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On 27th June 1997, Everton confirmed the appointment of Adrian Heath as Howard Kendall’s new assistant manager; Burnley Football Club were in search of a third manager in fifteen months but didn’t even comment on Heath’s departure.

Things had move quickly. At the beginning of the week, Andy Gray looked certain to be named the new Everton manager but at the same time things were changing at Burnley according to Edward Lee in the Burnley Express. He’d spoken to Heath on both Monday and Tuesday and reported that things had changed.

Lee said: “Late last week and again on Monday, he was his usual effervescent self and full of enthusiasm for the new season. He had as many as five signings lined up and could see a very positive outlook for the Clarets.

“By Tuesday the sparkle had gone and he appeared disillusioned. Before the Kendall news had broken and before Heath was aware of it himself, he already appeared to have suffered a setback along the way. The only thing that had happened between our Monday and Tuesday conversations was a board meeting, and he would not comment on that.”

While Burnley remained silent, Sheffield United were angry that their manager, Kendall, had been poached. They kicked up a stink and went public with their dismay and disapproval of Everton’s actions and made it very public how much money they were demanding in compensation.

Yes, silence from Burnley, no word for the fans, nothing. Director Bob Blakeborough had said they would do all they could to keep the manager, but this board had let John Ward leave without any attempt to keep him. They did similar with Colin Harvey and it now appeared they’d just let Heath leave without any attempt at persuading him to stay.

No manager, no assistant manager, players who were signing left in limbo and rumours of people wanting to takeover and oust chairman Frank Teasdale who, as always in difficult situations, had retreated into his bunker.

Heath himself promised to have his say on the situation in the following week while Teasdale and his team would again have to start looking for a new manager. It would be the seventh such appointment since Teasdale became chairman twelve years earlier.

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