place and qualification for the UEFA Cup. This earned him the 2000–01 Manager of the Year award. Relegation the following season saw Burley's side struggling at the foot of Football League First Division and his contract was terminated by mutual agreement in 2002.

Derby County

In 2003, he became interim manager of Derby County while permanent manager John Gregory was suspended. Burley managed to halt Derby's alarming slide towards the relegation zone of the First Division (just one season after relegation from the Premier League) and kept the club up comfortably. Burley was then appointed manager permanently when Gregory was sacked. The following season (2003–04) was often a struggle, with Derby actually finishing a place lower than the season before, but there were signs of improvement. This showed through in the 2004–05 season when, despite spending no money on new players, Burley transformed Derby from relegation contenders to a fourth place finish and play-off semi-finalists. However, things were not as happy as they seemed on the surface with Burley's relationship with director of football Murdo Mackay and the club's board (who sold star player Tom Huddlestone without informing Burley) being very strained. After days of speculation and mudslinging, Burley announced his resignation from Derby in June 2005.

Heart of Midlothian

He was then appointed manager of Heart of Midlothian on 30 June 2005. A stunning start to his tenure as Hearts manager saw them top the Scottish Premier League after the first ten games, winning eight of these, including a 4–0 victory over rivals Hibernian – proving themselves to be genuine title challengers. However, he left the club the day after major shareholder Vladimir Romanov, with whom Burley had a notoriously uneasy relationship, announced a bid to take private control of Hearts.[2] A club statement declared his departure was by mutual consent.


Burley was appointed as Head Coach of Southampton on 23 December 2005 following the departure of Harry Redknapp.[3] The club's technical director, Sir Clive Woodward, was moved sideways to a newly created post as director of football as part of restructuring following Burley's appointment, before eventually leaving the club in August 2006. Following the change in control of the club in July 2006, Burley's title was changed to that of "manager". He guided Southampton to the 2006–07 play-offs but lost on penalties in the second-leg of the semi-final after drawing 4–4 on aggregate against his former club Derby County, who went on to win the final.


It was announced on 24 January 2008 that Burley had taken over the position of Scotland manager.[4] Burley signed a contract with the Scottish board until 2012. He became the third former Ipswich manager to manage his country, as Alf Ramsey and Bobby Robson had before him. In his first match in charge, Scotland drew 1–1 with Croatia. In the following two friendlies, Scotland failed to register a victory, with a 3–1 loss against the Czech Republic, and a goalless draw with Northern Ireland.

Although winning 2-1 against Iceland in their second game of the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign, Burley received heavy criticism for the 1-0 defeat to Macedonia in the opening match and a 0-0 home draw against Norway. Questions were raised about his choice of bringing on uncapped Chris Iwelumo (who missed an open goal from 3 yards) instead of proven-goal scorer Kris Boyd. The Rangers striker quickly announced his retirement from Scottish football while Burley was still in charge.[5]

Scotland were defeated 3–0 in Amsterdam by Holland, but then recovered by beating Iceland 2–1 at home. The team lost 4–0 to Norway in their next match, putting Burley's bid to take Scotland to the World Cup for the first time since 1998 in jeopardy.[6] Qualification to the play-offs remained in Scotland's hands, with the team needing to win the two remaining fixtures to be guaranteed second place. Scottish FA chief Gordon Smith moved to confirm that Burley's position was not under threat, but said that much depended on the final two matches.[7]

In the end, a 2-0 home victory over Macedonia at Hampden on 5 September 2009 was followed four days later by a 0-1 defeat at home to the Netherlands, ending Scottish hopes of qualifying for the finals.[8]

Despite failure to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, Burley was given the backing of the SFA at a meeting on 15 September 2009, and will lead the country into the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.[9]

However, on 15 November 2009, Burley came under fire, with reports suggesting he is to lose his job as Scotland manager.[10] The following day, Burley was sacked as manager of Scotland after winning just three out of fourteen games.[11] His final game was a 0-3 loss to Wales on 14 November 2009 in Cardiff.[12]

Managerial statistics

All competitive league games (league and domestic cup) and international matches (including friendlies) are included.

As of 14 November 2009
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Colchester United England 1 June 1994 24 November 1994 &0000000000000020.00000020 &0000000000000008.0000008 &0000000000000005.0000005 &0000000000000007.0000007 &0000000000000040.00000040.00
Ipswich Town England 28 December 1994 11 October 2002 &0000000000000409.000000409 &0000000000000185.000000185 &0000000000000097.00000097 &0000000000000127.000000127 &0000000000000045.23000045.23
Derby County England 31 March 2003 7 June 2005 &0000000000000107.000000107 &0000000000000039.00000039 &0000000000000025.00000025 &0000000000000043.00000043 &0000000000000036.45000036.45
Heart of Midlothian Scotland 30 June 2005 21 October 2005 &0000000000000012.00000012 &0000000000000009.0000009 &0000000000000002.0000002 &0000000000000001.0000001 &0000000000000075.00000075.00
Southampton England 23 December 2005 23 January 2008 &0000000000000109.000000109 &0000000000000045.00000045 &0000000000000025.00000025 &0000000000000039.00000039 &0000000000000041.28000041.28
Scotland Scotland 24 January 2008 16 November 2009 &0000000000000014.00000014 &0000000000000003.0000003 &0000000000000003.0000003 &0000000000000008.0000008 &0000000000000021.43000021.43


As a player

Ipswich Town

As a manager

Ipswich Town


  1. ^ . STV. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  2. ^ "Burley in shock exit from Hearts". BBC Sport. BBC. 22 October 2005. Retrieved 2007-01-21. 
  3. ^ "Saints name Burley as head coach". CBBC Newsround. 2005-12-23. Retrieved 2007-08-12. 
  4. ^ "Burley appointed Scotland manager". BBC. 24 January 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2008. 
  5. ^ "Iwelumo-Boyd situation". Telegraph Sport. Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  6. ^ Clive Lindsey (12 August 2009). "Norway 4-0 Scotland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 12 August 2009. 
  7. ^ "Burley's position is safe - Smith". BBC Sport. 13 August 2009. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  8. ^ "Scotland 0-1 Netherlands". BBC Sport. 9 September 2009. Retrieved 16 November 2009. 
  9. ^ "Burley remains as Scotland boss". BBC Sport. 15 September 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2009. 
  10. ^ "Burley set to lose Scotland post". BBC Sport. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 16 November 2009. 
  11. ^ "Burley sacked as Scotland manager". BBC Sport. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 16 November 2009. 
  12. ^ "Wales 3-0 Scotland". BBC Sport. 14 November 2009. Retrieved 16 November 2009. 

External links


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